IT asset management ensures that an accurate inventory of software, hardware, and other IT assets is maintained, supporting full IT asset life cycle management. It is sometimes referred to as Client Lifecycle Management, or PC Lifecycle Management. It is an approach that connects IT with Finance, such that all elements of an organization’s IT systems can be tracked from acquisition to disposal.
Usually, this inventory is kept electronically. It can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet or involve elaborate software packages. Asset management systems should track all hardware and software as well as where it is located. A record should be kept of all serial numbers, licenses, warranties, and contact information. As new assets are acquired or disposed of, the asset management should be updated so that an accurate accounting is maintained.
IT asset management can help cut “lights on” IT expenses and prevent unnecessary purchases. When a new employee is hired, it can determine if the company has existing unused equipment or if a new purchase must be made. If someone needs to install software that was previously purchased, you can easily see if you have a license that isn’t being used. This also helps make sure you don’t install software on more machines that you own licenses and make sure that you comply with your software licensing agreements
An inventory can help you determine which computers have current versions of software installed and which should be updated. If there is a technical problem, you can refer to the asset management system to find the contact to call for maintenance. This easy information retrieval saves time, money, and frustration.
Knowing which versions of software are on each machine also facilitates the roll-out of new releases of software to the desktops. It makes it easy to keep track of which desktops have been updated and which haven’t so that none are missed.
IT asset management can help you plan for the future. It can report when licenses or warranties are about to expire. You can easily tell if you have outdated or unsupported hardware or software which will make budgeting simpler.
There are commercial software and SaaS systems that perform IT asset management functions. Of course, customized IT asset management systems can be developed. Regardless of which approach to management is chosen, IT asset management will cut “lights on” IT expenses if it is used correctly.