Systematic IT Asset Management and Its Potential – More than Inventory Management

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When we step into any office within a company and look around, an array of items greet us: shelves and cabinets, whiteboards and magnetic boards adorned with teams' sticky notes, office chairs and desks full of computers, notebooks, and network cables. Yet, these are just the apparent objects – many other things remain concealed at first glance.

A significant portion of this visible and invisible inventory comprises what is commonly termed IT assets, falling under the jurisdiction of the IT teams. These teams are responsible for hardware objects, software applications, usage licences and support contracts, and IT-relevant information. Moreover, IT teams are responsible for inventorying assets in a sensible and systematic manner - to provide them with status information and make them digitally traceable. In the context of IT Service Management, this is referred to as IT Asset Management or ITAM for short.

The essence of the ITAM approach and the tasks it encompasses has been thoroughly reviewed in our blog article "Inventory 24/7: What is IT Asset Management?" However, implementing an IT strategy should not be regarded as an isolated pursuit merely because the ITIL framework endorses it. Instead, the establishment of proficient Asset Management is pursued with the anticipation of concrete outcomes by IT teams.

Building upon the insights in the article mentioned above, our present endeavour is to delve into the benefits of a systematic, organised, digitally supported ITAM practice. This exploration seeks to unveil the potential that awaits IT teams and the entire company by adopting a systematic and structured approach to ITAM.

Centralised visibility and traceability of all assets

There are quite a few organisations that employ people who do nothing but manually track and trace assets. Such a small-scale deployment of resources and workforce serves to create the basic conditions for systematic inventory in the first place and to achieve an overview of the status quo.

Teams with a successful ITAM implementation are at least two steps ahead. The obvious benefit of effective Asset Management is full visibility of all hardware, software and network assets. Teams always know which IT assets are in use across the enterprise and their status in the asset lifecycle. There is also a process to keep the information up to date. This transparency is a prerequisite for truly effective and efficient inventory management.

Acquisitions based on specific needs

New infrastructural acquisitions are costly. In organisations without a functioning Asset Management system, such investments often lack a system - they are made more or less based on gut instinct or immediate necessity but not on strategic considerations based on data. In the first case, this often leads to cost-inefficient overstocking or, in the second case, to the risk of temporary functional gaps that have to be filled by hasty acquisitions.

A modern ITAM enables the team to determine the concrete need for new acquisitions based on reliable information. What is available, what could run out shortly, and what is near the end of the asset lifecycle and should be replaced? The team has an overview and places the acquisition of assets on a strategic data basis instead of making upgrades based on feeling.

Reducing Licence Waste

Among the IT assets lie software usage licences. Herein resides one of the most prominent sources of wastage, as the cumulative licence and subscription expenses for numerous tools and users swiftly accumulate into significant sums. Efficient handling of licences is desirable: the number of licences should correspond to the actual need; anything else would be a waste.

A structured ITAM provides real-time information about which software systems are used and the corresponding licence count and associated costs. IT teams can identify areas where licences remain dormant, or resources are underutilised, thus identifying potential avenues for savings. For example, the administration of Atlassian Cloud systems offers tangible insights into licence usage, thereby unveiling actionable opportunities for teams to achieve substantial savings.

Enhanced Security

Shielding against threats and guaranteeing steadfast security are foundational responsibilities within IT Service Management teams. Are hardware assets up to date? Do on-premise instances undergo regular security updates? Are there redundant assets?
A systematic ITAM answers these and similar questions and offers controls that help minimise risks, meet compliance requirements, and close gateways for malicious actors.

Targeted Standardisation

It has been proven that granting teams autonomy and enabling them to self-organise yields merit. This includes the freedom to select tools and instruments aligned with their distinct tasks and projects. Regarding a team's autonomy, It is not a contradiction that many organisations simultaneously strive for more standardisation.

In this context, ITAM is a pillar bolstering IT teams on their journey toward standardisation. This, in turn, translates into cost savings, bridging system gaps, diminishing adoption barriers, and fostering inter-team cooperation. Do legacy assets fall short of the desired standard? Where are they used? A comprehensive Asset Management system provides the appropriate information and makes it possible to drive meaningful standardisation in a targeted manner.

Alleviating the Burden on IT Teams

In myriad organisations, the convergence point is invariably IT. Without it, everything grinds to a halt. Consequently, it is no surprise that IT teams often find themselves stretched thin, especially during acute skills scarcity. The absence of structured Asset Management, which requires considerable resource allocation, exacerbates this circumstance. Coupled with other internal factors, it leads to chronic overextension, heightened proneness to errors, discontent, and frustration.

A systematic and well-thought-out ITAM strategy, bolstered by smart digital solutions like Jira Service Management, which can automate numerous labour-intensive processes and repetitive tasks, even the daily workload. This, in turn, mitigates peak pressures and liberates valuable human resources, which can then be channelled more productively into strategic undertakings.

Atlassian Tools in IT Service Management

To harness the potential outlined above, teams need a powerful and feature-rich toolset. Jira Service Management is fully equipped to meet the standard requisites for proficient IT Asset Management. It can accommodate an array of practices within IT Service Management. This ranges from ticket-based help desk operations with custom workflows to meticulously structured service level agreements and methodical service request management, all the way to comprehensive automation.

Atlassian's Jira Service Management holds several distinctions, including the prestigious PinkVERIFY ITIL 4 Toolset certification. This endorsement affirms its alignment with all functional criteria expected of a proficient ITSM solution.

Are you interested in delving further into Jira Service Management? Would you like our team to offer insights into key ITSM use cases and practices through a personalised demonstration? Or are you intrigued by the transition towards a streamlined, professional IT Service Management approach? Feel free to reach out to us!

Further Reading

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