IT Asset Management (ITAM) helps you manage your IT environment effectively, efficiently, and safely. However, implementing ITAM software can be a bit tricky if you don’t lay the groundwork accurately. But that’s what we’re here for! This IT Asset Management checklist is all you need to succeed.
In fact, the practice lends itself very well to checklists. It's very helpful to organize ITAM through separate and manageable tasks in order to not get overwhelmed or miss anything important. And needless to say, checklists are great – astronauts, pilots, and doctors use them to ensure they get things right the first and every time, so let's start applying that same focus.
So, our experience helping clients worldwide implementing InvGate Insight gave us enough knowledge to understand what things you simply can’t miss to make the process smoother. Keep reading to find an all-round ITAM checklist to download, plus a detailed explanation of how to use it in your organization.
But beware: this is a general guideline that needs a bit of tailoring to match your organization's specific needs and objectives. If you need some extra help with that, you can always ask our experts!
Ready to get started? Let's go.
The IT Asset Management checklist
When designing the checklist, we pointed out the following scenarios:
- Strategy design
- Identifying assets
- Creating a baseline
- Tool implementation
- Audit preparation
- Links with other processes
- Continual improvement
The stages of the IT Asset Management checklist
So now that you have the outline, let's talk about it in more detail so you can succeed at each stage.
1. Strategy design
To start off the process, you must set out what the practice will bring to your organization. An effective ITAM strategy will guarantee the process is designed and delivered in a structured and comprehensive way that ensures IT assets are managed to support the overall company objectives.
This strategy must incorporate the whole lifecycle of IT assets (planning, deployment, support, optimization, and retirement). The goal is to maximize their value while minimizing associated risks.
A holistic approach is also necessary to achieve this objective. It involves considering the various IT assets, including hardware, software, and network equipment, and how they contribute to the organization's success by supporting business outcomes.
When working on this stage, make sure to ask yourself the following:
- Have you used current best practice guidelines such as ITIL and COBIT to design your ITAM strategy?
- Have you included process steps that support both Hardware Asset Management (HAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM) process activities?
- Have all relevant stakeholders reviewed and approved the strategy?
- Have supporting practices such as the service desk, Change Enablement, and IT security been engaged?
- Is the strategy aligned with your current Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) objectives?
- Have you engaged the business or other voice of the customer?
2. Identifying assets
During this step you should identify the assets and confirm your scope. ITAM is a practice that is particularly prime to scope creep, so the advice is always to not try and fix everything at once but focus on your most prominent risk areas. When looking at identifying assets, some areas to consider are:
- Infrastructure hardware
- Virtual servers
- Facility services
- In-house software
- Licensed software
- PCs and laptops
- Mobile devices
- Cloud services
- Network devices such as routers and switches
- Voice and telephony hardware and software
3. Creating a baseline
Now that you java established what you need to track, it’s time to create an IT inventory. At this stage, you will also need to consider how to track assets according to their type, including:
- Hardware Asset Management - Physical IT assets such as PCs, laptops, IP phones, and mobile devices (don’t forget to create QR codes for them later on!).
- Software Asset Management - All in-house and purchased software and the appropriate Licensing Management.
- Asset Lifecycle Management - To manage, control, and protect the asset throughout its lifecycle from acquisition to disposal.
- Work Order Management - So that the asset is tracked through any maintenance or repairs.
- Maintenance Management - To help keep the IT asset performance-optimized and to recommend proactive maintenance to prevent breakdown or service disruption.
- Utility Management - To help keep track of asset utilization so you can see what assets are being used versus those unused.
- Fixed Asset Management - For businesses operating on a global scale, it’s essential to implement Asset Management systems to centralize their inventory and simplify its management from a single location. Such systems facilitate the organization's onboarding, tracking, maintenance, and disposal of physical assets.
- Asset Risk Management - The practice that views your IT assets through a GRC lens and acts as a decision-making tool while outlining all the potential risks and hazards.
4. Tool implementation
This is an area where you should take as much time as possible because your ITAM tool is a significant investment, and you want it to add value. Things to consider are:
- Knowing your organization and its environment so you can deploy the tool in the most effective way.
- Integration with third-party applications.
- Integration with your service desk or ITSM tool.
- Supplier engagement.
- Core functionality, for example:
- Discovery - To find new or changed assets.
- Asset inventory- To keep a detailed record of all IT assets (more than just software; this may also include hardware, networking equipment, and telephony).
- Auditing - To scan an asset to record its status.
- Software recognition - To identify an instance of the software in your live environment and its licensing information.
- License Management - To take the feed of inventory of your assets and record your entitlement so that you can reconcile them against your records.
- Contracts Management - To store your supplier and contracts information.
- System, Patch, and Deployment Management - To deliver changes, maintenance, software patches, or new deployments.
- Automation and workflow - To template and automate ITAM processes.
- Reporting - To share, collaborate, and act on IT asset data.
- Monitoring and alerts - To report on events affecting your infrastructure.
5. Audit preparation
In other words, keeping both your team and your organization honest. Things to include on your checklist to prepare for an audit are:
- The leading players, for example, software from Microsoft, Oracle, and Adobe.
- The audit schedule.
- Links to any contractual and licensing information.
- The dates and outcomes of any previous audits.
- If there has been an informal, in-house audit recently.
- Approach for responding to an audit request.
- Tracker for improvement ideas.
6. Links with other processes
ITAM doesn't operate in isolation, so design your practice to align and flow with other related practices when building it. Here are some things to consider:
- Has Change Enablement been engaged so that when a change is submitted for review, any ITAM implications can be discussed and understood?
- GRC: Are there any existing policies, procedures, or work practices you must comply with or adhere to?
- Finance: Can the procurement process for IT Asset Management be updated so that the roles of both practices can be codified, and solid communication and notification protocols are in place?
- Service desk and technical teams: a significant point of control for the installation, uninstallation, or modification of IT assets.
- Incident Management: having a process in place so asset information can be verified when a fault is being diagnosed and wired on.
- Request management: having a process to verify asset information when new hardware or software is delivered via a service request.
7. Continual improvement
Keep moving forward. ITAM is a practice that gets better when used in real life. Some ideas for improvement are:
- Agree on a process with the service desk so that analysts and technicians update incorrect asset data in real time when logging requests or incidents.
- Work with your Change Enablement/Management practice and agree to success criteria that support IT Asset Management. An example could be a change that can only be closed off as successful when the asset or service information is updated.
- Work with your security teams so that any security incidents are automatically linked to an asset or service so they can be managed more effectively.
As we've seen, ITAM is a structured set of processes, so checklists are essential – they help you break down each section into small, achievable work packages. When creating this particular IT Asset Management checklist, we focused on strategy outline, toolset implementation, audit preparation, and continual improvement.
To support you through the whole process and make sure you are getting the most out of your possible practice, you must have an all-round ITAM software tool like InvGate Insight. This way you will make sure that your data is reliable, updated, and easy to access, and that you can automate specific tasks when necessary.
See it for yourself by asking for a 30-day free trial and start improving your ITAM with InvGate Insight straight away!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be included in IT Asset Management?
Your checklist should include strategy design, toolset implementation, audit preparation, and continual improvement.
What are the processes involved in IT Asset Management?
Hardware Asset Management, Software Asset Management, Fixed Asset Management, Risk Asset Management, Work Order Management, Maintenance Management, and Utility Asset Management.
What are the three main deliverables of ITAM?
To manage, control, and protect your IT environment.
What are the four general phases of asset Management?
Planning, acquisition, operation, and disposal.