Easily Shortlist & Compare IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software to Manage Software Licenses, Hardware, and IT Workflows

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IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software

IT Asset Management Software (ITAM) provides a holistic overview of your entire IT inventory. The right ITAM solution will supply the tools and features necessary to effectively manage the life cycle of all your IT assets. Including your digital assets, software, hardware and licenses. By implementing ITAM software, your IT managers are able to improve cost control as well as track the most valuable IT assets within the organisation.

A Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software

As you begin to consider the deployment of IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software within your business, it’s important to understand which ITAM tool is best suited for your IT workflows. Whether that be managing software licenses, tracking IT hardware, or improving network security. In this complete and extensive guide to IT management software, we’ll cover:

What Is IT Asset Management Software (ITAM)?

What Is IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software?

In its simplest form, IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the process of creating an IT asset register for all of your hardware and software IT inventory. This is why IT management software is sometimes referred to as IT inventory management.

By tracking and collected data regarding your IT assets, you can build a complete database of your organisation’s entire IT asset inventory. IT assets can consist of:

By monitoring all IT assets moving in and out of your organisation, you’re able to effectively manage the life cycle of each asset. The management of an IT asset’s life cycle starts at planning and goes through to purchase, deployment, maintaining, and eventually retirement. This detailed monitoring process allows you to make the right financial, tactical, and strategical decisions that are going to benefit the business. Businesses that focus on the life cycle management of their IT assets generally reduce their cost per asset by as much as 30% in the first year.

The understanding of an IT asset management software solution can be broken down into three different standpoints; data, technical, and terminology.

ITAM From a Data Standpoint

An IT Asset Management software tool will record all of your IT Inventory metadata. This is the core data that identifies and individualises each asset. Examples of metadata include:

ITAM From a Technical Standpoint

IT Management is the technical process of:

ITAM From an IT Terminology Standpoint

IT asset management software can relate to a number of different processes, such as:

How Can ITAM Software Improve the Management of IT Assets?

IT asset management is a process that changes and evolves along with your IT needs. IT Asset Management Software helps you to define your ITAM process, standardise it, and then evolve it with your IT needs.

It’s important to note that your definitions of managing your organisation’s IT Inventory can change rapidly. They depend on:

Without the use of ITAM software, your IT asset management processes become overwhelming and, as a result, begin to suffer. For example, you may be using outdated methods such as pen-and-paper or spreadsheets to organise your IT assets. If you have more than 50 employees, then keeping an accurate record of your IT inventory using spreadsheets often leads to missed renewal and entitlement opportunities. Whereas an IT asset management software tool helps IT teams to quickly know the location, status, usage, and user of each of assets.

As well as replacing the need for spreadsheets, ITAM software can solve many other inventory-related problems in the workplace. Including:

The 4 Groups of an IT Management Tool

  1. Software

    Software assets consist of computer programmes and operational information used in IT systems. Using an ITAM tool to manage software can be beneficial in a number of ways, such as:

    • Automated software updates that improve safety and make sure security standards are met

    • Allows you to have an accurate record of all software in one system

    • Correct and accurate licence management of all software

    • Integration with procurement systems to have the ability to order and request software products

    • Effective asset life cycle management that can lead to efficient forecast spending to dispose of or replace assets

  2. Hardware

    Along with software, hardware is also an important asset in an IT setting. Hardware assets consist of machines, wiring and other physical components of a computer or electronic system.

    Hardware can also fall under traditional asset management solutions that can monitor and track physical items.

    However, using an effective tool to manage hardware assets can be beneficial in a number of ways:

    • Modern solutions enable you to track and monitor IT hardware

    • A management system can reduce the number of hardware assets being lost, stolen or misplaced

    • Lets you manage maintenance and effectively plan for replacements once an asset reaches the end of its life cycle

    • Offers accurate hardware license management to avoid under-licensing and over-licensing issues

    • Significantly improve the process of auditing and compliance

    • Effective asset life cycle management that can lead to efficient forecast spending to dispose of or replace assets

  3. Mobile and Tablet Devices

    A modern IT Asset Management tool can often be managed on-the-go using a mobile or tablet device. This can be extremely efficient when monitoring physical assets across multiple sites or by different teams.

