Getting IT Asset Management (ITAM) Right: The Climb
"There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb." — "The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
The chorus to the song quoted above is an apt metaphor for IT management in general. However, it’s not difficult to make a persuasive argument that it applies—or should apply—specifically and initially to IT asset management (ITAM).
Why? Quite simply, because you can’t deliver services powered by your IT assets, manage those services, or secure those services and their users effectively, until you know as much as possible about those assets. And acquiring and maintaining that knowledge, accurately, comprehensively, and on demand, is getting ITAM right.
ITAM: more movie than snapshot
One of the core challenges to getting ITAM right is at least partially perceptual. Some may think that simple discovery is enough to tell you what assets you have, and that that’s enough. Such thinking is, with all due respect, both misguided and incomplete.
First of all, knowing what assets you have and where you have them is neither simple, nor easy, nor a foregone conclusion. Unless you have well-designed, well-implemented discovery tools and processes, you will almost never have a complete and completely accurate picture of all of your assets and their locations.
Why? Because given that many of those assets are laptops, smartphones, and other mobile and portable devices—well, they move. Even IT assets not designed to do so often move, especially if your company grows and/or moves and/or gets acquired. This makes keeping track of them a fluid, constant requirement. You need to be able to capture snapshots of current and historical asset information, but you need to be discovering and capturing that information as close to continuously as possible.
ITAM: much more than what and where
Second, and even more important and challenging, you need to know more than an assets existence and location. At the very least, you also need to know details about costs, management and maintenance responsibilities, and access rights and restrictions. You also need to know all the relevant details about all the software running on each and every IT asset that runs software. Which is all of them. Which makes software asset management (SAM) a critical element of getting ITAM right.
As my learned colleague, Ivanti ITAM Evangelist Patricia Adams, puts it, ITAM has three components—physical, financial, and contractual. For hardware and software. If any of these is missing, incomplete, or inaccurate, you simply can’t get ITAM right.
Security: cover your assets
Which, by the way, means that you also need to secure those assets effectively, to protect your enterprise and to maintain accuracy of your ITAM and SAM information. In fact, another of my learned colleagues, Ivanti Sales Engineer III Marcel Shaw, has written, there are three great reasons why ITAM also needs to be part of your cybersecurity strategy.
- ITAM processes will track assets that contain or access sensitive data.
- ITAM will control asset inventories by implementing end-of-lifecycle processes.
- ITAM processes will aid compliance with government and industry security requirements.
Ivanti is your Sherpa for the ITAM climb
Getting ITAM right requires superior hardware and software discovery and inventory tools and processes, and so much more. It also requires some level of integration with your IT service management (ITSM) and cybersecurity efforts and solutions. Kind-of a climb, I’d say.
If you want to know more about what constitutes getting ITAM right and how to do it, start by reading “What is IT Asset Management?” by my learned colleague, Ivanti ITAM Evangelist Patricia Adams. (If you care about ITAM, and you should, you should also read everything she has written and writes on the subject, and enjoy her on-demand Webinar, “Ten Mistakes Not to Make When Implementing ITAM/SAM.” But I know you’re busy with other things. So start with the blog post and Webinar.)
Then, check out Ivanti’s ITAM solutions. Request a demo or a quote. Let’s get started helping you and your organization to get ITAM right—and keep it that way.