By: Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts
The role of IT managers can be very challenging and is extremely varied in scope as information technology is now a critical component for most of the companies. Dependence on technology is only growing and issues like security and compliance are making IT more visible throughout the organization, only a balance could help them manage their time and tasks. Asset management is a vast field and entails a lot of practices and responsibilities. It is a methodical process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading and disposing of assets cost effectively. This puts the IT managers under a lot of pressure and protocols.
They have to divide their time to keep the correct licenses in check and avoid wastage of money on idle licenses. Meanwhile, they also help in stopping end users from accidently violating licensing conditions by utilizing any procedures that the IT department may have in place.
They are responsible for creating support, warranty, lease, maintenance, and software contract, license information, among others. They have to also maintain all the contract data and ensure that customers renew their contracts & create purchase requisitions and manage inventory for the company.
The managers have a series of protocols to follow, several predefined reports to prepare to help monitor the software assets in the company. Reports about asset counts and changes, contract information, payments due, cost reports, asset depreciations, network topology, and purchase orders are common.
IT asset management plays a vital role in driving the business growth. It is cumbersome and an IT manager spends most of his time on the following industry practices to list a few:
#1 ASSETS LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT
An IT asset lifecycle entails a series of stages that a company’s information technology asset goes through. The main components are planning, procurement, deployment, usage, upgrade, decommission, disposition, and salvage. The IT asset management must assimilate all the effective procedures for each stage for the most effective use and maintenance of assets and ensure their proper upgrading, replacement and disposal. Moreover, IT asset lifecycle management allows IT managers to take a service-centric approach to IT management decisions that can result in additional savings by scaling back or fully removing low value services altogether.
#2 ACCURATE ASSET REPOSITORY
Many companies aren’t sure of how complete or accurate their asset repository is. In most companies, the asset repository isn’t accurate because it is not updated and audited since the time they implemented ITAM.
#3 VISIBILITY TO THE MANAGEMENTS THROUGH TRUE METRICS AND REPORTING
The managers have a series of protocols to follow, several predefined reports to prepare to help monitor the soft ware assets in the company. Reports about asset counts
and changes, contract information, payments due, cost reports, asset depreciations, network topology, and purchase orders are common.
However, having the consolidated complete data of the company together, would give you a strong foundation to draw a variety of potential initiatives to strengthen your IT department. These could include initiatives from security and compliance to software audits, datacenter consolidation, and optimizing the IT infrastructure for virtualization.
#4 THE FRIEND TO ASSET MANAGEMENT: AUTOMATION
The key is to go modern. With your mobile device management in place, your company need not spend their time checking the legitimacy of your mobile platform.
This way, you are both complying with regulations and accountable with your data using modern ways. This means, no matter where you are, you can work with complicated software and workload because there may be a way to access some data from wherever you are.
Lately, companies are taking notice and are increasingly investing in customized mobile applications to access data. This could change how many companies
function. The final aim is to change how IT managers are looked at in the company. The company should give them the time to practice and implement their licensing expertise
rather than wasting time on manually updating databases, filing reports, etc.
While most still refer to loads of files for their information, the process could be made much easier. ITAM could be automated and made as proactive as possible. Deploying procedures to manage and improve compliances and cost effectiveness should always be the goal in the long run.
#5 COST CONSCIOUSNESS CULTURE DRIVE
Adopting focused software asset management practices will also ensure significant financial benefits, by reducing the total cost of software ownership the company needs to spend and speeding up the return on software investment. Implementing a robust IT asset management strategy in the organization is essential. The inability to effectively monitor your organization’s software assets can lead to spending more or facing fines over not having the right licenses.
#6 CURTAIL UNINFORMED COST OUTFLOW THROUGH SOFTWARE AUDITS
During a software or compliance audit, the IT department will spend too much time on gathering all the asset inventory data and integrating the asset inventory sources to
be well equipped for the audit. Asset management provides the organization with information on how IT funds are invested and how these investments are performing.
This not only helps with running current projects but can make it easier to fund new ones. IT organizations can use this intelligence to improve total cost of ownership by continuously reducing IT asset costs throughout their lifecycle.
#7 BUILD SOFTWARE ASSET MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE WITHIN
Most IT managers spend countless hours every week trying to reconcile the numerous IT asset management- related sources. The fact that generally these data aren’t maintained in an organized manner, even with all the reports and discovery tools at their disposal adds to the manager’s burden. IT asset management or ITAM, as it’s commonly referred to, is a complex mechanism and needs to be dealt cautiously. Error is any form not only threatens the efficiency but also the very veracity of information technology.
#8 ADOPTING SAM
The IT asset management team spends most of its time on license reconciliation, wherein the manager will be going through the company’s piled license inventory data to figure out the company expenses and the right software required. The IT asset manager is involved in Software Asset Management (SAM) everyday. SAM plays a vital role predominantly in large corporations and IT giants, where redistribution of licenses and managing legal risks associated with software ownership and expiration is indispensable and of utmost importance.