Even if you invest in the latest, most innovative technologies, they will eventually become obsolete. However, with a well-executed asset management system, you can prolong your information technology assets’ viability and get the most value for your technology spend.
What Is IT Asset Lifecycle Management?
Defined simply, IT asset lifecycle management – often referred to as just IT asset management (ITAM) – is the ongoing process of ensuring your IT assets are tracked and used to their full potential. The goals of ITAM include optimizing spend, improving organization-wide decision making, and boosting productivity.
Stages of the IT Asset Lifecycle
All of your IT assets, no matter the type, go through the following stages:
With a practical, proactive plan, you can ensure that your outdated or redundant assets are appropriately retired, so they’re not hurting your business.
Key questions to consider during the planning phase include:
- What are your company goals?
- How does your current IT asset inventory look?
- How do your assets support your company goals?
- How can a new asset improve aspects of your existing systems?
- What funding would be required to acquire a new asset?
Once you have defined the requirements of an asset (financial, operational, et cetera), you can make informed decisions in the next stage, procurement.
After identifying the assets you need, it’s time to acquire them. (Ideally, in the most cost-effective way possible!) If your organization has IT asset management software, you can seamlessly manage every part of the procurement process, from IT and procurement team coordination to license and vendor management. Of course, not all organizations have this type of software in place; this is something that a good IT partner will track and handle for you.
Asset deployment is a shorter- yet highly critical- stage in the lifecycle. Necessary deployment steps include proper configuration, employee and operator training, and asset tagging, which involves labeling each asset and entering it into a management system for easy tracking throughout the rest of its lifecycle.
All assets will require maintenance and upgrades to ensure they bring the most value to your business. Whether it’s regular virus scanning or patch management, each of your assets will require maintenance. Though we can help from the beginning of the process, maintenance is often the stage in which companies will engage an IT service provider. A sophisticated IT service provider like AccountabilIT can provide around-the-clock preventive maintenance across all IT assets.
No matter what the projected lifespan of the asset may have been, at a certain point, it’s time to let it go. However, before sending your IT assets off to be recycled or remarketed, data should be retrieved and then wiped if needed (an especially critical step for companies in regulated industries). A failure to do so could end up causing costly data leaks.
Follow These Tips for Better IT Asset Lifecycle Management
You know the steps, but how can you make sure you’re performing them correctly? Make sure to follow these best practices for seamless IT asset management.
Use a centralized platform
Gone are the days of using spreadsheets to track your IT assets. For a more analytical and efficient approach to IT asset management, you need a centralized platform that allows you to track and manage the asset lifecycle in one place. Beyond making your team’s job easier, ITAM platforms come with accurate data collection and analysis tools that enable better decision-making across all lifecycle stages.
Make your ITAM proactive
While it’s easy to view acquiring new technology as a one-and-done project, this can lead to underperformance and wasted money. ITAM should be an ongoing process of taking inventory of your IT assets and using asset data to guide IT spending, ultimately maximizing returns on investment and improving your efficiencies.
Automate what you can
If you’re able to automate a task, do it. The more you’re able to introduce automation into your ITAM processes, such as automating inventory updates and compliance report generation, the more you can reduce the burden on your IT team and ensure the accuracy and efficiency of your management.
If you’re still low on internal resources after automating repetitive tasks, or if you just don’t have sufficient internal IT capabilities, you may need to engage a service provider. Partnering with a company like AccountabilIT allows you to free up internal resources, plus you also get immediate access to a single source of expertise responsible for the entire IT asset lifecycle.
Make the most of your data
Don’t let valuable data just sit in your management system. Instead, integrate your ITAM solutions with other departments across your organization. One of the most common integrations is the help service desk, which ensures that maintenance and operational needs are handled quickly.
Get More Value From Your Technology with AccountabilIT
At AccountabilIT, we don’t just have the expertise, experience, and solutions to fulfill any of your IT asset management needs. We also take the time to get to know your business on a deep level so you know your IT assets are actively empowering your growth.
Ready to start gaining more control over your investments? Connect with us today.