IT asset management (ITAM): Best practices and certs for optimizing IT assets

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What is IT asset management?

IT asset management (ITAM) comprises practices and strategies for overseeing, managing, and optimizing company-owned IT systems, hardware, processes, and data. As part of an ITAM strategy, IT departments implement, track, and maintain IT assets, and assess whether those IT assets require optimization, can be replaced with a less expensive option, or be upgraded to a newer technology.

Benefits of ITAM

ITAM’s ability to foster deeper insights into your organization’s IT assets can help IT executives visualize the ROI on IT assets and deliver data to other key stakeholders on how those assets directly benefit the company’s business goals. Employees in an organization are considered the customers of IT asset management, and a successful ITAM strategy will bridge the gap between technology requirements and business needs, ensuring everyone in the organization is working toward the same organizational goals.

A successful ITAM strategy requires a complete IT inventory that gives organizations a quick view of every IT asset within the company. That includes data centers, software, hardware, mobile and cloud assets, networks, employee or user workstations, and any other business technology. The main goals of ITAM are to save money through asset tracking, have more control over the company’s IT environment, bring more organization to IT lifecycle management, and reduce waste by managing the disposal of IT assets.

According to International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), the long-term value of ITAM best practices can be seen in cost reductions, improved software compliance, empowered IT security, better customer service, increased control of IT assets, improved inter-departmental communications, reduced governance risks, increased support for security and disaster recovery preparedness, and improved budgeting and strategic decision-making.

ITAM best practices

Companies have long tried to create centralized systems to manage IT assets, which include not only hardware, software, networks, and services, but also employee and customer data. While it’s not feasible to have that level of control over your IT environment, proper ITAM can help your organization get close to that ideal and stay on top of IT investments by making it simpler to manage technology budgets, user data, analytics reports, and any relevant information about the company’s IT assets.

The IAITAM is the only organization that offers documentation on ITAM to help guide organizations through the process of asset management. The IAITAM defines 12 key process areas (KPAs) for ITAM in its IAITAM Best Practice Library (IBPL), including:

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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