So, you have recognized the need to have IT Asset Management (ITAM) in your organization. That’s fantastic. But you aren’t quite sure what to do, or when to do it. Here are some tips to help you be more successful with your asset management program.
- Develop your processes
ITAM isn’t about just about having the right tool. Tools only work as well as the processes that govern how they are used. We suggest starting out with some basic processes around acquisition, receiving, I/M/A/C, decommission and disposal. There are many more processes that could be beneficial but starting small lets you get your feet wet and see how well your organization adapts to these changes. Elements of Software Asset Management (SAM) will show up in all of above processes, but it’s a better idea to create separate processes specific to SAM.
- Communication and Education for EVERYONE
A lot of organizations make the mistake of only educating IT about ITAM and how it impacts IT. A better course of action is to educate the entire organization. If you think about it. Virtually everyone uses some sort of IT asset. From IP phones to laptop computers, organizations have IT assets out in the wild that have the potential to be mishandled by employees who just don’t know any better. An IT use policy for hardware and software with annual compliance via a sign off is the first step towards a comprehensive ITAM communication plan for the organization.
- Start with a select subset of Assets
Yes, I understand you have a lot of assets you think you want to manage. But, do you really want to try to start managing them all at the same time? Starting out with a smaller subset gives you a chance to select the assets with the biggest impact, ex. workstations. But targeting workstations, you can put those processes in step one into action and see how they work. You can develop a better working relationship with the support team and the service desk around the “What to do if” situations. Once all the kinks are worked out, you can start managing the next subset of assets on your list. The next batch will go more smoothly, and you’ll be able to spin up the management of those assets faster.
- Develop an effective team
You can’t do this by yourself. Well, you can try but depending on the size of your organization you may not be as successful as you would like without an effective team. There is no magic number to define how many people you need. But at a minimum, it’s a good idea to have someone in charge of hardware and someone in charge of software license compliance. By spreading out the workload, staff can specialize in their respective areas. You SAM personnel, for example, should be able to explain how a software publisher’s licensing works and how it impacts your organization. Education for these staff members is critical. There are a number of different avenues you can pursue to help your staff become more effective at their roles.
- Get executive buy-in
This is probably the most difficult part of setting up an ITAM program. You will need executive support to effective execute your program. Without their buy-in, it will be very arduous to get policies implemented and gain approval from the businesses. Presenting the cost savings, risk avoidance, and the potential for a more defensible position should an audit occur will go far in getting their buy-in.