    With an increase in the use of mobile phones and tablets in the workplace, asset management is an effective solution to managing these portable devices:

    • It can allow you to manage an entire inventory of devices in one centralised system

    • Asset management can deploy preconfigured WI-FI and email settings, where devices have the capability

    • You can create, assign and modify device policies

    • Enforce and manage security settings such as access, data security and passwords

    • View and manage apps installed across all devices

  4. Cloud

    Cloud asset management is the management of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure. As opposed to the management of physical or digital assets on a cloud-based system.

    It’s predicted that over 80% of IT budgets will be committed to Cloud applications and solutions in the future, so this is now a fundamental group of any ITAM tool.

    With this in mind, most asset management systems have standardised the feature of cloud asset management. This feature can offer a vast range of benefits for any business:

    • Effectively manage digital assets stored on cloud databases

    • Monitor the condition and uptake of cloud services and coverage

    • Instant and full access to subscriptions and usage data

    • Manage the current budget of cloud activity and forecast future spending

    • Allows for improved security and assurance of cloud assets

What Are the Benefits of IT Management Software?

Implementing the best ITAM software into any organisation can offer a range of benefits when it comes to enhancing IT asset processes. The top five benefits of IT asset management software, include:

  1. Providing Continuous and Accurate Discovery of Your IT Inventory

    Very few IT teams have an accurate view of their IT Inventory on their Local Area Network (LAN). And, if you have offices in multiple locations, then you have multiple LAN’s. Which compounds this problem.

    One way to identify your IT Assets, without the use of ITAM software, is to work with your procurement department and get an export of all assets that have purchased. However, one problem with this approach is that most vendors do not provide network-identifiable details within invoices. So, developing an IT Asset Register using data from procurement can be challenging. If you also have more than 50 IT assets to register, then using a spreadsheet-based method can become an issue.

    When building an IT asset register, it’s important to note that metadata regarding your IT Inventory can change frequently. For example:

    • Software versions change after updates

    • Patch details change

    • Employees leave so their data needs to be stored for their replacement

    • New joiners need to get their IT Inventory on time

    • Software patches can change metadata

    • Hardware renewals

    • Instance Server Changes

    But, that’s where IT asset management software can help. Asset discovery capability enables IT managers to continuously and accurately get an insight into their IT Inventory on their LAN network.

  2. Providing an On-Demand and Data-Accurate IT Asset Register

    Listing an asset on your network is only one part of the equation. But, there are areas for improvement regarding the data you can collect about each asset. With ITAM software, you can build an asset register full of efficient data. This allows your IT teams to know:

    • Who is using your IT inventory?

    • When was an IT Asset bought?

    • What is the renewal date for software licenses?

    • Are the IT Assets related to a project or a service or a department?

    IT Asset Management Software also provides a flexible yet personalised framework for your business. For example:

    • ITAM tools provide clarity on hardware and software apps by users, location, and department

    • ITAM software records license renewal dates by location, department, and criticality

    • It can help you to tag your hardware inventory with barcodes, QR Codes, or NFC’s so that you can keep track of costly hardware assets

  3. Defining and Maintaining Dynamic Relationships Between IT Assets and Employees

    The fundamental idea behind using IT asset management software instead of spreadsheets is that ITAM allows you to define and maintain dynamic relationships between your IT Assets, workflows, and employees. This can sometimes be referred to as CMDB (Configuration Management Database).

    The word dynamic is important and very deep. It highlights the difference in how you deal with IT inventory for C-level employees, managers, and associates. In fact, you’ll need a different configuration for each of these types of employees.

    For example, your support team may require two monitors but your sales team may only require one. Whereas your remote employees may require VPN or Cloud-based access to store data on your server.

  4. Reducing the Cost of IT Ecosystems With Reporting Tools and KPIs

    Once you know the users and usage time of your software and hardware inventory, it is then easy to optimise the costs of your IT Ecosystem. For example, you can combine renewals of your software licenses and get volume-driven discounts from vendors.

