Table of contents
- The need for IT Asset Management tools
- A complete ITAM platform caters to:
- A competent ITAM solution should include and/or easily integrate with
- An End-to-End ITAM Software
- Save Money With Smart IT Asset Management
Before we delve into what features constitute the best ITAM tools, let’s take a look at why ITAM is imperative.
The need for IT Asset Management tools
At your company’s headquarters, there is a small room in one of the cubicles. Boxes and laptops fill the dimly lit and sparsely decorated room. In that room, there are hundreds of computers – most of them obsolete or not used by anyone, but still taking up space in the workspace. The operations and management teams have restricted access to this usually locked room. This means that they have to jump through a few hoops to use one of the computers in the room.
Assets like these are all over corporate organizations across the world, and although they aren’t all sitting in neat little rooms like that described above, they are taking up valuable office space and adding expenses for IT management and support.
The importance of IT asset management (ITAM) is clear: it’s hard to run a business without the proper tools. But how do you know if you are managing your IT assets properly? A good ITAM platform will help you track your assets and make sure they’re always up-to-date, so you can focus on what matters most—growing your business.
However, ITAM is a wide-ranging term that can encompass many aspects of IT management and you need a guide to identify the features of ITAM that will actually bring value to your investment.
So what do the best ITAM tools feature?
A complete ITAM platform caters to:
Software Asset Management
It is a process that tracks and controls software licenses. Software licensing and maintenance activities consume approximately 22% of the IT budget for most organizations.
It’s critical to ensure you have all the rights to use a piece of software before downloading it, but this can be tricky when many companies sell their products in multiple ways. This may include selling licenses through distributors or resellers, or offering volume discounts through partners.
Software Asset Management tools help you keep track of these different license agreements so you can verify what you own and what you don’t own before making purchases or allowing access to your network.
Hardware Asset Management
Hardware Asset Management (HWAM) is a critical component of an ITAM platform. This feature allows you to create a centralized inventory of hardware assets, track their maintenance history, and manage their lifecycle.
Before you begin building your own HWAM solution, it’s important to define the business goals of your project. If you want to save money on replacement purchases or prevent failures due to outdated equipment, then setting up an effective HWAM system will help you do that—but only if it aligns with your overall strategy and goals as an organization.
Mobile Device Management
Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Mobile Asset Management (MAM) is a feature of integrated ITAM platforms that allows you to manage, monitor, and secure mobile devices. According to IDC, “by 2019, more than 80% of organizations will use MAM software to manage fleet devices.” And as per 6Wresearch, the global Mobile Asset Management (MAM) market size will flourish with sound growth prospects during 2020-26. As the data rightly suggests, mobile asset management garners increasing interest because it allows the companies to improve their customer service by allowing employees to fix problems from anywhere.
When it comes to the dangers of mobile devices in the workplace, it’s not just about rogue apps on employees’ phones or tablets. A compromised device can be used for more malicious purposes: data theft, identity theft and even physical damage to company property are all possible threats. The MDM solution allows you to remotely wipe or lock devices that have been lost or stolen so they cannot be used by unauthorized users. Additionally, if an employee has left the company but has taken their device with them—or if they simply forgot—you can use this feature to locate the device so you can retrieve it from them.
You may also want a way to back up corporate data on your mobile devices so that if something happens while you’re away from the office (like theft), then at least some of your information won’t disappear forever with the thief!
Cloud Asset Management
The cloud is a great way to manage your assets, but it’s not the only way. If you’re still managing your assets manually and have a lot of them, you may be losing money—and time.
Cloud asset management software helps you take control of your assets by giving you a central place to store information about each one. You can also use it to organize your data and make it easier to access when you need it.
Cloud asset management is a key subset of IT asset management. When you think about it, most companies have an actual physical location for all their assets, except for the cloud-based ones. Cloud asset management is about managing these assets and making sure that they are compliant with your company’s standards and policies.
Application Catalog (a.k.a. Software License Compliance)
Software Catalog is a list of software applications that are available to be installed on company devices. As an administrator, you can use this feature to track license compliance and usage across devices within your organization.
For example, you may have an application in your Software Catalog called “Word,” which has been licensed for use by all employees. You could then create an installation package containing the Word application and deploy it across all employee computers in order to ensure that everyone has access to this program; if there are users who don’t need access to Word but do require other programs on their computers, those users can be excluded from receiving the installation package until they request them individually through their device’s one-to-one ITAM console or through other means such as email or text message (SMS).
Contract Management is a feature of ITAM software that allows you to track the status of contracts with vendors. It provides a way to understand the costs of your software licenses, hardware and software licensing agreements, and other contractual obligations. Contract management has two basic functions:
- It helps identify how much it would cost if you were to purchase all required licenses up front (upfront costs).
- It provides insight into whether or not you have enough budget left over after purchasing licenses for new systems (overall budget).
Change management is the process of planning, implementing, and documenting changes to the IT environment. It involves analyzing change requests and determining whether they will be implemented; if so, who is responsible for implementing them; the impact they could have on other systems or data; what level of testing should be performed before implementation; how long it will take to complete the work (including migration time); etc.
Many organizations use change management as part of a larger IT service management framework (ITSM), which also includes documentation procedures related to incident management, problem management, configuration management and release management.
Vulnerability management is the process of identifying vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure and then creating a plan to address these vulnerabilities. It’s an important element of any comprehensive ITAM program, because it helps you improve the security of your infrastructure by ensuring that any potential weaknesses have been identified and remediated as necessary.
