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

Buyer's guide

When considering implementing IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software within a business, it's important that IT teams, asset managers, and other stakeholders understand which ITAM tool is best suited for their IT workflows. Whether that be managing software licenses, tracking IT hardware, or improving network security.

What Is IT Asset Management?

IT asset management is the management of all IT assets within an organisation. That includes monitors, servers, software licenses, and cloud applications. The purpose of an IT management system is to maximise the value of a business's IT assets while also minimising risks such as procurement costs and network security.

The process of managing IT assets joins together financial, inventory, contractual and risk management departments in one central place to better understand the life cycle of IT assets. A business's IT assets can be broken down into four groups consisting of locally installed software, stationary hardware, cloud-based applications, and mobile devices.

When it comes to managing and tracking IT assets, there are many benefits that IT organisations and asset-heavy businesses can capitalise on:

  • Store records of all software, hardware, mobile, and cloud assets
  • Store licence management data of all software
  • Track and monitor hardware assets
  • Manage maintenance and plan for replacements
  • Improve the process of auditing
  • Manage digital assets stored on cloud databases
  • Gain access to subscriptions and usage data

What is IT Asset Management Infographic

What Is IT Asset Management Software?

In its simplest form, IT Asset Management is the process of creating an IT asset register that encompasses all essential data of a business’s hardware and software IT inventory. This is why IT management tools can often be referred to as IT inventory management.

By tracking and monitoring data regarding IT assets, businesses can build a complete database of their organisation’s entire IT asset inventory. Typical IT asset registers can consist of:

  • On-premise software tools
  • Cloud-based software apps
  • Computers
  • Desktops
  • Monitors
  • Smartphones/Mobiles/Tablets
  • Telephones
  • Routers and servers

By monitoring all IT assets moving in and out of an organisation, IT managers can 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, maintenance, and eventually retirement. This detailed monitoring process allows managers to make the right financial, tactical, and strategic decisions that are going to benefit a business’s bottom line. For instance, businesses that focus on the life cycle management of their IT assets can reduce their cost-per-asset by as much as 30% in the first year.

For an organisation of any size wanting to track and monitor its IT assets, the processes can be overwhelming. Particularly for large businesses with hundreds of thousands of assets to manage. But that’s where IT Asset Management Software can help.

ITAM Software is an automated and computerised solution that provides IT teams, IT asset managers, and stakeholders with a holistic overview of a business’s entire IT inventory. Whether a business is made up of digital assets, software assets, hardware, or IT licenses, the right ITAM tool enables personnel to track the life cycle and location of each asset in the most time and cost-efficient ways.

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

What Is ITAM From a Data Standpoint?

An IT Asset Management tool can record the metadata of a business’s entire IT Inventory. This is the core data that identifies and individualises each asset. Examples of metadata include:

  • Serial number
  • Software version
  • User name
  • Employee ID
  • Purchase date
  • Project allocation
  • Service allocation
  • Service Instance
  • Location

What Is ITAM From a Technical Standpoint?

The management of IT assets is the technical process of:

  • Discovering assets using agent or agent-less discovery options
  • Mapping end-points and software applications to locations and users
  • Monitoring and safeguarding LAN/WAN environments
  • Managing entitlements
  • Securing networks against unidentified cyber intrusion

What Is ITAM From an IT Terminology Standpoint?

IT Inventory Management Software can relate to several different processes, such as:

  • Network Management
  • Systems Management
  • IT Security
  • Database Management
  • IT Help Desk
  • Application Management
  • IT Inventory management

How ITAM Software Improves the Management of IT Assets

IT asset management is a process that changes and evolves along with a business’s IT needs. This makes it important to note that the definitions of managing an organisation’s IT Inventory can change rapidly. Businesses tend to depend on:

  • The number of on-premise and cloud-based assets
  • Hardware (desktops, laptops, mobiles, servers) access for employees
  • Projects and services that a business provides
  • Cyber risk

Without the use of ITAM software, a business's IT asset management processes become overwhelming and, as a result, begin to suffer. For example, an IT team may be using outdated methods such as pen-and-paper or spreadsheets to organise IT assets. If a company has more than 50 employees, then keeping an accurate record of IT inventory by using spreadsheets can often lead to missed renewals and entitlement opportunities. Whereas an IT Asset Management Software tool helps IT teams to quickly know the location, status, usage, and user of each asset.

