IT asset management (ITAM) is becoming more complex and challenging, as the definition of “IT assets” expands and evolves. We believe recent research from Gartner details many of these changes, and makes specific recommendations for addressing them.

Your IT Assets Are Changing

More mobile users and devices. The cloud. The Internet of Things (IoT). These and other changes in IT are creating new asset classes and domains, all of which require management at least as comprehensive as that applied to more traditional assets. (See Figure 1.)

2017 Gartner - Technology Assets Yesterday - screenshot
Figure 3: IT Asset Evolution*

“IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset life cycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.” “This simplification was necessary because the detail and specificity of existing definitions were constraining ITAM. ITAM that manages only ‘capitalized hardware and software’ no longer makes business sense in a world of virtualization, cloud and IoT.”

Today’s ITAM Isn’t Enough

Gartner notes, “Self-constraining traditional approaches are too narrowly focused to support business needs in an increasingly complex and constantly changing world.” Gartner suggests the growing use of cloud services and resources and user-owned devices, among other forces, means that “ITAM can no longer restrict its scope to only those conventional technology assets under the control of the IT department. ITAM must encompass all digitally enabled or connected technologies regardless of ownership (cloud, SaaS, subscription, leasing or ‘bring your own device’ [BYOD]) or control (IT, corporate center, business unit or even customer).”

Based on our own experiences and conversations with customers, we believe Figure 3 above shows clearly that for IT, the very definition of an “asset” is broader and less distinct than it has ever been. Network-connected cameras and large-screen displays can be found at almost any corporate headquarters. Corporate users increasingly monitor their business emails on the same devices they wear to monitor their heart rates. And every tablet or smartphone used to access corporate data may not be secured to IT’s standards. None of these is a traditional IT asset, yet each requires management by IT, at least of its access to corporate networks and resources.

What You Need to Succeed with ITAM

Your legacy ITAM solutions and approaches are insufficient to deal with the continuing evolution of ITAM. So how best to move ITAM forward at your enterprise?

To start, in our view, Gartner recommends expanding the definition of “asset.” Your ITAM frameworks and guidelines must be based on definitions and taxonomies that embrace new technologies and asset types. To do otherwise risks excluding unsupported assets and their users from your ITAM initiatives.

To develop these expanded ITAM vocabularies, you need to collaborate with everyone affected by your ITAM efforts. That collaboration is necessary to define the scope of those efforts most appropriately for your enterprise’s specific needs. And we are confident Gartner says that scope must evolve away from simple asset tracking. “Refocus ITAM responsibility from ‘tracking’ individual assets to corporate governance of IT and technology assets.” (This shift toward governance mirrors similar evolutions of ITSM at many enterprises.)

To accomplish these changes will likely require an upgrade to your current ITAM solutions as well. Modern discovery, inventory, management, reporting, and analytics, combined with expanded vocabularies, frameworks, and guidelines, will enable the asset management your enterprise needs, today and as those needs and assets continue to evolve.

Ivanti: Your ITAM Modernization Partner

Ivanti solutions can help modernize and improve management of your hardware and software assets. Ivanti can help your enterprise master software audits, reduce software and hardware costs, predict asset expenditures, and gain control of cloud-based resources. Ivanti can also help to improve IT reporting and delivery of business and IT services.

Read the complete Gartner report, Redefining IT Asset Management for the Digital Age. Then, contact Ivanti, and let us help you take your ITAM efforts into the future successfully.

* From Gartner, Redefining IT Asset Management for the Digital Age, Victoria Barber, Roger Williams, March 30, 2017.