IT Asset Management & Network Inventory

IT asset management (ITAM) is a set of business practices that join financial, contractual, and inventory functions to support life cycle management and strategic decision making for the IT environment.

The fact that the IT infrastructure is changing each day is probably undeniable. Each day new users are being added, deleted, or moving and those changes affect the IT assets – hardware and software. Usually it’s the responsibility of system admins to track and manage these assets. Potential IT issues could be resolved quickly, efficiently, and with better IT administration support, if there is good to excellent visibility into all the IT assets that exist in the organizational IT landscape – network, data centre, remote sites, user workstations, etc.

Benefits of Asset Management

To better appreciate the value of asset management is to understand how managing IT assets allows an organization to get maximum value from the use of the assets, right-size IT inventory, and optimize inventory purchase decisions and strategies. IT asset management provides the means to achieve complete visibility into the IT infrastructure inventory, helping you gain an in-depth understanding of:

  • What systems and equipment exist
  • Where components reside
  • How they are used
  • What they cost
  • When added to the inventory
  • Whether they have an expiry date
  • Impact IT and business services

This level of visibility into asset details will help organizations improve infrastructure efficiency and performance and minimize related overhead expenses.

Asset Lifecycle Management

Regardless if hardware or software, there’s bound to be a disposal or replacement date. Asset management allows an organization to keep track of when hardware is purchased, how long has it been used, whether there’s a lease expiring on the component, etc. For system administrators, it’s important to know what version of software and how long the end-users have been running this software on their system, and whether their OS is current. This is actionable data IT teams utilize to decide if they should replace an old or faulty hardware, uninstall or patch a vulnerable application, or update the firmware on the system. Vendor contract management personnel should familiarize themselves with asset information. In turn, they will know when to extend or renew a contract with a

vendor or hardware/software provider based on contract, purchase order, and expiry information fed into the asset management system. Among the many components of hardware or software life cycle management issues to be determined are as follows:

  • Drivers
  • Firmware
  • Graphics and Audio
  • Hard Drives
  • Hosted Virtual Machines
  • Logical Volumes

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  • Memory
  • Network Interfaces
  • Operating Systems Updates Applied
  • Out of Band Management
  • Peripherals
  • Ports and USB Controllers
  • Processors
  • Removable Media
  • Software Inventory
  • Storage Controllers
  • System Information
  • OS Updated Information

http://datavista.com/pdf/DataVistaAssetManagementBestPractices.pdf

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