Assets are often the foundation of a company’s progress. While there are various types of business assets, IT assets —such as hardware, software, and equipment— could potentially become essential for the operations and progress of a business. This could urge companies to look for solutions that support their asset management lifecycles and encourage the adoption of IT asset management solutions. In the next section, we will learn about the meaning of IT asset management lifecycle.
What is an IT asset management lifecycle?
An IT asset management lifecycle is a strategic approach for acquiring or buying IT assets such as software and hardware solutions, as well as IT components. In addition, it includes monitoring their operations to help optimize the productivity and profits of the company. Broadly, there can be five lifecycle stages that are explained below.
Acquiring or buying phase
This is the primary stage of the asset management lifecycle, which includes gathering information about the needs of a company, on the basis of which predictions can be derived to understand whether a specific purchase is justifiable. The acquiring phase usually includes generating purchase orders, analyzing the budget and workflows, approval of orders, and their addition to the inventory.
In this phase, the purchased asset should be checked for any operational, installation, and design issues. It can also be assembled and barcodes can then be added —data represented in a machine-readable format— which can help in keeping track of the whereabouts of the asset. In addition, the deploying phase could include configuring and using the asset and checking for any other deployment issues.
This asset lifecycle management phase could be comparatively longer than the other phases as the company starts using the asset at this point. During this time, its performance issues and productivity should be constantly monitored. On the basis of the returns generated from such usage, its cost-efficiency could also then be analyzed. The utilizing phase also usually involves ensuring software compliance and managing licensing, scheduling scans, and calculating the asset’s depreciation value.
Monitoring and maintaining phase
With the use of the asset on a daily basis, monitoring its performance becomes a recurring process. For optimum performance and utilization, companies should ideally regularly upgrade the quality of their IT assets. This IT asset management lifecycle phase also includes checking the software license agreement and expiry date of the asset.
This phase is the last one, wherein the IT asset is considered to have reached the end of its productive life. At this point, the IT asset should be dismantled after the data stored on it has been erased, and all software uninstalled. Before it is disposed of, the components that can be repurposed and utilized could be stored, and the IT asset should be disposed of as per the current environmental laws in force.
What are the benefits of using IT asset management solutions?
Cloud-based IT asset management solutions could help companies —particularly small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs)— achieve increased productivity and workflow agility in a cost-effective manner. According to a Gartner report, “in order to realize the significant potential benefits of IT asset management, a successful program requires a breadth of lifecycle coverage and depth of process support”.
As IT assets could potentially require regular monitoring and upgrading, businesses could benefit by implementing IT asset lifecycle management solutions. Here, we list five benefits —among others— of such software that could help companies improve their productivity.
Helps increase cost-effectiveness
IT asset management software could help companies —particularly SMEs— identify performance issues and the need to upgrade the quality of their assets. This could potentially help them optimize performance by increasing productivity as these tools enable preventive management of the asset, which reduces the need for additional expenditure on another tool or application.
Ensures compliance with legal requirements
One of the important phases of the IT asset management lifecycle includes monitoring and disposition, wherein IT asset management software could help companies align with legal requirements regarding disposal and update stakeholders about the various types of software license agreements. This could help SMEs plan their workflow accordingly, and renew their license as needed.
Helps identify potential security issues
With the implementation of IT asset management software, companies can potentially identify any software issues that could lead to major security challenges and data leaks. The use of such solutions could also allow companies to identify any loopholes in advance or get notifications of important upgrades that could help prevent a security breach.
Allows for environment-friendly disposal
Once the productive life of an IT asset reaches the end, IT asset lifecycle management solutions could help companies identify their energy consumption and production capacities. This could also help them decide which components of the IT asset to store and which ones to dismantle and dispose of. Based on such information, companies can also aim to align with the environmental laws of their area.
To sum up
As most companies may rely on IT assets that improve their scale and accuracy of production, they should consider using cloud-based IT asset management lifecycle solutions. The use of such tools could not just help SMEs achieve their targets more efficiently, but also offer cost-effective solutions to upgrade the quality of IT assets as per the latest legal requirements and technological advancements.