    You can also be proactive with your procurement activities, such as reviewing alternative products and services well before your current IT Assets come up for renewal. As well as reducing the number of software licenses you need, just by knowing your usage levels.

    Altogether, if your IT asset management software is implemented correctly, you should be able to see a reduction of 10% to 30% of your IT costs.

  5. Offering Effective Compliance and Audit Management Tools

    Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Adobe, and almost all medium-to-large software vendors routinely audit the license conditions of their software usage. By using network-based monitoring tools, software companies can identify how their licenses are being used. IT teams, therefore, need to know who is using their software licenses and how.

    The right ITAM solution will allow you to review your software licences by usage and users, which makes IT teams aware of the compliance adherence with their contractual agreements.

7 Typical Features Found in IT Asset Management Software

Most ITAM solutions have similar software features, though some may be more complex than others. In general, to achieve complete efficiency from an ITAM system, the following features are highly sought-after.

  1. Asset Discovery Capability

    IT asset discovery means to gather a complete inventory of all your IT assets. These can include company computers, printers, photocopiers, mobile devices, software applications, and more.

    As IT infrastructures frequently change, asset discovery can still provide a regular up-to-date view of all assets.

    So, as far as ITAM features go, this is one of the most crucial ones.

  2. Software Management

    If a business has a range of software applications, this feature will help to store, track, and manage them all in one place.

    For example, software management can show how many users there are for each software license. It can also highlight which version of an application has been installed on which employee device.

    When licenses are due to expire, this feature will also help to renew or dispose of them easily without incurring penalties.

  3. Configuration Management Database (CMBD)

    A CMBD allows a business to keep a complete repository of all Configuration Items (CIs) in an IT environment.

    Through a CMBD, businesses can better understand the relationship between CIs and identify the impact that one CI might have on other CIs.

    A CMBD is designed to support complex IT infrastructures.

  4. Purchase Orders and Contract Management

    When purchasing IT assets, having an effective order and contract management tool helps to manage the purchase order cycle. While sending notifications out to stakeholders to approve procurement.

    Likewise, if a business has contracts with multiple vendors, it can keep everything together. Essential information such as terms and conditions, expiry dates, and renewal information are all stored in one accessible place.

  5. IT Asset Monitoring

    Some software solutions also provide performance monitoring options to help track network, CPU, and memory usage for various workstations.

    If a business has sister or parent websites, URL monitoring can alert them if they suddenly become unavailable.

    There’s also hardware and software monitoring, which can produce alerts when illegal or unwanted software is installed.

    These alerts can be used in similar scenarios too, like when an unknown flash drive, for example, is connected to a workstation.

  6. Help Desk Features

    In an ideal world, an IT help desk tool should go hand in hand with IT asset management.

    By having as much information about hardware and software assets as possible, a technician has a better chance of quickly resolving end-user issues.

    Remote access is another feature linked to help desk management. With this, a business can take control of IT devices remotely and resolve issues.

    Integration with help desk tools also help to improve service quality and satisfaction across the organisation.

  7. Analytics and Reporting

    Predefined and custom reporting is another essential feature of an ITAM system.

    Accurate reporting can help keep control of IT inventory, check how IT assets are performing, and understand where they are in their lifecycle. Additionally, this also helps with compliance and auditing processes too.

What Is the Difference Between ITAM and ITSM?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) are both critical for organisation’s that rely on their IT processes. But, both solutions vary in purpose and objectives when it comes to maximising IT resources and achieving optimal IT-business alignment.

What’s the Difference Between IT Asset Management Software (ITAM) and ITSM

How to Find the Best IT Management Software for Your IT Processes

Identifying the best IT asset management software for your requirements is a complex and time-consuming process. But, by following our 9-point framework, you’ll have a better picture of what the best ITAM tool looks like for your business:

Knowledge Guides for IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software Users & IT Teams

Why Network Security and IT Asset Management Are Interlinked

In 2016, 50% of UK businesses experienced a form of a cyber attack. What most of us don’t know is that IT asset management software can actually play a critical role in enhancing security to protect against this. In this article, discover what measures ITAM software can take to keep your data secure.

