In any company, using different types of IT and digital assets is near compulsory these days. These include different types of hardware devices, peripherals, networking components and software solutions. Digitally stored data is also included in IT assets. Both tangible and intangible properties of the firms can be deemed as assets, as it is. Asset management denotes the methods to maintain and monitor these assets in business setups (both non IT and IT based ventures). Nowadays, most companies resort to using IT Asset Management Software. Such software applications are used to manage and maintain all IT assets in the organization. Using the software the company management can track condition of the assets and get alerts about impending problems. The software is handy in preparing reports and redeploying assets too.
How you can select the apt IT Asset management tool for the organization
As a matter of fact, there are several IT asset management software solutions in the market. You need to pick one that fits your company’s asset management needs and budget the best. Listed below are the ways to pick the most suitable ITAM solution for a company:
- You should ideally buy an ITAM solution that lets you assess and understand lifecycle of all IT and digital assets of your company. The software application must include features using which you can evaluate life cycle of diverse IT assets used in your organization. This way, you can figure out when certain legacy hardware devices need to be discarded. You can also figure out approximately how long specific software applications can be used. This eventually ensures workflow and productivity are not hampered owing to unexpected snag and failure of various IT assets.
- Before buying in ITAM solution, you have to analyze the objectives of your company. You need to have a clear idea about what you want to do with the application and in which ways you will be using it. It does not make sense in buying a costly ITAM application that has truckloads of features-most of which will not be needed in your setup. Similarly, in a large organization with extensive IT assets, buying an entry level software for IT assessment does not make sense.
- It is quite important that you check support and compatibility factors before investing in any ITAM solution for your business. You need to check compatibility/integration support for the following assets-
- OS/platform- In a company, various types of mobile devices can be used for web access and online activities. Sometimes, there can be computers running on different operating systems in the same company. Some PCs can run on windows 10 while a section may run Server class Windows OS. Even some workstations can run on Linux in such setups. The ITAM solution you buy should be compatible with all these devices and operating systems used in the company.
- Software- In any company, different types of software are used. Some of these include accounting solutions, CRM database and security solutions. Both standalone licensed software and cloud based SaaS solutions are used in various organizations. It is necessary to see if an ITAM solution is compatible with all such software solutions used in the company or not.
- Hardware devices- In most organizations, a wide range of hardware devices and peripherals are used. These may include monitors, printers, laptops, desktops, external storage solutions etc. Networking components like router, LAN card and wifi setup are also used. In some companies, legacy hardware devices are still in use. It is necessary to see that the ITAM solution you buy is compatible with all these hardware assets.
- Connectivity and protocols- Different hardware devices and peripherals (IT assets) have different connectivity and protocols. In some setup, for example, both 5GHz wifi and older 10/100 Ethernet based wired internet connections are used. In some places, infrared devices are still used. USB devices have varying standards as well. These protocols must be fully supported by the ITAM solution.
- No matter how costly or feature laden an ITAM solution is, it has to be easy to use and learn! If your staffs have a harrowing time in learning the application and using it-that does not cut much ice. Besides, it will also be tedious to train the new employees afterwards. So, the software needs to have a smooth and easy to navigate UI. The learning curve must not be steep. The software should also be equipped with a robust search facility.
- There was a time most companies resorted to using on premise ITAM software that required installation per workstation/machine. However, in last few years the popularity of Cloud based SaaS software has soared. This is better for companies that want to minimize hardware costs and keep things simpler to operate. You can also opt for a cloud based asset management software solution for your business. Most cloud based solutions are quite secured too.
- Your workforce using the ITAM solution will perform check of existing assets from time to time. However, the possibility of human errors cannot be ruled out even when a cutting edge solution is deployed. Therefore, you should ideally buy software that come with in-built notification and alert features. This way the workforce can get alerted about software conflicts or imminent hardware failure etc. Timely intervention can help in evading the problems too. The notification can be sent through email or pop-up.
- The software should be equipped with adequate report generation features. This can be helpful for the company to generate customized reports on different types of IT assets. It may be possible to create reports based on certain filters. Most such solutions can export reports in formats like PDF and CSV.
- It is always prudent to buy ITAM solution from a vendor that offers robust support. Top notch companies selling such solutions offer multi channel support including live chat, email and telephone. In fact, some of them may offer support through the top social media channels.
- You need to check the flexibility of an asset management software solution before investing in it, as it is. Initially, the type and amount of IT assets used by the company may not be vast. However, the situation will change with time and the company will have more hardware and software assets. The software should be flexible enough to accommodate the additional IT assets.
- The asset management software should have inbuilt and adequate security provisions. Most Cloud based software solutions have encryption as a security measure. It is also better if you select a solution with password and multi level authentication. Such IT helpdesk software also come with options to specify access level for different types of users. This way the network administrators or supervisors can specify suitable access levels to different set of employees.
- As it is natural, you should go through online reviews of Asset management solutions before selecting the right one for company use. In some sites, you may be able to compare their features and pricing side by side-which can be helpful in making up your mind. You may be able to get discounts on some such solutions but do not go for the lowest pricing alone.