The hardware and software required to deliver IT services are critical to running today’s organisations from an operational perspective – not to mention representing a major investment. It’s therefore crucial to ensure these IT assets are effectively managed, controlled, and protected. It’s also essential that any risk associated with the deployment and use of these IT assets are properly administered, especially with the added obstacle that increasing numbers of an organisation’s IT assets and devices are now being housed and used in remote work locations.
Let’s review the 8 IT Asset Management challenges that many organisations face regarding the management, control, and protection of their IT assets. After exploring this list, we’ll address how to overcome the challenges.
IT Asset Management Challenges
1. The Distributed Management of IT Assets
Because IT assets are purchased, received, and/or often managed in a distributed manner, this can result in a lack of visibility of the assets, which subsequently impacts audits and validation. This can also lead to workers’ perceptions that the assets ‘belong’ to them and not the organisation.
2. Inconsistent or a Lack of Process Controls
Due to a distributed approach, IT asset management (ITAM) may be perceived as a function, rather than an organisational discipline. This means any processes and controls that do exist are only applied to the function – not to the organisation.
3. Policy Enforcement
Many asset policies are at the enterprise levels and don’t reflect the reality or current state of the IT assets. A common issue with policies, regardless of whether they are valid, is that they are not enforced as they should be. This exposes great financial, compliance, and security risks to the organisation.
4. Organisational Awareness
Even where there are policies and proper processes and controls in place, the organisation (both IT and the enterprise) may not be fully aware of what they are, or why they are important, and simply ignore them or bypass them.
5. Asset ‘Hoarding’
The tendency for department managers and end users to hold onto assets they do not use at all or on a regular basis, which includes laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and software applications. This hoarding can lead to continued purchasing of IT assets the same as those already owned, but not used or fully utilised. Unused IT assets pose increased security and audit risks, as well as driving up costs related to acquiring assets.
6. Procurement Focus
IT asset management is often driven by the purchasing and procurement process which leads to, among other things, a purely financial benefits approach, a lack of management of assets below certain cost levels, and the purchasing of IT assets outside of the control of IT asset management.
7. Inconsistent or a Lack of Process Controls
This is often, but not always, caused by a traditional procurement-focused approach. This typically indicates a lack of awareness of the proper IT asset acquisition processes, or the lack of these processes, but is also influenced by the perceived lack of responsiveness from the IT organisation. This can lead to uncontrolled IT assets being introduced into the enterprise, which increases costs as well as security and compliance risks.
8. Scope Awareness
Either because of no defined scope and/or an understanding of what constitutes an IT asset, an outdated scope, or just a scope that is not well-defined or commonly understood, people are left to their own determination and assumption about what they’re supposed to do when it comes to purchasing or managing IT assets. This is also exacerbated by the perception that IT asset management is a function, not an organisational practice.
IT Asset Management Best Practices
The best way to overcome each of the above challenges is to effectively plan and manage the full life cycle of all IT assets, which is the focus of IT asset management. Managing a well-organised ITAM practice can help organisations maximise the value of their IT assets, control costs, manage risks, and support decision-making about the purchase, reuse, and retirement of assets – in addition to meeting regulatory and contractual requirements.
IT asset management integrates the best practices of IT service and ITIL® 4. The latter has reshaped IT service management practices by using ITIL 4’s innovative service value system to enhance the customer experience and facilitate an easier transition to the digital era by incorporating new ways of working across the entire enterprise with frameworks and quality systems such as Lean, Agile, and DevOps.
To better enable organisations to implement IT asset management, Pink Elephant’s IT Asset Management Essentials certification course has introduced the Integrated IT Asset Management model (iITAM). This new model is built on the concept of the Golden Circle. The iITAM model provides essential guidance on the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ IT asset management should be structured in alignment with, and support of, the vision, strategy, drivers, goals, objectives, and four ITAM practices.
Learn More about IT Asset Management
Pink Elephant’s IT Asset Management courses provide comprehensive knowledge about all the key elements needed for strong IT asset management. The course focuses on what is most important – practical guidance, training that’s more like consulting with hands-on learning that allows students to better apply concepts quickly in their organisation, and features advice on concepts like IoT, mobile assets, cloud-based assets, and more.