Fundamentals of IT asset management

Last updated: 2024-03-03

This article is intended for IT Manager.

What IT asset management (ITAM) is all about

Information technology management is one of the key support areas of any organisation, alongside human resources and finance. In order for all your processes to run smoothly, you need to have control of all your IT assets.

Basic types of IT asset 

  • Hardware, is any physical equipment. For example, computers, printers, scanners, fall into this category
  • Software are all the digital tools used by your employees to process data in your company’s systems
  • Data and information is valuable content 

Entire asset lifecycle from acquisition to disposal 

  • Acquisition and purchase of hardware and software
  • Installation and commissioning
  • Operation - ensuring the effective use of IT assets of its users
  • Hardware and software maintenance - repairs, updates, archiving, backups, functional check, cleanup
  • Renewal, upgrade or update of IT assets
  • Decommissioning and retirement or disposal of IT assets at the end of their lifetime
IT asset lifecycle

The importance of IT asset management

Effective management and maintenance of IT assets is essential for several reasons:

  • Extends life: helps maximise the life of all information technologies, especially hardware
  • Cybersecurity: good governance reduces security risks
  • Improves process efficiency: supports organisational growth, process efficiency and digital transformation

Information required to manage IT assets

Good IT asset management cannot do without good information on which to base decision-making and management. Quality information is therefore a necessary basis for the proper management of IT assets. If decision-making is based on poor information, governance cannot be of good quality. Quality information asset base is also a prerequisite and critical point for any process automation and elimination of paper work.

There is a lot of information about the property, and all of it is relevant. It is good to know why we have IT assets, how and when they were acquired. To have information on the supplier and the warranty. It is also important to have information on the current status of the asset. Where it is, who has it. What is required by legislation, manufacturer or other regulation? Are the requirements being met and how? What are we doing to maintaining and improving the asset? Information about the asset can be divided into the following headings:

Acquisition: how and when the IT assets were acquired

  • When it was purchased, warranty period
  • Documents and documents on the acquisition of the property (purchase contract, handover or installation report, etc.)
  • Warranty information and conditions of use (manuals, instructions for using the warranty, etc.)
  • Reasons for acquisition, purpose of acquisition - why and why we have the asset

Where IT assets are located, who is responsible for them

  • Where a particular piece of IT equipment is located or
  • Who has it assigned
  • Who is responsible for it

What is the state of IT assets

  • What is the current state of the property
  • What is required by legislation, manufacturer or other regulation
  • Do we have all the necessary operational documentation around IT assets?
  • Does the asset meet all the requirements of the quality standards or to function as it should?

How IT assets are critical to the functioning of your processes

  • Is the asset critical to the functioning of the organization for ionformation availability, cybersecurity?
  • What happens that stops working when it fails? What are the consequences of failure? What is the probability of failure?
  • What is the cost of repair and rectification?

Maintenance and operation of IT assets

  • What maintenance activities have been carried out on it, what is the maintenance history of the property
  • For example, when was the last time an update was performed
  • Who is responsible for property maintenance
  • What are the maintenance activities, when what was done last
  • Are the requirements of the legislation met? (e.g. mandatory testing)

When property ceases to meet needs

  • How much is left of the warranty or life expectancy
  • When it no longer meets users' needs or legal obligations
  • Scheduling scrapping and replacement with new
  • When will it have to be scrapped

Maintenance of IT assets

Maintenance is important to ensure the operational and secure state of IT assets. This is applies to virtually any hardware as well as software. Maintenance includes various activities related to ensuring appropriate to the requirements of the operation. The goal of maintenance is reliability and safety, life extension and minimising downtime. However, it can and does save valuable time and money from potential breakdowns or failures. Maintenance includes inspections, repairs, testing, periodic service, updates, replacement of parts so that the hardware or software is reusable and can perform its purpose, meet requirements and extend its lifetime.

What activities include hardware maintenance

  • Cleaning
  • Check
  • Electrorevision
  • Repair and replacement of components

What activities are most commonly involved in sofware maintenance

  • Software updates
  • Power remeasurement

Reporting IT issues, problems and incidents

For everything to run smoothly, employees, users, or other staff must be able to report issues, incidents, problems, or other needs.

  • Issues can occur through neglect of maintenance or simply occur for a variety of reasons through no fault of your own.
  • Employees and other workers must be able to report defects or problems on the property
  • The asset manager must be able to respond to these situations
  • Reporting triggers the processes of solving and eliminating the problem, and subsequently the cause
  • The asset manager then has the opportunity to resolve, analyse and evaluate the situation with the right (root) causes of the fault and, if possible, prevent a similar emergency situation next time
  • Emergency response also requires information support - both to guide work on corrective actions and activities, as well as for gathering information about the accident (incident)

See how they can employees report faults, problems and emergency situations.

  • Problems and incidents are either automatically reported or reported via the IT helpdesk

Planned IT asset maintenance

Preventive or proactive asset maintenance

  • Planned proactive IT asset maintenance can prevent IT issues before they occur

Keeping an IT maintenance logbook

All activities carried out, whether maintenance, inspection, or repair, are recorded in the operating log. This allows you to control what has been done to the asset, what repairs, component replacements, updates, or upgrades you or IT service providers have performed, who performed them, and when.

How Aptien helps with IT asset management

Aptien simplifies your asset management processes, solving a large part of your needs in one place and in one environment. You get full control over your organization's IT assets and equipment. One solution helps you secure everything related to the IT in your organization - from the inventory and overview of IT assets to the summary of used devices and software licenses used in your company.

IT asset information management and compliance management

Defect reporting - IT helpdesk

Monitoring maintenance and updating deadlines

Inventory of IT assets

Handover and acceptance of IT equipment

Compliance management of IT assets

IT asset compliance management concerns the entire life cycle, from commissioning (installation compliance with manufacturers' requirements), through maintenance (maintenance compliance, or operation compliance with regulations such as NIS2), to decommissioning (for example, ecological disposal of hardware).

  • Installation of IT equipment, commissioning installation checklist
  • NIS2 compliance documentation
  • Documentation of compliance with ISO 27001
  • Decommissioning and ecological disposal of hardware