There are many things involved with the management of an Information Technology department, among them that of IT asset management. In the business world, asset management is the practice of being able to support the life cycle management of an organization. This cycle usually includes bringing together the financial, contractual, and inventory functions that work within an organization and thus the IT department.
In many cases, providing these services includes both the hardware and software in order to the department to function. In practice, this means receiving financial support and approval for purchases of hardware and software, life cycle management, deploying hardware or software to the different areas of the organization, as well as disposing of any hardware or software that is no longer relevant to the business itself.
There are five different goals that asset management hopes to achieve –
The IT asset management team are actively involved with members of the organization, often times providing education for employees on compliance procedures, providing reasons for deployment of hardware or software to that of the budget managers, providing information in regards to warranties to the IT department and their service workers, as well as providing financial information to those departments that will deal with updated inventory fixes or invoices.
Software asset management is a part of this process, as it deals with the intention of reducing the costs of ownership for a certain type of software for a business or company. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Windows 7 requires that a certain number of computers can have the software installed. This is known as licensing; the company approves of the purchase and the IT department selects the number of licenses that their company will need in order to make sure that the business is running the same software.
Currently, anyone who is involved with IT asset management can join the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, an organization that is devoted to those in asset management, as well as software asset management, hardware asset management, and anyone involved in the life cycle management for any type of corporation.
The mission of the organization is to be a resource for the asset management field, which hopes to aid those individuals in those particular specialties in knowledge, training, and encouragement that will lead to professional growth, not only for the individual but that of the organization as well.
In 2005, the IAITAM reached a total of one thousand members who were involved. The organization also offers certifications, including those in IT asset management, software asset management, and hardware asset management.
How does your organization manage its assets? Are all the critical assets mapped, identified and risk mitigation strategies in place? Has it recorded the dollar value of the asset and not recorded who knows how to use it?
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David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.