IT asset management (ITAM) is the business framework and processes that joins financial, inventory, contractual, and risk management responsibilities to manage the overall lifecycle of all IT assets within an organization to optimize IT-related spending and improve strategic decision-making. IT asset management is a subset of IT service management (ITSM).
An IT asset is any company-owned physical, digital, software, mobile, or cloud asset that is used for business activities. Since IT assets have a limited period of usability, organizations proactively manage their lifecycle to maximize their value to the business.
Typical IT asset lifecycle stages include:
- Requisition. Strategic plans are made to identify what assets are necessary and how they will be procured, utilized, and funded. This stage includes total cost of ownership estimates and a cost-benefit analysis of alternatives.
- Procurement. Assets are built, purchased, or leased.
- Deployment. Assets are installed and integrated within the IT environment. Support and operations processes are established and user access is specified.
- Maintenance. While deployed, IT assets are maintained, repaired, and overhauled when necessary to extend their lifecycle, mitigate risks, and reduce support costs.
- Retirement. When an asset is no longer useful, it is disposed of. Users are transitioned to other resources, asset records are updated, support agreements and license renewals are terminated, and the requisition stage begins for replacement assets.
IT asset management is important for IT organizations because assets are expensive to procure and maintain, and they are necessary to support critical business functions. The benefits of IT asset management include increased efficiency, improved compliance, enhanced customer service, and reduced licensing, support, and overhead costs.
IT Asset Management and DCIM Software
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is often used to track important information about physical data center infrastructure. It maintains an accurate representation of all IT assets in the data center along with the supporting infrastructure assets with relationship mapping down to physical port levels and up to virtual machine and application levels.
Parameters that can be tracked in DCIM software include:
- IT asset identification and description
- Hardware/software that resides in the data center, along with their configuration and asset lifecycle
- All physical data center infrastructure (racks, rack PDUs, patch panels, structured cabling, patch cabling, UPSs, busways, branch circuits) along with their physical relationships/connections
- Detailed physical location of data center assets (e.g., site location, cabinet location, and U position)
- Rack elevation views with high-fidelity front and back images
- Measured power and temperature readings, trending, and alerting
- Dimensional, weight, and physical data/power port information of assets
- Physical relationships and connectivity for power supply and network interface cards along with capacity of all physical port types
- Utilization and capacity of data center infrastructure resources (e.g., power, space and cooling)
- 3D visualization of assets and logical connectivity between equipment
Want to see how Sunbird’s world-leading DCIM software makes it easy for you to track and manage all your IT assets? Get your free test drive now!