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

  • Creating rules to manage IT Inventory that is personalised and configured to a user’s IT needs
  • Providing clarity on location, status, usage, and users of all IT Assets
  • Helping to safeguard hardware and software inventory, reducing cyber risks
  • Reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT Inventory
  • Tracking compliance adherence
  • Providing data for audit management scenarios

Managing and Tracking Software Assets

Software assets consist of computerised programmes and operational information used in IT systems. Using an ITAM tool to manage software can be beneficial in several ways, including:

  • Automating software updates that improve safety and make sure security standards are met
  • Allowing IT asset managers to have an accurate record of all software in one system
  • Enabling correct and accurate licence management of all software
  • Integrating 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

Managing and Tracking Hardware Assets

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. Using an effective tool to manage hardware assets can be beneficial in several ways:

  • Track and monitor IT hardware in real-time
  • Reduce the number of hardware assets that are lost, stolen, or misplaced
  • Manage maintenance and effectively plan for replacements once an asset reaches the end of its usable life
  • Accurate hardware license management to avoid under-licensing and over-licensing issues
  • Significantly improve the process of auditing and compliance

Managing and Tracking 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 allows an IT manager to:

  • Manage an entire inventory of devices in one centralised system
  • Deploy pre-configured WI-FI and email settings, where devices have the capability
  • 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

Managing and Tracking Cloud Assets

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 a fundamental group for any ITAM tool.

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

  • Effectively managing 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
  • Managing the current budget of cloud activity and forecast future spending
  • Improving security and assurance of cloud assets

What Are the Benefits of IT Asset Management Software?

Implementing the best ITAM software can offer a range of benefits when it comes to enhancing a business’s IT asset processes. The key benefits of IT Asset Management Software include:

Providing Continuous and Accurate Discovery of IT Inventory

Very few IT teams have an accurate view of their IT Inventory on their Local Area Network (LAN). And, if offices are spread across multiple locations, businesses will have multiple LAN’s. Which compounds this problem.

One way to identify a business’s IT Assets, without the use of ITAM software, is to work with the procurement department and get an export of all assets that have been 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 a business also has 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 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 capabilities enable IT managers to continuously and accurately get an insight into IT Inventory on their LAN network.

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

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

  • Who is using IT inventory
  • When an IT Asset was purchased
  • The renewal dates of software licenses
  • If IT Assets are related to a project, a service, or a department

IT Management Software also provides a flexible yet personalised framework for businesses. For example, ITAM tools can:

  • Provide clarity on hardware and software apps by users, location, and department
  • Record license renewal dates by location, department, and criticality
  • Help to tag hardware inventory with barcodes, QR Codes, or NFC’s

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 users to define and maintain dynamic relationships between IT Assets, workflows, and employees. This can often be referred to as CMDB (Configuration Management Database).

The word dynamic is important. It highlights the difference in how a business deals with IT inventory for C-level employees, managers, and associates. Businesses will generally need a different configuration for each of these types of employees.

For example, a support team may require two monitors but the sales team may only require one. Whereas remote employees may require a VPN or cloud-based access to store data on servers.

Reducing the Cost of IT Ecosystems With Reporting Tools and KPIs

Once a business knows the user and usage time of their software and hardware inventory, it’s easy to optimise the costs of their IT Ecosystem.

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

Altogether, if an IT Asset Management Software is implemented correctly, businesses should be able to see a reduction of 10% to 30% from their overall IT costs.

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 IT managers to review a business’s software licences by usage and users, which makes IT teams aware of the compliance adherence with their contractual agreements.

Typical Features of 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 required:

Asset Discovery Capability

IT asset discovery means gathering 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.

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 asset management tools 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.

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

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

Through a CMDB, businesses can better understand the relationship between CIs and identify the impact that one CI might have on other CIs. A CMDB is designed to support complex IT infrastructures.

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.

