How To Use An IT Asset Management Program
Companies looking to increase their operational efficiencies tend to turn towards technology solutions. An IT Asset Manager is generally a combination of a team and/or resources that helps a company keep track of its IT assets: things like phones, laptops, and tablets. Choosing the right mix of expert resources and software tools is often the hardest part of IT Asset Management, and the decision usually results in a no-go situation, hiring too many resources to cover the responsibilities, or choosing a software tool that is not suitable for the application. In the end, weighing choices beforehand and the actual implementation plan become the hardest decisions to educate. One suggestion is that we choose using how we believe an ITAM tool should work.
An ideal ITAM should do a few things very well:
- Onboard new assets
- Track those assets seamlessly
- Notify the management owner when any tasks need to be completed
- Execute and communicate bulk actions relating to those assets
- Provide overall KPIs for the efficacy of asset use
Who uses the software? In the best-case scenario, anyone involved in the Asset Management process from the start of an asset’s lifecycle in the company until its exit should at least have access to the platform. This is so that any asset involved in the company operations is also synchronized to the management platform. In reality, there should be a minimal ownership team that has at least partial responsibility for the processes for every asset.
How do we use this software? Ideally, we want modular, quick, and one-time installation for each individual feature with seamless integration and updating. A good ITAM tool is built-for-scale, easy to understand, and easy to use. A streamlined implementation team would deploy the platform and then test it by onboarding a pilot set of items to track with unique types and data fields. Subsequently, the owning team would build sample workflows to support automated maintenance, asset end-of-life, exchanges, and updates. After the pilot phase we can proceed then into a steady-state usage, either by onboarding more assets of similar types and in other geographies.
Steady-state usage involves minimizing the time spent by the tool owners while maintaining full tracking on each asset and automated workflow communications with the necessary stakeholders and approval channels. Inherent in this style of use is that the tool must be cloud-based and easily deployable across multiple locations and groups. There are several parts of the tool that would be directly exercised:
- Adding a new asset type: the owner needs to make a new asset profile
- Onboarding a new asset: instantly scanning in a new item and completing its profile
- Building a workflow: mapping the lifecycle of an asset along with approval and support
- Approving processes for assets: interacting with the automated workflow interface
- Integrating with project and business software: linking with business platforms and enterprise tools to automate interactions between ITAM tool and the company