Every company generates income by using its fixed assets. Over a period, as the company grows, those fixed assets also grow in volume, size and management.
In recent years, for most big and small organizations, the ownership, control and management of IT devices like computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers, and memory storage devices has become important.
So many functions, processes, data, files and payments are done through such systems. This means that for any organization their proper maintenance, control, access and destruction should be a priority!
Most businesses, sparing a few do not invest or take IT Asset Management (ITAM) seriously. They wait for a serious situation to emerge like a cyberattack or a huge penalty before they start taking action on this front.
In this article, we are going to speak with leading experts at SPW Malaysia. This is one of the foremost organizations in the field of ITAM that has been helping businesses since the last decade.
IT Asset Management: Meaning and Definition
ITAM is not a one-time thing that you do and forget. It refers to the continuous monitoring, maintenance, upgradation and disposal of all IT-related assets in an organization.
This means that all hardware components that are used in any office are accounted for with proper documentation, processes and structures.
A proper ITAM process will help your organization answer the following questions-
- How many computer systems are there in the office and who all are using them?
- What are the access codes of the computer systems that the employees are using?
- Where are the access points located when it comes to software, files and servers?
- Has someone tried to improperly log in or seek credentials beyond their authority?
- How will computer systems, files, hard disks and other IT stuff be disposed?
In short, businesses need to realize that every IT asset, whether it is hardware or software, has a finite existence. It needs to be maintained and tracked till the time comes for it to be disposed of.
Even when disposal is concerned it cannot be simply thrown away with all company records, data and other essentials. There is a process that should be in place for the same.
List of 5 ITAM Best Practices you need to start following
1. Create a Pro-Active ITAM Process for the Organization-
Most businesses make the mistake of starting with ITAM after they have suffered from a massive loss. This means that the process becomes reactive, as against pro-active. If you do not want to be hit by something that shakes the foundations of your business, you need to be proactive when it comes to setting up a well-defined ITAM process in your organization.
2. Set-up a Dedicated Team or Hire Professionals for ITAM-
Frankly speaking, there are two things a business can do. It can either hire ITAM professionals from a specialized agency or set up its own team internally. You might think that this is a bad investment, given nothing is happening. However, a good ITAM process helps prevent financial losses for the organization. It can also prevent credibility attacks on the business.
3. Follow the Lifecycle-Based Approach towards ITAM-
If you want to execute an ITAM process, you need to start as soon as a computer system is purchased. The same goes for software whose license has been purchased recently. Experts note that an ITAM process should take into account the entire lifecycle of the hardware or software. This means that everything should be monitored from the start to the absolute end.
4. Carry out Regular and Rigorous Audits of the ITAM process-
Many businesses face severe penalties from authorities for over-reporting or under-reporting their assets. This happens because they fail to carry out regular ITAM audits that keep frequent track of their systems. As a business grows in volume, its infrastructure, systems and structures also grow a lot. This is why regular audits are a major best practice of ITAM.
5. Go for High-End Automation to Save Costs and Time in ITAM-
Whenever businesses hear the term record keeping, their minds quickly race towards MS Excel files. When it comes to ITAM, not only is this process slow and outdated, but more importantly, it deprives the business of efficiency. There is advanced software that can help you track, monitor and update file names and other reports systematically. Automation is the way forward.
The Bottom Line
In the last few years, awareness around ITAM is growing. This has been partly because of the increasing number of cyberattacks that are being reported, especially since the pandemic started. ITAM will help you plug a crucial loophole that might attract the interests of cybercriminals.
With more processes and functions being carried out by IT assets, businesses have started realizing that there is a strategic need to protect these at all costs. If you have any more questions, you would like us to answer on ITAM, let us know in the comments below.