IT Asset Monitoring and Tracking

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.

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 helps to improve service quality and satisfaction across the organisation.

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 helps with compliance and auditing processes too.

What Does an IT Asset Manager Do?

Simply put, an IT asset manager is responsible for the management and maintenance of an organisation's IT assets. Whether that be securing data-sensitive spreadsheets for small businesses or ensuring software licenses are compliant for multiple users across a large enterprise. An IT asset manager's workflow tasks are vast and typically consist of planning and procurement, project management, technical support, and tracking assets.

The use of various IT equipment and infrastructure assets means an IT manager must have versatile skills when it comes to asset management. Not only must they ensure network security across a business’s cloud-based applications and software licenses, but they’re also expected to plan maintenance for computer monitor defects.

Depending on the structure of a business, the roles of an IT asset manager can regularly change. But there are typical roles that an IT manager will always be responsible for, such as:

  • Calculating depreciation and ROI values
  • Scheduling maintenance for IT equipment
  • Planning for the procurement of assets
  • Managing equipment users and usability
  • Maintaining and renewing software licenses
  • Planning for the disposal or replacement of IT assets

The tasks and responsibilities of an IT asset manager can vary depending on the industry. Essentially, an IT asset manager's tasks can be broken down into four actions:

Planning and Procurement of IT Assets

  • Forecast and produce procurement strategies for IT assets across an organisation
  • Effectively plan development and upgrades procedures for software, hardware, and other IT equipment

Project Management

  • Valuable project management on a range of company-wide asset and technology projects
  • Oversee the implementation and on-boarding of new software and hardware solutions
  • Regulate the management of contracts and licences in relation to IT assets including negotiation, contract renewals, and vendor management

Technical Support

  • Working with third-party suppliers on software and hardware provision, troubleshooting, updates, and improvements
  • Collaborating with other teams and departments
  • Supporting others in the IT asset management team with the day to day admin and processing of assets
  • Managing security tools and security protocols

Management of IT Assets

  • Solely responsible for the management of assets and inventory, and maintenance scheduling and repairs
  • Presenting key asset management data and reports to managers and teams outside of the organisation
  • Development and execution of asset management policies, procedures and processes
  • Forecast and budgeting management, as well as financial asset planning
  • Effectively managing asset life cycles to improve quality control of assets, including software, hardware and cloud technologies

What's the Difference Between ITAM and ITSM?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) are both critical for organizations 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 ITAM Software 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 for any business. But, by following our 9-point framework, you’ll have a better picture of what the best ITAM tool looks like for your IT processes.

1. Ask Yourself: Do You Need IT Management Software?

Sometimes, a spreadsheet is a better solution. This is particularly true if you’re a team of fewer than 10 people with less than 75 IT Assets. In this case, a spreadsheet-based IT asset register can be practical and value-effective. But, for IT teams who manage more than 250 IT assets, ITAM software is the right option.

However, implementing the right tool is only part of the solution. There are many other components to consider when wanting to achieve effective management of IT inventory. Such as:

  • Having clarity on what you mean by IT asset management
  • Setting targets you want to achieve with an ITAM solution
  • Managing your IT Inventory management processes and workflows
  • Correctly deploying a tool that can be used by your IT team and employees

It‘s common for IT managers and businesses to view an ITAM tool as the only solution to their IT problems. But, an IT tool only has the power to automate processes using the data you already have. Meaning, if your data is not optimised for your IT needs, then it will be just another tool that collects data.

So, ask yourself; do you need IT Asset Management Software to automate your correct data and improve processes? Or, are you searching for good data and processes within an ITAM tool?

If the first question is relevant to you, then you’re ready to shortlist and compare ITAM software.

2. Identify and Clarify the Level of Your Organisational Readiness to Adopt an IT Management Solution

Most IT teams and IT managers that consider implementing a new ITAM tool are most likely carrying out their current IT processes using:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Basic IT Inventory discovery tools
  • Free alternatives to existing software

One main reason why organisations begin searching for an ITAM tool is to start the migration from using error-prone spreadsheets. 87% of the companies (analysed based on 641 leads on Comparesoft) looking for new ITAM software typically migrate from spreadsheets.

