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When is an IT Asset NOT an IT Asset?

When is an IT Asset NOT an IT Asset?

When is an IT Asset NOT and IT asset
One of the first decisions most organizations need to make when taking their ITAM practice from Chaotic to Defined maturity level (ITAM Maturity Model) is to identify which IT Asset types will be managed and which ones won’t. There are some obvious choices from laptops and desktops, which are managed, to keyboards and mice, which are not. Even organizations with a mature ITAM practice need to periodically reassess which IT Assets they manage.

Priorities may have evolved to the point where certain types of IT Assets need to be included (mobile devices) whereas other types need to be excluded (i.e. monitors, docking stations). Following these guidelines will help you determine if you need to track and manage an IT Asset:

Contractual obligations

  • First and foremost is the need to satisfy contractual obligations. If the IT Asset is tied to a contract chances are you should be managing it from receipt to disposal.
  • Software is the first type of IT Asset that comes to mind and is a major concern for every organization. Software entitlement is defined in the software agreement and is bound to specific terms and conditions and will help you determine if you should be managing it.
  • Other IT Assets that may fall into this category are desktops, laptops and printers which are tied to lease agreements or service agreements. If you are leasing it, you need to return it at the end of the lease so you need to be managing it. Read the fine print, certain IT Asset types may have no residual value at the end of the agreement and therefore there may be no value from the effort spent in managing them (docking stations or even monitors). If you have key service agreements tied to your IT Assets, you need to know if the IT asset is still being used to avoid renewing them unnecessarily.


Maximize IT Value

  • IT Asset use plays a big part in getting the most value from the IT asset. You not only need to who and how the asset is being used once it has been deployed, but you also need to know when it’s not being used. You will need to be able to consistently manage the IT Asset throughout its entire Lifecycle.
  • If you can track the IT Asset throughout its lifecycle, you will be able to make better business decisions around when to replace it, dispose it or continue its use.
  • Don’t manage it for the sake of managing it. Even if the ITAM solution you are using has a place for it, this doesn’t mean you should spend the effort managing it.


Operational Needs

  • In some cases an IT Asset may not be tied to a contract or its value may be negligible, however, the cost of the associated services may warrant that you managed the IT asset type.
  • Moving towards ITaaS, it’s important to know what IT Assets your organization uses in delivery of a service in order to make decision about who is best suited to deliver that service (internal vs. external) and to provide the best service possible. Controlling what types of IT assets are managed within your organization will help you streamline related services and reduce labor costs.

Once you have determined if the IT Asset will be managed, the next step will be to list what information needs to be gathered to satisfy the business and operational requirements. Always focus on getting value out of your efforts and don’t forget to define and/or adjust ITAM processes to include the managed IT Asset type.

If you haven’t selected an ITAM solution yet or you are looking to replace an existing one, make sure to include these requirements in the selection process remembering that you’re not only selecting an ITAM solution for your current needs, but your are also selecting a vendor to continually support your ITAM practice.

Until next post,