It’s likely your company depends on several pieces of technology to consistently deliver a seamless product or service to your customers. When you consider that, protecting your technology assets and the IT environment that supports them for day-to-day business is a crucial aspect of your overall business strategy.
An IT asset is any company-owned information, system, or hardware that’s used during business operations. It’s data, devices, software, workstations — all of the integral components of the IT systems and network infrastructure.
Considering these assets are highly valuable to your company, setting up policies and processes for managing them can help your IT team keep track of it all, and stay ahead of the technology curve.
So, how do you do that?
Why it matters
IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the answer. It’s a set of business practices designed to track all of your IT assets and optimize them for your business. It includes looking at financial requirements, inventory, and contractual functions, so your company can make smarter decisions with your budget and lifecycle management of your IT.
It’s something your IT team internally can do or an IT services provider like Five Nines can take the lead (and eliminate the headaches) on as well.
If what we just listed above sounds like a ton of work, we’ll be honest: it is. But, the process you go through to create an asset inventory and take stock of where you’re at with each piece of technology can maximize returns and significantly decrease the risk for serious problems down the line.
This process also bridges the gap between your IT support team and the other people in your company, as everyone starts to understand what the value is of the technology.
The goal of ITAM is to help create a centralized location to oversee all of the IT assets for the company. In other words, you’re taking stock of what you have and creating a place to store it all, so you can continually manage what you have.
While the process can vary from company to company, at its core ITAM strategy requires a complete IT inventory that gives an organization a snapshot of every IT asset they have.
It roughly includes the process of verifying that each asset is:
· Up-to-date with security or software changes
· Protected and properly configured
· Working to protect your company from hackers or cyber attacks
· Not causing internal issues that could be slowing your team down or causing lag times
· Not costing the company exorbitant dollars in mismanagement
For some larger companies, this means investing in third party software to track everything or bringing in the third party that can prioritize this critical task if your IT support team is needed in daily operations.
When you consider what could be potentially overlooked, it’s well worth the time. You wouldn’t want to:
· Fall out of compliance in your industry and potentially get a violation or fine
· Have your business go down for a day because IT systems stop working
· Lose man-hours due to slowdowns caused by outdated assets
· Get cyber hacked because your systems have vulnerabilities
These are just some of the key reasons why IT Asset Management is important as there’s a lot on the line when you’re not managing these assets. And even when you have a plan in place, your IT services provider or your internal team (or IT support team) should still carry out an audit from time to time.
Need assistance with managing your IT? Five Nines is your IT support team for 2020. Let’s talk about how to make sure you’re prepared.