Vulnerability management software includes functionality for scanning networks for weak points, prioritizing issues based on severity, and creating action plans for addressing each issue. By working with such software, you can gain more insight into the overall state of your network—and ultimately make it stronger than ever before.
Licensing management is a crucial part of your ITAM strategy. The biggest reason to invest in license management is that it allows you to understand and control your company’s spending on software. If you don’t know how much you’re paying for software and what you’re getting in return, then you won’t be able to make informed decisions about whether or not to renew your contracts, or even if it makes sense for your company to use certain types of software at all.
Licensing is a key part of ITAM, and it is also one of the most complex areas within any license management solution. As such, it’s important to select a vendor that offers robust licensing management features as part of their solution. A comprehensive ITAM platform provides comprehensive support for software asset management (SAM), hardware asset management (HWAM), and licensing.
- Malware – This is a term for any malicious software that has been designed to damage or destroy computers, networks and data.
- Viruses – These are programs that replicate themselves by attaching to other programs on your computer, spreading from one machine to another via network connections as well as from removable media such as USB drives or CDs/DVDs.
- Spyware – Also known as malware, this type of software usually collects information about your browsing habits without your knowledge in order to bombard you with ads that are more relevant to what you’re interested in buying online than advertisements would be otherwise (you know those annoying pop-ups saying “You might also like” something when all you want is peace and quiet).
- Ransomware – This type of malware encrypts files or threatens users with exposure of their private information if they don’t pay up—hence the term “ransom.”
Request Fulfillment (a.k.a. Service Desk)
The Request Fulfillment function provides a centralized place to manage requests from end users, who can submit requests online or via email and track their status in real time using a dashboard or mobile app. It also allows you to view all of your history of requests at any time, by department, user or category for reporting purposes.
Request fulfillment is an important part of any business, and in the IT industry, it can be even more crucial.
When you’re managing a team of IT professionals, it’s critical to track requests that your customers and employees have made. It also helps to know when those requests are fulfilled so you can maintain a high level of service at all times.
ITAM helps to manage this process by providing a system for tracking requests and ensuring a timely completion of such requests. This means you don’t need to spend time manually tracking down resources or wondering whether or not your employees are getting things done on time.
A competent ITAM solution should include and/or easily integrate with
A service mapping process is a key feature of an ITAM platform. It ensures to deliver the right services to the right asset and improves the efficiency of usage of all assets.
Service mapping identifies services required for specific assets. It then defines where those services should be delivered from in order to meet regulatory compliance requirements. In simple terms, this means knowing where your data comes from and goes to as it travels internally around your organization.
For instance, the integration between Virima ITAM and ViVID Service Mapping allows you to easily create a service map of your entire organization. You can create a simple or complex map depending on your needs.
Also, it is easy to add additional information about each object. For example, you can add the owner’s name, department, location and any other details you might find useful. This will help you quickly find errors and problems in your ITAM system. This also saves time and money by reducing downtime and improving customer satisfaction.
IT discovery is the process of identifying what IT assets are in use, how an organization uses them, who uses them, and the corresponding locations of the assets. It’s a key component of ITAM (IT asset management) and CMDB (configuration management database).
ITAM is especially useful when it comes to making sure you’re aware of potential security threats, like malware and other unwanted programs.
But what if you could add an even more powerful layer of protection to your ITAM strategy? A powerful tool like Virima Discovery can do the job for you. Virima Discovery integrates with Virima ITAM, to offer agentless IP-based scanning of both your on-premise and cloud environments. What does that mean? It means that now you can use the power of Virima ITAM to keep tabs on all your network assets. These even include assets indirectly connected to your network. And since it’s agentless, there’s no need for any additional software or hardware installation or configuration. You just set it and forget it—and then watch as it does all the heavy lifting for you!
Configuration Management Database
A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a central repository for all the configuration data of your IT infrastructure. It tracks the changes to your IT infrastructure. In addition, it also ensures that it’s in compliance with business processes and regulations.
A CMDB differs from an asset management system in that it focuses on tracking all hardware, software, applications, users and licenses rather than just hardware assets.
For example, Virima CMDB is a robust and highly flexible solution. It provides a single point of truth to manage your entire IT asset inventory. It helps you quickly understand the current state of your IT assets, identify risks and threats, and make informed decisions about what should be done next. It’s ITIL-compliant, meaning it will integrate seamlessly with your existing ITAM processes. And thanks to its granular business rules, you can automate tasks using Virima CMDB with no additional coding or programming.
An End-to-End ITAM Software
IT asset management software needs to be able to manage a variety of assets and provide business value through cost savings and optimization.
In order to manage assets efficiently, ITAM tools needs to be able to support a variety of assets, including hardware, software licenses and licenses for SaaS applications. An ITAM software must track devices not managed by the organization, such as personally owned computers.
IT asset management software should provide business value through cost savings or other efficiencies gained from managing assets more effectively.
With an ITAM tool like Virima, you’ll experience a full-lifecycle hardware and software asset management solution that saves you time and money. It helps you:
- Manage your hardware and software assets from cradle to grave
- Save time by automating tedious tasks like contract management, warranty support coverage, and vendor contract management
- Manage risks by identifying potential problems early on in the process. You’ll be able to see where your biggest vulnerabilities are so that you can take steps to mitigate them
Save Money With Smart IT Asset Management
ITAM software helps businesses save money, improve efficiency and manage risks. It’s important that you take the time to research the features in ITAM software before making a decision on which one is right for your organization.
Request a demo today with Virima for your end-to-end ITAM needs!