But, moving away from spreadsheets is not just a tool change. It requires a change in mindset and perspective too.

The way you record IT Inventory in a spreadsheet is very different from a contemporary IT tool. For example, you no longer have to export data from your network discovery tool or enter data in a spreadsheet. The best IT Asset Management Software tools integrate with agent or agentless discovery tools and import the relevant metadata efficiently.

Version and access control on spreadsheets provide significant flexibility. But, when it comes to “standardised information entry” and looking for “one source of truth”, a spreadsheet-based approach can be very challenging.

3. Set Targets for Your IT Asset Management Software

Your decision to invest in IT Asset Management Software is a decision to invest cash and time. But it should also be an opportunity to focus on improvements, such as:

  • Better IT inventory management
  • Building an accurate IT asset register
  • Having a secure IT Network
  • Having on-demand visibility of IT usage by users, amongst other qualitative parameters

Below, is a basic example of the targets you should set for your ITAM tool.

IT InventoryQuantityCurrent IT Spend Per YearNew IT Spend With ITAM Per Year
Monitors500£100,000£90,000
Desktops430£301,000£270,900
Software Licenses350£126,000£100,800
Servers90£13,500£12,150
Total1370£540,500£473,850
 

4. Identify the IT Data (Metadata) That You Want to Hold In Your ITAM Software

You can create a single source of truth if you agree on the details and data you want to collect with your team. But, it is worth noting that your IT Inventory will not have consistent data as every manufacturer records data differently. So, most IT Teams end up relying on serial numbers for core identification.

Identifying the data you want to hold by IT Inventory type is a detailed exercise. This may require mapping the fields between your asset discovery tool and your ITAM tool. In some cases, agreeing on the information you want to collect may clarify the issues you are having with your existing ITAM tool.

If you are considering utilising help desk features then agreeing on the incident types, knowledge-base, incident routing, and escalation is highly recommended.

Be sure to carefully review and inspect data from your existing spreadsheet or system. Quite often, when you are looking to implement IT Asset Management Software, you need major workflow changes but minor changes to the way you capture and label metadata.

As you are considering a new ITAM tool, you may also want to review the terminologies and labels you have been using within your IT team. Such as:

  • Inventory or stock
  • Disk space or storage
  • Cloud-based or web-based
  • On-premise or installed
  • Monitors or screens
  • Entitlements or allocations

It’s important to keep the terminologies simple so that everybody in the team, from a new starter to an experienced employee, can understand them. Standardised simple terminologies compound IT effectiveness. The time you spend here generally pays multiple dividends in the quality of your ITAM system and also savings during implementation.

5. Highlight the Cybersecurity Benefits That an ITAM Tool Will Provide

Having effective IT Asset Management Software increases the chances of a more secure and less fragile IT network, which reduces cyber risk.

The fundamental concept is that with ITAM Software you will know how many IT Assets you have, their status, location, and users. Using this information, you can:

  • Identify your most valuable and vulnerable assets
  • Identify users who may require cybersecurity training
  • Always keep your network patched
  • Use data to identify patterns between users and usage, which will help you to ring-fence your IT Infrastructure

6. Identify the Features and Functions You Need From an ITAM Tool

The IT Management Software tool that you have chosen should be one that’s been adopted in your industry. But, most importantly, it should include the features that are critical for your IT processes. This will ensure your organisation benefits from your chosen tool and sees the best ROI.

The industry fit is more important than most people think, as every industry is different. However, the degree of similarities between the two businesses in the same industry is high. I guess this is a fancy way of saying Audi and BMW are similar, yet different.

Choosing an ITAM tool that is widely adopted in your industry has two main benefits:

  1. The product is already used in your industry so there is market validation that the terminologies of your industry can be easily used in the product.
  2. Every business is different. But within the same industry, the degree of difference is not very high, so the configuration of your IT Asset Management Software will be faster in a tool that is adopted by your industry.