How to Effectively Manage Your IT Inventory

Visibility, transparency, awareness, clarity, and forecasting. These are all the characteristics of an IT manager who successfully manages IT inventory with ITAM software. In this guide, discover the best practices to effectively track and manage your own business’s IT equipment.

What’s the Real Difference Between ITAM and ITSM?

ITAM and ITSM are two IT management disciplines that help to maximise IT resources and achieve optimal IT-business alignment. But, while their acronyms may only differ by two letters, they do have significant differences.

How to Map IT Assets on Your Network With Your Employees

In this article, learn the various new ways of creating a network map based on your IT hardware with IT asset management software. In addition, we’ll discuss its importance in data governance and its usage by your employees.

What Is the Role of an IT Asset Manager & Why Is it Important?

An IT asset manager is responsible for a number of key things in the workplace including the strategic management of hardware and software. As well as the implementation of IT management software. Get to know why they are so crucial in an IT-centric organisation and how ITAM can help to improve efficiency and increase productivity.

Best Practices for Assigning IT Assets to Employees

Discover the best practices and skill for assigning your IT hardware and software to employees. Including understanding the basic principles of assigning assets, automating the asset assignment process, and Integrating between ITAM and HR systems.

Why Good Spreadsheets Make Bad IT Asset Management Strategies

Learn the key differences between spreadsheets and IT Asset Management software. As well as understanding why ITAM is the best option to manage your Inventory of IT Assets.

Fundamental Differences Between Open Source and Proprietary IT Asset Management Software

Understand the key differences between Proprietary and Open Source IT Management Software while covering areas such as support, deployment, costs, and daily usage.

Why IT Asset and Service Management Are Vital to Building the Digital Culture of Your Organisation

Gain an insightful view, backed by commercial examples, on why ITAM and ITSM are vital for building the digital culture of your organisation.

What Is IT Asset Management and Why Is It So Valuable?

What is IT Asset Management? By answering this you can begin to understand the many benefits of an effective ITAM solution for your business.

What Is a CMDB and Its Role in the Effective Management of IT Assets

A technical view on what is a CMDB (Configuration Management Database) and the importance of CMDB for effective management of IT assets.

How to Control and Manage the Life Cycle of Your Digital Assets With ITAM

Deploying IT asset management software is essential to understanding the life cycle stages of your digital assets. But what other benefits can ITAM software provide when it comes to your asset’s life cycle?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software FAQs

How Do I Find the Best IT Asset Management Software?

It depends on what you mean by best ITAM Software. The term ‘best it asset management software’ is subjective and is defined by your own requirements. For instance, what might be the best ITAM software for one business may not be the right choice for your IT processes.

We recommend to define your IT Asset Management software requirements and then find the best tool that matches your requirements. Rather than finding the best ITAM tool based on other people’s reviews.

Typically, an ITAM tool stays in the business for 3 to 5 years so taking the time to define your requirements and buying a tool which is right for you generally pays more dividends than buying a tool based on what other people think.

How Much Does IT Asset Management Software Cost?

ITAM software prices can vary and typically start from £0.23 per month per device (or $0.30 per month per device) to £900 per user per month.

There are some really good tools available at £75 to £100 per user per month. Use our search assistant to define your requirements and find the tools that match your budget.

The implementation and support costs vary based on the type of the product (On-Premise or Cloud-based), your requirements and configuration needs of the system.

Why Do IT Managers and Teams Use ITAM?

The top three reasons for using IT asset management software are:

  • Know the location, status, user, and condition of your IT Assets

  • To optimise costs by tracking use of IT Assets

  • To be compliant and cyber-safe by effectively guarding enterprise IT Assets

What Type of IT Hardware Can Be Managed With IT Asset Management Software?

Most businesses manage typical IT hardware assets such as computers, monitors, desktops, phones, routers, and switches. If you are a data centre, an MSP, or a deep-tech hardware company then specialist IT Asset Management software can be used to manage servers, routers, virtual environments, cloud databases, server instances, elastic load balancers and other technical hardware.

