The Only Way to Get a Grip on Your Technology

By Phara McLachlan, IT Asset Management
October 6, 2021

“ITAM is a mandate, not an option.” Compliance issues, the need for accountability to management and heightened cost concerns have transformed IT asset management into a critical, next-level business discipline.

Where is your organization in the mix?

  • Do you know where your Information Technology (IT) Assets are?
  • Do you know who is using them?
  • Do you know how much they are costing your organization?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then you are at the beginning phase of IT Asset management.  An IT asset is dynamic in nature; therefore, it is imperative that your organization can keep up with the pace.

Many organizations feel the first place to start is with a physical inventory.  So, they hire a company to tell them where all of their assets are.  While this may seem like an appropriate starting point, an important thing to remember is that this data will not remain static.  With that in mind, how long will this data really be viable?   Particularly if it takes months to compile before it is utilized.

A better solution would be to come up with a strategic plan for managing your IT assets, then identify the tools that will best support your plan, and most importantly define all of the processes to support the infrastructure identified. Unfortunately, there is no magic product that can fix your companies IT asset management pitfalls and processes do not change overnight.  However, there are many tools, which can help your organization achieve its asset management goals.  Nahteava can help you find the right tool for your environment and define the processes to support it.

If your organization cannot determine basic asset tracking Information such as where assets are and who is using them, there is likely little to no total cost of ownership data to analyze.

Defining, changing, or implementing asset management related processes could be one of the hardest objectives for an organization.  This is where hiring an outside organization, such as Nahteava can be extremely beneficial.  Nahteava works with your organization as a third party providing a non-biased approach outside of the corporate politics and can utilize industry knowledge to help tailor a plan for your specific organization.

While there are best practices – no two organizations are exactly alike, and it is important that the processes and tools are customized to meet the individual needs of an organization.

Questions to think about when defining your asset life cycle:

  • How do we acquire our assets?
  • How do we deploy or install our assets?
  • What happens when an asset moves?
  • What happens when an asset is repaired?

Each of these pieces should be thought about not just in terms of the physical asset, but the financial aspects related to that asset as well.  For example: when an asset is moved, there is more than just the physical move to consider.  There are costs involved, which can vary from the technician sent to complete the move, network drops, etc.

Another example: when an asset is retired, it is important to be able to know if the asset was leased or purchased.  A purchased asset is often tracked and depreciated by the accounting or financials department; so, they will need to be notified to remove this asset from the books. By defining processes, your organization can move from asset tracking to asset management.

Automated processes and integrations

  • Have you integrated your procurement vendors with your asset repositories?
  • Have you reconciled your physical inventory baseline with auto-discovery data?
  • Have you integrated your asset repository with your service desk applications?
  • Have you integrated with your fixed asset or other financial systems?

An ideal goal of IT Asset Management is to achieve a level of automation which will lower your total cost of ownership of both your IT assets and the repositories that manage and utilize them.

An important thing to remember is that achieving integration is not just moving data from one system to another.  Rather, bi-directional movement of data between two systems – working together will maximize the benefits of both systems.  It is also important to determine the primary system of record for key data elements as not to have core elements overwritten by a less trusted source.

Systems integrations are a critical way to maximize your IT Asset Management repositories.  These integrations can be challenging from a technical and political standpoint.  Nahteava can help your organization build integrations, which will provide maximum benefit to your organization and its partners.