Most tools have similar features and capabilities. It is very difficult to distinguish between tools based solely on features and capabilities without looking at a product demo. The key differentiating factor is the depth of the features. They can be found by knowing how/why a particular tool was built. There are ITAM tools that were built from the ground up to manage software assets. Some tools were built for hardware inventory management. Some prioritised help desk processes were built for agentless or agent-based discovery. It is advantageous to prioritise your requirements first, and then choose a tool based on those priorities.

The big differentiating factor is the user interface and how easy it is to use, but this aspect is very subjective. Some people like a clean, modern, and minimalist approach to user interfaces. Others prefer all information on one page with minimal clicks. Some prefer long interfaces and others prefer short A4-page-type interfaces. The only way to understand this attribute is to take a look at the product images and product videos on a vendor’s product. This also links back to the industry adoption point, as users in the same industry tend to have a similar user interface and product experience preferences.

7. Look Out for Free Trials and Demos of IT Management Products

When searching for the best IT Asset Management Software product, it can be tempting to start with a free trial. We see a lot of buyers jump at free trials of ITAM products even before they are clear about their requirements. Free trials at the start of your consideration cycle should be used to gauge user experience and product experience.

After you have shortlisted the best ITAM tools, free trials should be carried out using your data. This helps you to get a better perspective of the tool and minimises the risk of choosing the wrong one.

We also recommend that you ask your colleagues and users to take free trials of the product, too. So that you can gauge how well the system can be adopted throughout the organisation.

8. Implementing and Adopting Your Chosen IT Management Software

66% cost overrun, 33% schedule overrun, and 13% shortfall on benefits. These are the average stats for a typical IT implementation, as per a study administered by McKinsey and Oxford.

Most IT asset management tools deliver about 10 to 15% in cost and efficiency savings. If the average shortfall is 17%, then there’s a real risk that your chosen ITAM solution can do more harm than good.

The implementation and adoption of IT Asset Management Software needs a clear roadmap before you buy the tool. Your implementation and adoption roadmap should be clear. It should have buy-in from your peers and senior management, as well as your chosen software vendor. Lack of clarity and focus remains the number one reason for project failures. So, we highly recommend that you drive clarity on your implementation and adoption process.

9. Making Decisions Based on Emotions, Logic, and Competency

Whilst a decision to buy a tool will be based on emotion, as it is largely based on the people who represent the vendors, we suggest scoring the logic used to make your decision and the competency of your product quantitatively. Take a look at the table below as an example:

Product AProduct BProduct C
User Interface8/107/109/10
Product Experience With Your Data6/105/106/10
Industry Fit20 customers27 customers16 customers
Discovery Capabilities7/105/106/10
Total Cost£100 per user£120 per user£180 per user

Knowledge Guides for IT Asset Management Software Users & IT Teams

Why Network Security and IT Asset Management Are Interlinked

6th Nov 2017

In 2016, 50% of UK businesses experienced a form of cyber attack. What most of us don’t know is that ITAM 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

27th Jul 2019

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?

23rd Oct 2017

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

21st Sep 2019

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

Best Practices for Assigning IT Assets to Employees

14th Sep 2019

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

24th May 2018

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

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

4th Sep 2017

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 a CMDB and Its Role in Managing IT Assets

18th Sep 2017

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

18th Sep 2020

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?

Why Cloud IT Asset Management is a Business Success

20th Nov 2019

Explore the benefits of Cloud IT Asset Management and how easy it is for YOUR business to migrate from on-premise to Cloud ITAM.

Faq’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Q A

How Do I Find the Best ITAM 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 defining 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 that is right for you generally pays more dividends than buying a tool based on what other people think.

Q A

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.

Q A

Why Do IT Managers and Teams Use ITAM?

The top three reasons for using IT Management Software are:

  • To 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

Q A

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 ITAM Software can be used to manage servers, routers, virtual environments, cloud databases, server instances, elastic load balancers and other technical hardware.

Q A

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.

Q A

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 them.

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.

Q A

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.

Q A

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.

Q A

What Is the Difference Between ITAM and IT Inventory Management?

IT Inventory Management is quite often related to the management of hardware assets. The term inventory is related to 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 that 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 the 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.

Q A

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.

Q A

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 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.

Q A

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 planning 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.

Q A

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.