What Is the Difference Between IT Asset Tracking and ITAM?

IT Asset Tracking is used to track the location of physical IT hardware such as desktops, workstations, monitors, and phones. Quite often barcode and RFID technology is used for IT Asset Tracking.

Whereas, ITAM is the management of both hardware and software assets. This includes the usage of software applications, license renewals of software contracts, IT inventory management, and employee onboarding.

Can IT Asset Management Be Done With Spreadsheets?

Yes, spreadsheets can help significantly to manage your IT Assets if the information about your IT Assets is static or does not change often. Spreadsheets are also useful if there is just one person entering the information on it.

If the information about your IT Assets is dynamic. And if you have more than one person entering the data. Then the likelihood of errors and hence the mismanagement of your IT Assets due to spreadsheets is significantly higher.

Can I Track and Monitor Software With ITAM Software?

An effective ITAM solution can monitor a variety of IT assets in the workplace, including business software. Software assets in an IT environment can include selected computer programmes and operational information used in IT systems.

Implementing an ITAM solution to monitor business software can be very advantageous for a company. Firstly, it can continuously check for automated software updates to improve the safety of data. An application can also store and keep the data and information of all IT assets in one centralised system, that can be accessed by anyone at any time.

Managing assets in the form of software are just one group that ITAM can be responsible for. Other asset groups include hardware, mobile and tablet devices, and cloud services.

Should I invest In Cloud-Based ITAM or On-Premise ITAM?

Choosing whether or not to invest in cloud ITAM can generally come down to the size of the company. For example, if you have a business of more than 50 employees and an IT infrastructure spread across multiple sites and location, managing IT assets without a cloud-based application can be very ineffective.

Not only can data be easily accessed by employees across the workplace, but a cloud-based ITAM application can also offer the same data and information to employees in the field. This is possible with a mobile device, such as a tablet/mobile or laptop, and a network connection. It’s also predicted that over 80% of IT budgets will be committed to cloud applications and solutions in the future.

There are many benefits and various to consider between a cloud and on-premise solution, so it is key to fully understand which one best suits your business type. For example, If you’re part of a growing business that constantly increases data capacity, then a cloud solution would be best. This is because it offers more freedom and flexibility than a static on-premise system, which could also be an expensive upfront cost for increasing data capacity.

What Is the Difference Between ITAM and IT Inventory Management?

IT Inventory Management is quite often related to management of hardware assets. The term inventory is related with items that are held in a warehouse for sales or consumption. Also the term inventory is closely related to stock. Hence IT Inventory Management is the management of IT Hardware which is scheduled for sales or consumption.

For example; Management of Laptops, Desktops, PC’s, Monitors, Switches and Routers held in a company or used by employees of a company are examples of IT Inventory Management.

IT Inventory moving around or in and out of an office (or a warehouse) is also an example of IT Inventory management.

ITAM is related to management of hardware assets, software assets and the processes between IT and Employees. So, IT Inventory Management is a subset of IT Asset Management.

Understanding software usage by users, Onboarding and offboarding employees, managing license renewals, tagging IT Inventory are some of the examples of IT Asset Management.

From a database standpoint, IT Inventory Management mainly creates an IT Asset Register of hardware assets whereas ITAM creates an IT Asset Register of hardware assets, software assets and users.

Quite often an asset tracking software is used in place of IT Inventory Management software. Particularly if the requirements involve tagging and scanning IT Hardware.

What Is the Difference Between ITAM and IT Asset Discovery?

IT Asset Discovery is identifying assets on a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). IT or Network managers need to continuously know hardware and software assets that are connected to their network. The fundamental reason to know assets on a network is to maintain an accurate IT asset register. And to understand if each end-point (asset) on the network is compliant with the network conditions.

Interlinked with IT Asset Discovery is IT Network Monitoring, there are two ways to monitor a network – agent and agentless.

