6 IT Asset Management Best Practices You Should Know in 2024

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min read time
Calender
June 9, 2024
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Managing IT assets is becoming highly complicated as the size of the SaaS portfolio keeps growing. This leads to increased costs, inefficiencies, and compliance risks, which IT professionals have to tackle consistently, which also impairs their productivity.

You need an IT asset management strategy that provides optimization, cost savings, and risk management opportunities. Without a plan, you’re just navigating asset management in the blind.

As per Gartner, if your business implements IT asset management best practices, you can experience cost savings of 15% to 20%. With the right approach and framework, asset management can shift from a complex task to a strategic tool to maximize ROI.

In this article, we will examine the six best IT asset management best practices for streamlining your company's overall ITAM process.

What is IT Asset Management?

IT asset management is the process of managing your business’s technology resources throughout their entire lifecycle. The process includes both tangible assets and intangible assets.

ITAM involves processes, policies, and tools that can help your organization track, monitor, and optimize IT assets. As a result, you can maximize value, minimize costs, and mitigate risks.

ITAM focuses on answering some key questions about an organization's IT infrastructure:

  • What assets do you have for your business?
  • Who is using them?
  • How are they being used?
  • Are you complying with the license and regulations?
  • What are the protective measurements?

Answering these questions will help you make informed decisions about your business’s overall IT investments.

IT Asset Management Best Practices To Follow

1. Building a Comprehensive Asset Inventory

A detailed asset inventory should include every asset of your organization. This ranges from hardware like laptops and servers to overlooked aspects like software licenses, cloud subscriptions, software, and vendor contracts.

But why do such details matter so much for your organization? For starters, you can identify unused licenses and underutilized software to optimize costs. Moreover, having a detailed inventory will ensure you comply with the software licenses, thus avoiding hefty penalties.

But achieving the highest accuracy level in your inventory is easier said than done. We have seen many businesses rely on a single discovery method, which is undoubtedly a big mistake. Our recommendation is to implement multiple discovery methods for accurate data.

Combine agent-based and agentless discovery for automatic data collection. Also, use manual input for assets not discovered automatically via invoices, purchase orders, and contracts.

For cloud-based resources, use cloud provider APIs to automatically capture inventory data. When you integrate asset inventory with procurement systems, you will have information about new IT assets seamlessly.

To streamline this process, you need to use IT asset management software. ITAM software automates discovery methods and integrates asset inventory with procurement systems.

This way, you will have seamless information about new IT assets. This approach will help you maintain an accurate and up-to-date inventory.

2. Adopt an Automated IT Asset Management Software

The IT environments are extremely complicated and dynamic. Given this complexity, manual asset tracking methods cannot be relied on. They are prone to errors and are time-consuming.

This is where IT asset management tool comes into play. It offers a centralized platform for managing the entire lifecycle of your IT assets, from procurement to disposal.

It streamlines processes, automates data collection, and provides real-time insights into your IT landscape. Here's why adopting an automated IT asset management software is beneficial:

  • ITAM software can help you gain complete visibility of all your IT assets, their configurations, locations, and users.
  • You can automate mundane tasks like discovery, inventory updates, and license management.
  • You can access real-time reports to make informed decisions about asset utilization, optimization, and future investments.
  • You can identify and eliminate unused licenses, optimize software usage, and avoid overspending.
  • ITAM software ensures compliance with software licenses, reduces security vulnerabilities, and mitigates risks.

In short, IT asset management software can automate manual processes, allowing IT teams to focus more on the strategic initiatives that directly drive business growth.

Remember that implementing IT asset management software is no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive.

3. Mastering Software License Management

Next is software license management, a key aspect of ITAM. It’s another IT asset management best practice you must remember, as non-compliance can lead to hefty fines, legal battles, and reputational damage.

But, effective license management can help your business save costs and boost operational efficiency.

Remember that the software licenses are there for a reason. They dictate how you’re allowed to use the software. Failing to comply with the license and agreements will disrupt your business. Here’s what you need to do to avoid any unforeseen complexities:

  • Read and understand the terms and conditions of every software license you own
  • Keep records of all licenses, including proof of purchase, license keys, and version numbers
  • Compare your software usage against your licenses to identify discrepancies
  • Stay updated on any revisions or updates from software vendors

Optimizing software license usage is not only about compliance; it's also about getting the most out of your investments. Here are some effective strategies to remember:

  • Identify and reclaim unused or low usage licenses through regular audits
  • Purchase licenses that align with your actual usage patterns, and don’t buy something you don’t need
  • Use ITAM software to automate license management tasks
  • Consider subscription-based models as they are flexible and cost-effective
  • Negotiate with the software vendors to secure better pricing

Now, manual license harvesting is an error-prone and time-consuming process. It also comes with several challenges. The best way to manage licenses better is by using ITAM software with robust license harvesting workflows.

