If you work in the world of technology, you may have come across the term ITAM (Information Technology Asset Management). Essentially, ITAM is all about managing an organisation’s IT assets.
This article describes the benefits of ITAM and how it can be used in business environments. We will also take a look at a practical example of how ITAM was implemented in a financial services company.
What is ITAM?
ITAM can include everything from hardware, such as computers and servers, to software programs and digital data, along with relevant resources, such as licenses, warranties, and contracts.
The primary aim of IT Asset Management is to ensure these assets are used in the most effective and efficient way possible while also minimising any associated costs and risks. By doing so, organisations can optimise the value of their IT assets to help achieve their wider business objectives.
What is asset management?
Asset management involves the processes and practices that organisations use to manage their assets. Assets can refer to any resource that an organisation owns, including physical assets such as buildings, machinery, and equipment, as well as digital assets like software programs, digital data, and intellectual property.
The primary aim of asset management is to maximise the value of these resources by ensuring efficient and effective utilisation while simultaneously minimising associated expenses and risks. This involves a range of activities, such as the acquisition, maintenance, disposal, and replacement of assets.
As technology advances, effective technical asset management is crucial for any organisation that wants to maximise its return on investment and support its long-term objectives.
IT Asset Management vs IT Service Management
IT asset management (ITAM) is focused on managing an organisation’s technology assets, including hardware, software, and related contracts, whereas IT service management (ITSM) is focused on managing the delivery of IT services to meet the needs of the organisation and its customers. This may include incident management, problem management, change management, and service-level management.
In other words, ITAM is concerned with managing the assets themselves, while ITSM is concerned with managing the services that those assets support.
How is ITAM used in a business environment?
ITAM can be implemented in various ways to help businesses manage their IT assets more effectively.
ITAM software can be used to track and monitor IT assets throughout their lifecycle, from procurement to disposal. This helps businesses to keep track of their IT inventory and understand what hardware and software they have at any given time.
By tracking licenses and usage, ITAM software can identify license compliance issues and help businesses to avoid penalties for non-compliance.
Businesses can optimise their IT spend by identifying underutilised or unnecessary assets. By consolidating and rationalising IT assets, businesses can save money and improve operational efficiency.
ITAM can help businesses to manage their IT security risks by identifying vulnerable or out-of-date software, as well as ensuring that patches and updates are applied promptly.
ITAM can help businesses to manage their IT procurement more effectively by providing insight into vendor performance, negotiating better contracts, and managing costs.
Benefits that ITAM can provide companies
ITAM can help organisations to streamline processes, reduce costs, and increase operational efficiency. By tracking assets throughout their lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, ITAM helps to ensure they are being used effectively to support wider business objectives.
ITAM also helps to minimise the risk of security breaches, software license non-compliance, and equipment failure, which can all have significant negative impacts on a business.
Some of the major benefits of effective ITAM include:
1. Cost reduction
By managing IT assets more effectively, ITAM can help businesses to reduce the costs associated with IT procurement, maintenance, and licensing. Through asset tracking, ITAM can identify underutilised or unnecessary assets, leading to significant cost savings.
2. Improved efficiency
ITAM can help businesses to optimise their IT assets and streamline their IT processes. By providing insight into asset performance and usage, ITAM can help businesses to identify inefficiencies and improve overall operational efficiency.
3. Risk management
By tracking and monitoring assets, ITAM can identify vulnerabilities and ensure that patches and updates are applied promptly, minimising the risk of security breaches.
ITAM can help businesses to ensure that they are complying with software licensing agreements and regulatory requirements. By tracking licenses and usage, ITAM can identify license compliance issues and help businesses to avoid penalties for non-compliance.
5. Strategic planning
By providing a complete picture of IT assets and usage, ITAM can help businesses to make informed decisions about their IT strategy. ITAM can provide valuable insights into asset performance and usage, helping businesses to identify opportunities for improvement and plan for future IT investments.
