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The role of IT has grown significantly in the last decade. Today, IT needs to deliver more value than ever, with more efficiency and agility. It is often a challenge for organizations because they do not have a proper inventory of their IT assets and infrastructure.
IT asset management (ITAM) is the process of gathering your IT asset’s data, storing them in an inventory, and continuously monitoring them for various aspects. The assets include hardware, software, and other assets your organization uses daily. These are usually monitored for proper functioning, regulatory compliance, software expiration, asset usage, asset ownership, and more.
ITAM can help streamline project management and make managing your IT projects and tasks easier without worrying about unnecessary complications. As these tools collect data from your entire infrastructure, these are a few ways in which they can help you:
- Planning: It helps you plan your IT budget by analyzing which assets are worth the investment and those that might hamper your budget
- Execution: It helps implement smart inventory management practices by monitoring resources, their costs, quality, and potential risks
- Monitoring and reporting: Through continuous monitoring, you can keep a tab on potential risks, compliance issues, and malfunctioning assets
This article will discuss seven benefits of using ITAM to streamline your project management capabilities.
Simplified inventory management of IT assets
IT asset discovery tools can be used to document the current configuration of each device, including hardware and software configurations, serial numbers, and license keys. This data can then be stored in a central location so that it can be accessed from anywhere within the organization—without complete manual intervention. You can automate asset tracking, giving you more time to focus on seeing how it impacts internal projects.
This capability, in turn, helps businesses better manage their inventory by allowing them to track what devices are available for use at any given time. From a project management perspective, it will enable businesses to determine which hardware or software is needed before they start any new projects. For example, you can use Virima’s tool to monitor assets from the cloud, data center, and edge devices using over 80 custom probes. Depending on what you monitor, it can be done using agent-based or agentless discovery.
It gives you the power of a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) by providing a complete view of what you have in your organization at any given time. You can access this information via a centralized dashboard, as ITAM and discovery tools log all the data and make it available to stakeholders. You can then use this information to better manage your systems and projects by using this database as the central point where all IT-related information flows through.
Consolidate your data in a CMDB and map each service within your infrastructure
Robust handling of support tickets
Using ITAM tools, you can handle support tickets automatically as it collates the data in one dashboard. You can then maximize the usage of collected data by employing a service desk integration that makes the data available to support agents in their preferred tool. This method helps reduce tickets and automate self-service functions for qualifying requests. It will be easier for you to resolve issues with these devices rather than deal with each one individually because the software will display everything about them at once. It also supports the organizational change management process associated with ITAM by supporting help desk procedures.
Plus, you will fall behind on your goals if you spend time manually tracking down a device or user account when you could be doing something more productive. Businesses have strict service level agreements (SLAs) they need to maintain. As soon as customers complain about a slow response time or poor customer service, they lose their customers and reputation. So, an ITAM tool can help close open tickets faster and more efficiently.
Reliable data on cost structure and asset utilization
ITAM data provides a comprehensive overview of how much money was invested into each resource within the infrastructure. You can determine each network’s cost structure, giving you an idea of what it would cost to set up a similar network in other departments or offices. Eventually, you can allocate specific budgets to specific assets, depending on their use case.
This information is also valuable for project managers when they want to get started on a new initiative. For example, if you are planning a new project that requires specific software licenses, all you have to do is check your ITAM tool to verify if they already exist in your network. If they do, you only have to plan for additional licenses, and you already have the data for how much to budget.
In terms of cost optimization, an area that is often overlooked is underutilized assets. Too often, an excess of devices are bought and remain unused—bulking up the network and your costs over time. ITAM tools can tell you exactly which assets are not being used, and then you can decide to use or discard them, depending on your project goals.
Understand your network architecture and stay compliant
You might be required by law to keep track of all the licenses in use on your network—especially if they are paid licenses or included in a contract with another company. Compliance regulations vary from country to country, making it even more challenging to audit your assets all the time manually.
However, ITAM tools will automatically check all assets for compliance with the new guidelines and report to you with information about what needs to be done to keep your systems up to date. It makes it easy for you to comply with security standards set by industry regulators such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Moreover, these tools also help you monitor the validity of these licenses—ensuring you are not using expired products for your projects. For example, you may not realize that you have more licenses than necessary. If so, it could cost you money and slow down your business processes.
You can also access data on vulnerabilities within your network, detection of malware, and any other threats that could impact your licensing or compliance agreements.
Use Virima Discovery to identify unauthorized or unknown devices in your network
Comprehensive reporting on IT assets
One of the main challenges in IT project management is knowing what is happening on your network. With a comprehensive view of your assets and their status, it is easier to get a clear picture of the current state of your IT system and whether or not it is functioning as intended. When you cannot access this data, it is also challenging to understand the true return on your investment. With accurate inventory data, you can integrate known depreciation rates (depending on the asset) and determine the precise accounting value of each asset.
An ITAM tool can also identify your assets and create a comprehensive business map detailing your interdependencies. They also integrate with existing ITSM tools to give you a more detailed outlook on what is happening on your network. For example, Virima’s tool integrates with ServiceNow, Ivanti, Azure, AWS, and more platforms to consolidate all the data in one place.
Moreover, these tools give you detailed reports at scheduled times—allowing you to focus on the analysis and decision-making process instead of manual audits. You will know which assets are up-to-date, unused, redundant, irrelevant, and needing modifications.
With this kind of visibility and reporting capabilities, you can better plan for future projects, such as server upgrades or software migrations, without worrying about missing anything.
Receive comprehensive reports within Virima’s Reporting dashboard
Reduced time to project completion
Having an SSOT in place helps improve your ability to deliver projects on time and within budget, as well as reduce the risk of failure due to delays in project delivery or cost overruns from insufficient resources available at one time or another.
The same ITAM automation capabilities that allow for faster project delivery also help with increased agility by reducing the preparation needed for each new project launch. You can do this because there is no need to wait around while someone manually documents their assets before planning how you will utilize them within whatever project they are working on.
Manage your projects with Virima
IT asset management tools are a must-have resource for effective project management. They can provide you with all the information you need to plan and execute your IT projects.
You can access current infrastructure and deliver accurate service estimates to their clients on time. It also allows you to benchmark against industry standards to make smarter decisions about upgrades or replacements when they come around again in a few years.
With technology and the modern-day business environment changing far too quickly, having a streamlined way to track information and compile reports is vital to ensuring that you are fulfilling all of the IT needs of your organization.Schedule a demo with Virima today to streamline your project management capabilities using our intuitive IT asset management tool.