December 13, 2012, 9:45 AM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
Companies have a lot to gain by maintaining control of IT assets. They can avoid massive unplanned expenses, increase productivity and provide easy access to information for decision making. When designing an IT asset management (ITAM) program, keep these tips in mind:
1. Someone has to be responsible. Every successful project starts with people, then process, then technology. Since ITAM touches every part of your business, you must have a leader who has executive sponsorship and the support of all stakeholders who knows how to bring people, process and technology together into a working solution.
2. Circle of life. Like most things in life, assets follow a lifecycle: plan, procure, deploy, manage and retire. Plan what types of assets you need to support your business, negotiate contracts with vendors to provide these assets, make the assets available for use, track where they go and log any activity that happens while in use, and finally retire them when they are no longer needed. Best practice publications available from the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) provide a wealth of information on lifecycles and more.
3. One source of truth. Having spreadsheets scattered around various computers, network drives and SharePoint is not an effective way to do companywide asset management. To be successful, it is important to agree on a common asset repository to be your organization's one source of truth. Ideally, this repository is linked to a service management system capable of tracking assets throughout their lifecycle to keep records current.