IT asset managers’ job descriptions tend to be very complicated and diverse. In general terms, the role is in charge of managing an organization’s hardware and software assets, so it’s crucial to have a trustworthy professional, especially for organizations that conduct most of their operations on digital systems.
In this sense, an IT asset manager has to also be capable of handling a team of professionals dedicated to the task to achieve the business goals with its assets. But what does it actually mean? Let’s take a look at the job’s skills, daily duties, and more!
What does an IT asset manager do?
An asset manager is responsible for maintaining the organization’s entire IT state. That covers Hardware Management – including employee workstations, servers, mobile devices, etc. – and Software Management – which includes the software tools employees use, the organization’s cloud infrastructure, and other digital systems and services.
They have to maintain complete visibility over the company’s IT infrastructure and the devices they use to make sure that they’re functioning as designed. IT asset managers are also responsible for building a robust ITAM team and assisting employees to troubleshoot their assets.
To be able to do all these, they need to have a series of responsibilities and skills.
IT asset manager responsibilities
One of the basic responsibilities of an IT asset manager is to build, maintain, and regularly update the company’s hardware and software inventory. They should also evaluate the organization’s asset requirements and coordinate their acquisition.
Asset managers are also responsible for building a comprehensive asset management strategy for the organization. They need to take into account the organization’s goals, the risks it faces, compliance issues, and other aspects to come up with a plan that minimizes costs and risks while empowering the organization with its IT infrastructure.
Based on this strategy, ITAM managers have to create and implement policies for the acquisition, maintenance, and disposal of assets throughout the organization. Furthermore, it’s their duty to keep track of the assets throughout their lifecycle and ensure that they’re compliant with organizational policies.
IT asset managers’ skills and qualifications
As mentioned earlier, the job of an IT asset manager requires them to be skilled in diverse fields. Most asset managers begin with a bachelor’s in IT, computer science, or a related field, and most organizations demand around five years of experience in ITAM for the position.
Taking this into account, having an ITAM certification is often relevant to the job. There are plenty of alternatives to pick from, so it all depends on your interests, the company you’re applying to, and your previous experience and knowledge. Nevertheless, certifications will help you be on top of the latest technology, practices, and tools related to your profession.
That being said, let’s take a look at some other more general skills for IT asset managers. It’s often relevant to the job to have modern ITAM systems that can provide granular data about device status, performance, configurations, usage, and more. So, they should have good data analytical skills to make sense of that information. Since they’ll be handling a diverse range of hardware and software systems, asset managers will also need strong technical knowledge.
In addition, they require business analysis skills to understand what the organization needs from its solutions. They have to understand the organization’s long-term goals and ensure that the assets are capable of supporting them. This includes financial planning skills to understand the costs associated with the assets and create budgets for them.
And let’s not forget about communication skills! They are a must because they’ll be working with the stakeholders, vendors and suppliers, their teams, and other employees in the organization. Lastly, another important skill to have is at least a surface-level understanding of cybersecurity to mitigate the threats to the organization and its assets.
Daily activities of an IT asset manager
One of the main activities of asset managers would be to brief their team and assign them tasks every day. The asset manager will be responsible for training the team, assigning them responsibilities, and evaluating their performance.
A typical IT asset manager job description will also include keeping track of assets’ health and status, as well as taking care of issues with devices or software solutions. They will have to keep track of persistent problems and see if there are any underlying issues and make sure that their team resolves all asset-related issues effectively and efficiently.
Another regular task of asset managers is to coordinate with vendors for managing licenses (which makes them essential for software audits), upgrading assets, and performing their maintenance. They’ll also have to keep track of any security issues or vulnerabilities associated with the assets and make sure that either they’re patched on time or won’t affect the organization.
IT asset manager interview questions
As with any other position, you can expect a lot of questions. You may be asked generic things like how you handle conflicts, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. But you need to be prepared for some specific interview questions for IT asset managers because they will let the interviewer see if you’re fit for the job.
Here are a couple of examples:
- What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career as an IT asset manager? How did you overcome them? - The goal of this question is to gauge your skills and expertise. While you can learn a lot from courses and certification programs, you need a lot of experience to go along with it. When answering this question, be very specific, and tailor it to the company you’re applying to.
- What makes you uniquely qualified for this role? - For this question, talk about the specific challenges the organization may be facing and see if you can connect that with something you’ve dealt with before. If you’ve worked in similar industries or similar-sized companies, don’t hesitate to mention it. The interviewers will be trying to assess if you’ll be a good fit to resolve their challenges with this question.
- What is your approach to IT asset management? What are some of its best practices? - Once again, this question is about assessing your experience and expertise. You can answer based on the latest industry trends but at the same time try to align them with the specific situation of the company you’re applying to.
- What are your thoughts on shadow IT? How do you plan to manage it? - Shadow IT is generally a complicated issue and a struggle that many organizations face. But some experts suggest viewing shadow IT as something businesses can exploit to manage the workload on the organization’s IT. Be prepared for follow-up questions on this and if you have experience dealing with shadow IT, mention that during the interview.
- What are some of the achievements you’re most proud of as an IT asset manager? - Talk about the specific challenges you faced and the outcomes you produced for your company. Be specific, and as with all the other questions, tailor your responses for the company you’re interviewing for. If you have faced any challenges similar to the company you’re being interviewed for, be sure to mention that.
Being an IT asset manager takes a diverse set of skills to succeed, which is only logical if you take into consideration that they are responsible for the entirety of an organization’s assets and their proper functioning.
Since they have to work with professionals from various backgrounds and create an ITAM strategy to both optimize cost and meet business requirements, they need a thorough set of skills, including:
- Analytical skills
- Technical knowledge
- Communication skills
- Financial skills
- Management skills
There are many routes to becoming an IT asset manager. Most people start with a degree in computer science or a related field, and others jump right at it with the aid of courses and programs. In any case, keep in mind while applying for IT asset manager roles that most companies demand or highly appreciate real-life experience in ITAM. So, make sure to highlight these key aspects in your resume!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an IT asset specialist?
An IT asset specialist (a.k.a. ITAM specialist or IT asset manager) is someone who has the experience and skill set to manage an organization's digital assets — both hardware and software. They’re responsible for acquiring, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets following the organization’s asset management policies.
What do asset managers do daily?
They are tasked with keeping track of an organization’s assets and their status – meaning that they have to keep track of issues related to the assets and resolve them on time. They also have to manage the asset management team and assign them their tasks daily. Asset managers also have to work with vendors to purchase and maintain assets.
What makes a successful asset manager?
A successful asset manager has an excellent understanding of ITAM and all the processes. They’ll need a working knowledge of multiple disciplines and excellent communication skills.