What is IT Asset Management? Well, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) currently in its 4th iteration (version 4) describe the Best Practices on IT Asset Management (ITAM) as “…the process of ensuring an organization’s assets is accounted for, deployed, maintained, upgraded and disposed of when the times comes.”
Look back at the various stages that an IT Asset will go through (see diagram below). How does an organization “Account for” its IT Asset is part and parcel of the day-to-day management and usage of it.
Source: Symphony Summit Asset Life Cycle
So, in simple terms, there is an IT Asset Life Cycle where we ensure that all IT Assets go through the various phases to ensure it provides a usefulness to the organization by being. a) Accounted For b) Deployed c) Maintained d) Upgraded e) Disposed
For today, we will dive into the “Accounted for” phase for IT Asset Management. Typically, the question of “Do we know what we have for all IT Asset within the organization?” is a trick question to ask? Reasons being as there are multiple functional teams (e.g., Procurement, Finance, IT, Users, Business Units) all have a hand in handling IT Asset. However, the line of Accountability and Responsibility at times are not well defined and when Leadership Team or Auditors ask the question “Do we know what we have for all the IT Asset within the organization?” can turn into a finger pointing exercise among the various teams.
If we are to ensure that we have a clear definition of who is to do what, when, where, how, why, and who? We should start with a simple RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) Table for IT Asset Management to outline who is Accountable, who is Responsible for, who should be Consulted and who should be Informed.
Once you have agreed and defined with the various functional teams on the RACI table for IT Asset Management. You should next move onto defining an IT Asset Policy, then IT Asset Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be used on the ground.
In your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), you need to include various controls on how the IT Asset is accountable for? It should tell you who is assigned what, where are the IT assets now, what is in the IT assets, the usefulness (life span) of the IT assets, and many more.
Can we start with a simple Excel Spreadsheet for IT Asset tracking? For less than 100 items, yes that would be a good choice of tool. However most Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) these days do have more than 100 items to track and account for. Think of all the IT Assets including Hardware (Laptop, Desktop, Tablet, Smart Phone and others), Software (Operating system, Application, Database and others), Network devices, Servers, Printers, and etc.
Therefore, we must have a systematic way to manage, track and account for them would be a necessity in today’s business environment. Also establishing an internal process where you do audit check to ensure the said items ownership and existence is also key.
So, if you need a little bit of guidance and help in this area, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or via our chat. Our team are ready to engage to help and guide you to get started.