IT Asset Management (ITAM)
What is IT Asset Management?
IT asset management is the process of efficiently managing IT equipment throughout its lifecycle or period of ownership to maximize its value to the business.
Also known as “IT asset lifecycle management,” or just “asset lifecycle management,” ITAM is a framework for proactively and strategically managing the acquisition, usage, maintenance, and retirement of IT assets.
Not to be confused with IT operations management, which is concerned with delivering IT services and optimizing system performance, ITAM focuses on implementing and automating processes for managing complex asset inventories from purchase through disposition.
What are the benefits of IT asset management?
IT asset management brings several benefits:
- It helps organizations optimize resource allocation and make better technology investments, ensuring budget efficiency and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
- Secure and responsible decommissioning of IT assets ensures compliance with data and environmental regulations, protecting the organization's reputation and financial well-being.
- Effective management enables organizations to maximize infrastructure potential, leading to better performance and cost-effectiveness.
- Through proactive planning, IT asset management streamlines workflows enhances productivity, and minimizes downtime, improving overall efficiency.
What are the stages of IT asset management?
While many think that ITAM starts when an asset hits inventory, it actually begins from the moment the need for a new IT asset arises. Here are the five phases of ITAM and the requirements for each:
The requisition process begins when someone within a business submits a request to acquire new IT equipment. ITAM best practices include having a standardized, automated way for requests to be submitted and a pre-defined set of criteria against which requests will be evaluated and approved or rejected.
Asset maintenance encompasses routine physical upkeep, software updates, and any needed repairs. Automated processes, supported by management tools, are the hallmarks of mature IT asset management systems for maintenance.
This phase is where the acquisition of IT assets takes place. Vendor selection, contract negotiation, financing procedures, and successfully bringing purchased assets into inventory are key aspects of IT asset management that come into play during this phase.
All IT assets eventually reach the end of their life and need to be taken out of use. Occasionally, equipment breaks down, but with good IT asset management practices in place, the cost of keeping aging assets is carefully weighed against the performance benefits of replacing them with more current technology.
At this stage, IT equipment makes its way into use, whether that be in a data center, on a factory floor, or at an individual’s workstation. ITAM best practices involve using inventory management tools, equipment assignments, and specific “owners” and locations.
The challenges of IT asset management
Managing IT assets comes with its challenges:
- Bridging multi-gen infrastructures: As companies embrace new technologies like HPE GreenLake, blending different generations of infrastructure becomes tricky. Coordinating and optimizing these assets while ensuring they work seamlessly together is essential.
- Extending technology's lifespan: Technology evolves rapidly, making it tough to keep assets running for long. To make the most of IT investments, proactive maintenance, upgrades, and intelligent planning are necessary to avoid unnecessary costs.
- Responsible and sustainable disposal: Disposing of old assets responsibly is vital for the environment and compliance. Safely erasing sensitive data and adhering to regulations while recycling or disposing of assets poses challenges.
ITAM, HPE, and sustainability
ITAM (IT Asset Management) and HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) are closely related to sustainability through various services aimed at responsible IT asset management:
- HPE Asset Upcycling Services: Focuses on the sustainable disposal of retired IT assets. HPE helps organizations maximize the value of their assets by refurbishing, reselling, or recycling them, thus reducing e-waste and promoting the circular economy.
- HPE Accelerated Migration Services: Supports organizations transitioning to more efficient and sustainable IT infrastructures by aiming to optimize resource utilization and reduce environmental impact.
- HPE Pre-owned Technology Services: HPE offers pre-owned technology services, which allow organizations to acquire quality IT equipment at a lower cost. By promoting the use of refurbished equipment, HPE contributes to reducing electronic waste and promoting sustainability.
- HPE Circular Economy Report: HPE publishes a circular economy report that outlines its commitment to sustainability by highlighting its efforts in responsible IT asset management, recycling, and reducing environmental impact.