4. Optimize Software Usage and Costs

When you purchase software for your business, you must ensure you get a maximum ROI. Now, the process is more than just managing the software licenses. You need to pay close attention to how your employees use the software.

One key optimization strategy is to identify underutilized or unused software licenses. By regularly analyzing usage data, you can reclaim or reassign licenses to relevant users, reducing unnecessary costs and ensuring the software is used properly.

Negotiating with vendors is another powerful tactic for optimizing software costs. Don’t hesitate to negotiate better pricing and license terms. Discuss the pricing terms with the vendors or take our help to negotiate the best possible terms for your business.

You must also implement software usage metering to make informed decisions about your software investments. Tracking the software's usage pattern will help you identify optimization opportunities.

This includes consolidating licenses, downgrading to less expensive versions, or even eliminating software not being used. This way, you can ensure the software spending aligns with your actual needs, which will help you save a significant amount of money over time.

5. Ensuring Security and Compliance

This is one of the most overlooked IT asset management best practices. As a business owner, you might be aware of the growing cyber threats and data breaches. If your business falls victim to hackers, it will become a nightmare.

To prevent such situations, you must ensure the security and compliance of your IT assets. Neglecting one can lead to financial losses, legal liabilities, and irreparable damage to your organization's reputation.

Implementing Robust Security Measures

Security is about protecting your IT assets from unauthorized access, theft, and damage. This involves implementing robust security measures such as:

  • Encrypt sensitive data to protect it from DDoS attacks and malware
  • Implement strict access controls to ensure that only authorized personnel can have access
  • Keep software and operating systems up-to-date with the latest security patches
  • Use antivirus and anti-malware software to prevent and detect threats
  • Implement firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other network security measures
  • Educate employees about security best practices and the importance of reporting suspicious activity

Enhancing Identity and Access Management

Proper provisioning and deprovisioning of IT assets are crucial to keeping them safe from unauthorized access. Improving identity and access management can significantly enhance your security standards:

  • Automate user provisioning and deprovisioning processes to ensure that employees have access only to the resources they need
  • Implement RBAC to restrict access based on the user's role within the organization
  • Regularly review and update user permissions
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to user logins

Maintain Compliance

But that’s not all. You need to pay close attention to compliance to adhere to regulatory requirements.

This can include data protection laws, industry-specific regulations, and contractual obligations. To ensure compliance, your organization should:

  • Audit the IT assets regularly to identify any compliance gaps or vulnerabilities
  • Maintain thorough documentation of all IT assets
  • Track the changes in regulatory requirements and industry standards
  • Consult with legal and compliance experts to ensure that your ITAM practices align with applicable regulations

6. Continuous Improvement and IT Asset Audits

IT asset management is not a one-time task. It is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. As technologies evolve, your ITAM practices must adapt to stay effective based on your business’s needs.

This is why it’s essential to reassess the ITAM processes regularly. This involves reviewing your policies, procedures, and tools to identify areas for improvement.

Do you find any discrepancies in the workflow? Are there manual tasks that could be automated? Are your reporting and analytics providing the insights you need?

When you evaluate the ITAM processes regularly, you can ensure that your strategies align with your organization's goals.

Moreover, conducting IT asset audits is a critical component of continuous improvement. Audits will help you verify the accuracy of your inventory and assess compliance with licenses and regulations.

Conclusion

Success in ITAM relies on accurate information about IT asset status and ongoing monitoring and optimization of asset utilization. Since IT assets directly impact business value, effective management boosts the chances of positive ROI.

Maintaining an updated asset register requires dedicated effort, focusing on the importance of strong governance and accountability. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can streamline your IT asset management processes and maximize the value of your IT investments.

Implementing ITAM software will further enhance these practices, automating many of the tasks and providing real-time insights into your IT landscape.

Do you want to take control of your IT assets? Schedule a demo with CloudEagle and let the experts help you leverage the best benefits of your cloud investments.

Written by
Vamshi Krishna
Product Manager, CloudEagle
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