So in effect, IT Asset Discovery relates to knowing what assets a company has on its own network. There are specialist discovery tools which are designed to scan local and virtual networks to fully understand the scope of assets on a network.

IT Asset Management is a wider enterprise IT practises involving Asset Discovery, Network Security, IT Asset Register and Employee-IT Workflows.

Should I Consider Open-Source IT Management Software for My IT Management Requirements?

Definitely, yes. Snipe IT is one of the most popular open-source tool available in the market. There are a few other tools too but Snipe IT seems to be the most widely used tool.

Whilst open source is definitely a good option, you may want to be aware that working with open-source software quite often requires more technical knowledge than working with a proprietary license software. The question of technical knowledge has two components:

  1. The technical knowledge of the person who is going to use open-source IT management software

  2. The technical knowledge of the team which is responsible for enterprise IT inventory. The support, customisations and configurations required to manage enterprise IT assets quite often require team level technical knowledge

Given that ITAM is heavily interlinked with employee productivity, employee onboarding, network security and IT cost optimisation. It is best to choose a license type that suits your team.

Open source IT asset management software can be one of the most cost-effective ways to move from spreadsheet-based IT asset tracking. Having said that, there are licensed and fully supported proprietary tools available from £16 per month.

Can ITAM Be Used to Track My Hardware and Software IT Assets?

A primary feature of modern ITAM software is to be able to track both your hardware and software IT (Information Technology) assets. Eventually leading to the accurate creation of a centralised IT asset register. In fact, there are a number of benefits to being able to track your most valuable IT assets, including:

  • Reduce the risk of loss and theft of costly IT equipment

  • To track the usage and efficiency of assets throughout the workplace

  • Reduce downtime of hardware through scheduled maintenance and services

  • Improve the accuracy of your IT inventory

  • Reduce downtime of software through patch and security updates

  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance and license expiration

An ITAM tool will not only monitor the physical form of your equipment, but it will also track the complete lifecycle of all IT assets; software, digital and hardware. This includes collecting data from planing for and acquiring an asset, to maintaining it, to eventually disposing of it.

The data received throughout this process, usually in the form of IoT devices such as Barcodes and RFID tags, will help towards the procurement and maintenance of future assets. In a bid to cut costs from your bottom line and ensure the reliability of your IT equipment. This data includes:

  • Total equipment usage

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • Current condition

  • Estimated total ROI

The use of barcodes, GPS trackers, RFID tags and Bluetooth receivers are great for tracking your physical IT hardware. But there are also other tools, alongside an ITAMS, that help to manage the usage of both software and digital assets, too.

How Long Does It Take to Deploy ITAM Software?

Once you’ve shortlisted the right ITAM for your operations, now is the time to deploy it. But, keep in mind, deployment of software throughout the entire workplace can vary in length based on a number of factors.

Here are four factors that you should consider when thinking about deploying your new ITAM tool:

  1. The Type of Software

    If you’ve chosen an ITAM tool that is a SaaS, cloud-based, or web-based model – like 78% of small businesses will have by 2020 – you’ll usually be able to access the tool as soon as the purchase has gone through. But, if you’ve opted for an on-premise solution, be aware that the setup and deployment will take much longer. On average, the time it takes to get all the infrastructure in place can take anywhere from six months to two years.

  2. The Amount of Data Migration

    Once you’re able to log into your new system, you’ll want to migrate over all of your existing IT asset data. Depending on the amount of data stored between you and your team, this could be a lengthy process. Some vendors provide help with this to speed up the process. But, be aware that this could incur hidden fees.

  3. Integrating With Other Systems

    In order for you and your team to achieve an efficient and smooth workflow, all systems need to be aligned. Whether that be programs such as email, calendars, file-hosting or data storage, you’ll need them all connected to your company’s new ITAMS.

  4. The Time It Takes to Train Your Team

    Although you’ve purchased a tool that will eventually improve your IT asset management process, everyone who has access to the tool will need to be trained. Training could be offered by your vendor in forms of on-site training, webinars or online videos. If you’ve chosen a tool that is easy-to-use and has a familiar UI, then training may only take a few weeks.