As experts in the field of IT Asset Management (if we do say so ourselves…), we have come across numerous ideas, through research and practice, of what the “best practices” should be. We have compiled a concise list of what we believe to be the top 7 best practices for ITAM that every IT pro should know. Have a read, watch the video, and study up – you’ll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned ITAM expert too!
1. ITAM is a process, not a project – it should be ongoing. If asset management is implemented as an ongoing process, it can be regularly tracked & maintained as a part of the business practice. This will ensure that your firm does not abandon ITAM efforts after certain events like audits, which tend to prompt an asset management process.
2. ITAM should be proactive, not reactive. When the practice is continuously in place, your firm will always be fully ready for audits or other inventory checks, saving you from scrambling around at the last minute. Rather than trying to quickly react to specific events, be constantly at the ready for anything that comes your way with a proper plan.
3. Pick somewhere to begin & have a clear plan. Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Take time to find and examine all of your licenses as a starting point, and move onto the next step only once you have completed the first. Doing this process in clear steps helps to make it run smoothly and efficiently.
4. Implement an ITAM team & have them receive feedback from other business teams. Getting different teams from the firm involved in the implementation of an ITAM process will allow it to develop it over time, rather than simply being treated as an isolated task or necessity. In addition, encourage feedback between the ITAM team and other business teams, as this will allow for constant development and improvement of the whole process while it evolves as part of the organization.
5. Stick to the proven lifecycle-based approach. Always remember that ITAM starts from when the purchase request is made up until the device depreciation. Management should follow this process as well, tracking from the initial purchase to the historical asset information at the end. Sticking to this approach will allow for foolproof asset tracking.
6. Automate as much as possible. The best way to do this is to use a license and/or asset management system such as Vector License Manager. Rather than trying to keep track of assets manually using the outdated Excel spreadsheet approach, automate as many steps of the process that you can. License management software makes this significantly easier, with features such as email alerts, customizable compliance reports, and file repositories. Bonus: this streamlined approach will save your firm significant IT costs!
7. Track continuously to avoid over-deployment. It is critical to always know what your firm is entitled to having deployed, rather than just what you actually have deployed. Many firms suffer from severe fines during audits because they have no proof of entitlement. Be sure to keep all license agreements and receipts in order to properly track compliance (license management software can also help a lot with this).