IT Asset Management (or ITAM) is intended to cover all assets under the control of the IT function in an organisation. In that statement is the first challenge, getting the scope right. The standard desktop and server devices are normally the base, licensable software should be in the mix, you may want to include mobile phones, some organisations are now including desks and workstations so they can pinpoint locations and assign assets to users. Of the many things to think about, getting the scope right as a first step is a must. In its simplest terms, the overall objective of any ITAM system is to be able to state what you have, where it is, and if appropriate, what software is installed on it.
There are potentially a number of drivers for the undertaking of Asset Management, and these will impact the requirements / implementation, typically these include:
- Cost control / cost reduction; to achieve cost control / savings all purchases must be recorded and usage assigned. This allows for unused devices (and potentially licences) to be redeployed or terminated as required.
- Regulatory compliance (e.g. SOX, PCI)
- Software Licence Compliance (SAM); to satisfy publishers (and their agents), a detailed inventory of all relevant hardware & associated software must be available. It is not possible to deliver accurate SAM/software licence compliance an accurate hardware inventory.
- Industry Standards (ISO, BS); ISO standards as stated by ISO 20000, ISO 19770 this will also relate to the information required to be registered for a CMDB.
- Improving customer service and delivery / service management
The availability of up-to-date information will improve the efficiency of the Service Desk and Technical Support teams and reduce the impact of any problems.
IT Asset Management is not a one off project; it is an ongoing commitment and needs senior management support and adequate resources.