A Guide to Managing Hardware & Software Assets

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Lauren Ballejos      

Every IT asset provides value for a business. IT asset management (ITAM) allows businesses to maximize the value that is received from each asset, thus saving money, time, and other resources. Vision networks announced that an ITAM program helps businesses save around 30% per asset within the first year of implementing the system. Explore the world of ITAM by learning more about hardware and software asset management.

What is IT asset management?

IT asset management (ITAM) is a practice that collects contractual, financial, and inventory information that business leaders use to maximize the value of a technological asset. The two subdivisions of ITAM are hardware asset management and software asset management.

Hardware asset management

Hardware asset management (HAM) is the process of managing the life cycles of physical IT assets within an organization. Physical IT assets can include laptops, desktops, servers, workstations, and more.

Software asset management

Software asset management (SAM) is the process of managing the life cycles of software assets within an organization. The purpose of SAM is to help organizations to manage, monitor, control, and protect their nonphysical IT assets.

3 levels of IT asset management

The first step many businesses take when improving their hardware and software management systems is analyzing their current processes. This analysis determines how advanced your system is and how it can improve. You can think about ITAM as having three levels, with level one being the least efficient and three being the most.

1) Physical spreadsheets

A basic ITAM system uses a physical spreadsheet to take inventory and manage assets. This type of process requires someone who can physically search for IT assets within a workspace and then record them on a paper spreadsheet.

2) Online tools

To step up a basic ITAM system, businesses turn in their physical spreadsheets for online databases and tools. While these tools are more effective than physical spreadsheets, they require an administrator or technician to update them constantly.

3) Agent-based approaches

The most effective ITAM system uses an agent-based approach, such as NinjaOne’s ITAM software. This software solution installs an agent on all endpoints and provides a live view into your current inventory. It reduces human error, saves time, and is easy for any IT department or MSP to use.

Why hardware and software management is important

IT leaders require data to make decisions for their departments and organizations. A successful hardware and software management system will provide correct and recent data so that leaders can make informed decisions.

If the IT asset data within an organization is incorrect or out of date, it can negatively affect the entire business. Incorrect data misleads IT teams and leaders, confuses new hires, reduces productivity, and increases costs. However, a business that uses successful ITAM strategies creates a stable, scalable IT environment.

Tips for managing hardware and software assets

Finding relevant tips for managing hardware and software assets can be challenging, especially since every business faces different challenges. Wipro’s tips for successful ITAM suggests taking a deeper look into the four key aspects of ITAM, which are your processes/policies, tools, people, and governance.

  • Establish clear processes/policies

Every successful ITAM system runs on clear processes, policies, and goals. From asset discovery to inventory management, every step in the ITAM process should be laid out clearly.

  • Use software and tools to improve efficiency

The right ITAM software and tools can enhance your IT environment’s efficiency and visibility while ensuring that all processes and policies are implemented with ease. The best solutions also support IT growth and can scale with your business.

  • Partner with skilled IT experts

ITAM within IT environments can be complex, so you’ll need skilled people by your side to help you navigate this constantly-changing environment. As you bring new talent to your IT teams, keep in mind that ITAM requires more than just technical knowledge. You’ll also need members with financial backgrounds, communication skills, product management expertise, and compliance knowledge.

  • Reduce risks with governance

Mistakes happen, and following ITAM processes and policies doesn’t always go as planned. Eliminate or reduce any financial or operational risks that occur by having the right governance and practices in place.

5 IT asset management solutions to consider

1) NinjaOne

NinjaOne’s IT asset management software is an agent-based approach to ITAM that provides a complete, live view into all your IT assets. Partner with NinjaOne to reduce costs, boost productivity, tighten security, and save time.

2) Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the most well-known CRM and sales software solutions on the market, and it integrates with many ITAM tools to make the process easy and seamless. Some common ITAM integration tools that work with Zendesk include Reftab, Asset Panda, and AssetSonar.

3) Freshservice

Freshservice offers an ITAM solution with asset discovery, inventory management, software asset management, and more. In addition, it allows you to integrate with other tools, such as Intune and Airwatch, to improve your current processes.

4) Lansweeper

From your IT operations to your software asset management, Lansweeper provides a universal asset inventory that holds all IT asset data in one place. Their ITAM 2.0 version aims to focus on ITAM as a complete, scenario-independent function rather than a reactive process.

5) ServiceNow

With Servicenow, you can automate all the asset workflows within an ITAM cycle. Hardware asset management, software asset management, and SaaS license management are just a few of the features that this software delivers.

Take control of your IT assets with NinjaOne

NinjaOne’s IT asset management software gives you the tools and insight you need to take control of all your IT assets. This solution automates ITAM processes and collects real-time asset inventory information so that you can build a successful and cost-efficient IT environment. Take the first step in managing your IT assets by starting your free trial with NinjaOne.

5 Bite-Sized Ways to Improve Your Business Every Week

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Join fellow growth-minded MSPs and feed your business with new tips and tutorials delivered straight to your inbox.

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