Examples of ITAM in practice
The easiest way to understand ITAM processes and best practices is to look at a practical example of ITAM in a business environment.
Case Study: Financial Services Company
A financial services company with over 8,300 employees and total assets of £58 billion wanted to gain better visibility into its software as a service (SaaS) investments and provide sophisticated integration and reporting functionality.
The company’s previous software asset management (SAM) solution lacked adequate reporting and only offered limited capabilities, making it difficult for IT leaders to guide better decision-making when negotiating with vendors.
The company hired third-party ITAM consultants to help them implement more effective and efficient ITAM processes and systems.
Audit of software usage
They started by conducting an audit of the software used to identify the specific applications and how frequently they were being used. This allowed them to understand their software needs better and identify any areas where they were over-licensed or under-licensed.
Negotiations with vendors
Based on the results of the audit, they entered into negotiations with Adobe and Microsoft to reduce their licensing costs. They were able to negotiate a reduction in the number of licenses they needed and a reduction in the price they paid for those licenses.
Adoption of a SaaS model
The company also adopted a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which allowed them to pay for software on a subscription basis rather than purchasing perpetual licenses. This helped them to reduce their upfront costs and better align their software costs with their actual usage.
Migration to Cloud
They migrated their on-premises software to the cloud, which helped them to reduce their infrastructure costs and improve their overall IT agility. This also allowed them to take advantage of the cost savings and scalability benefits of cloud-based solutions.
By implementing solutions to provide detailed insights, the financial services company was able to reduce its Adobe costs by 15% and its spend with Microsoft by 12%. Moreover, they were able to mitigate their threat exposure and dramatically simplified and accelerated the process of preparing software audit reports.
The company can now provide business stakeholders with comprehensive, accurate, and timely information on its software assets, including its SaaS investments, helping its IT leaders make smarter decisions.
As an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) provider, Xcession utilises a variety of ITAM tools to help organisations effectively manage their technology assets and optimise their IT infrastructure.
Freshworks IT Asset Management
Freshworks IT Asset Management is a cloud-based ITAM tool that enables organisations to track and manage their IT assets throughout their life cycle. The tool provides a complete view of all IT assets, including hardware, software, and cloud services, giving organisations the ability to manage their assets efficiently.
Freshworks IT Asset Management allows organisations to automate asset discovery, inventory management, and software license tracking. The tool also provides detailed reports on asset usage, making it easy to identify optimisation and cost-saving opportunities.
ServiceNow IT Asset Management is a comprehensive solution that automates the end-to-end lifecycle for software, hardware, and cloud assets on one platform.
The application combines physical, technological, administrative, and financial aspects of managing IT assets, providing IT Asset Managers with an integrated dashboard view of their assets. It incorporates automated workflows to assign asset requests, record maintenance activity, and prompt assessments throughout an asset’s lifecycle.
The application also works hand-in-hand with ServiceNow’s IT Service Management (ITSM) applications to improve inventory control and service delivery.
4Me is an IT service management application that helps organisations improve the efficiency and quality of their service delivery. It combines people, processes, and tools to deliver services to internal and external customers while maintaining consistently high quality and speed.
With tightly integrated ITSM functionality, 4Me provides standard and extended capabilities, including IT asset management.
Effective IT asset management (ITAM) is essential for any organisation that wants to maximise the value of its IT assets and support its long-term objectives.
By tracking and monitoring IT assets, ITAM can help businesses to reduce costs, improve efficiency, improve employee experience, manage risks, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. ITAM can also provide valuable insights into asset performance and usage, helping businesses to make informed decisions about their IT strategy.
As demonstrated in the case study of a financial services company, ITAM can be implemented in various ways to help businesses manage their IT assets more effectively, such as asset tracking, license management, cost optimisation, security management, and procurement management.
ITAM should be a priority for any organisation that wants to stay ahead of the competition in today’s technology-driven world.