IT Asset Confusion – All IT Asset types are the same, but different.
IT Asset Confusion
When it comes to how you manage IT Assets, all IT Assets are not the same. The information you will want to keep track of is similar, but, like it or not, each IT Asset type comes with its own requirements.
I hope we all agree that you need to keep track of the IT Asset’s unique identifier, its make and model, when and from whom it was acquired, its cost, its current lifecycle and ownership status, who it’s assigned to and where it’s physically located.
This is where the similarities end.
A closer look at the unique identifier will be necessary. The serial number, or even a generated asset tag, is always a good place to start, but not all IT assets have an easily accessible serial number or can support an asset tag (or RFID tag) due to form-factor constraints. Some types of IT Assets have electronic serial numbers or other identifiers that can change over time.
Dependencies, i.e. whether you own or lease the asset, if it’s being deployed as part of a service package (ITaaS), etc. will impact what information requires management.
You will also need to consider type specific IT Asset information that falls into the gray area between IT Asset Management, Configuration Management, Financial Management, etc. This information may not be readily available from these other systems (usage (printer or other), monthly lease charges, etc.).
With software IT assets it’s a bit different. Managing software (or software entitlement rather) requires information about the publisher, title, version as well as quantity, when and from whom it was acquired and its cost. Additional information may be needed to make sense of the software license terms and conditions such as the type of license (base or upgrade), licensing method (named user, single-device, multi-device, concurrent, CPU, Core), upgrade and downgrade rights, geographical restrictions. The list of conditions is forever becoming more complex and challenging.
Pause… feel free to grab some Advil!
The information keeps growing as you start to consider IT Asset related contract information (software, service, warranty, lease, rental, etc.).
Did you take the Advil yet?
Ultimately, the IT Asset information you do capture should be related back to your IT business and operational objectives (current, short-term and long-term) and supported by all 5 ITAM Success Factors.
Once you’ve picked the types of IT assets you want to manage and the information that goes with them, pick the ITAM solution (and vendor) that integrates with other systems and will make your life easier. “Easier” goes beyond the technology, it speaks to support, service, etc.
Of course you could always fall back on the universal ITAM tool, Excel… just kidding.