How To Navigate the Top Challenges of IT Asset Management

April 24 - 2024

As organizations undergo digital transformation, they must manage a growing number of devices and applications. Meanwhile, data has become the most valuable asset for many companies — requiring careful management to extract accurate insights and ensure information security. 

IT departments must effectively handle their software, hardware, and data assets to support new initiatives and long-term business objectives. However, IT asset management (ITAM) is more than getting applications and devices to the hands of your employees. So, what do IT leaders need to know to cover all the bases? 

Let’s explore the consequences of poor ITAM, the top challenges organizations must navigate, and how to create a robust ITAM framework to optimize your IT investment. 

Consequences of Poor IT Asset Management 

The results of an ineffective ITAM strategy can be far-reaching: 

  • Confusion and inefficiency: Lack of clarity about IT assets' status, location, and condition may cause inefficient asset utilization. 

  • Wastage: Without proper ITAM, organizations may purchase unnecessary software or hardware or overspend on licenses.  

  • Security risks: Outdated software, unpatched systems, shadow IT, or unknown assets can become targets for cyber threats like malware, hacking, or data exfiltration. 

  • Breach of licensing agreements: Failure to accurately track software licenses may result in audits, penalties, and legal consequences.  

  • Consumption gap: Mismatches in the demand for IT resources and their availability or allocation may impact productivity. 

  • Regulatory compliance issues: Failing to adhere to regulatory requirements and industry standards or provide audit trails may result in fines and legal actions. 

  • Operational downtime: Unexpected breakdowns or failures of critical IT assets can lead to costly disruptions and downtime. 

  • Frustrating employee experience: Not having access to the right tools may impact employee satisfaction and your ability to retain talent. 

  • Reputation damage: Data breaches, downtime, lawsuits, etc., may diminish customer, partner, and stakeholder trust. 

 

amount organizations spent oer the past three years on audits by software vendors

Amount organizations spent over the past three years on audits by software vendors. 

Source: Flexera 

Top ITAM Challenges: Software, Hardware, and Data 

Holistic ITAM must cover all IT assets — software, hardware, and data — each with unique challenges as technologies and regulations evolve. 

Software Asset Management (SAM): More Than Counting Licenses 

Effective SAM must transform existing processes to enhance transparency and optimize resource utilization. However, many organizations fail to implement policies to assess their procedures and address inefficiencies. 

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Cookie-cutter SAM processes often fail to meet a company’s unique requirements, a lack of data insights impedes continuous improvement, and poor visibility into software assets (e.g., licenses, installations, and usage) hamper accurate decision-making and compliance efforts. 

Organizations that don’t have a centralized license entitlement management system to analyze and manage usage rights from various software vendors may face challenges in aligning license procurement and retirement processes with their needs and budgets. 

Moreover, some companies fail to implement accurate and granular cloud service monitoring. As a result, they often fail to optimize cloud service configurations and license allocations to support with business requirements and maximize their investments. 

Hardware Asset Management (HAM): A Moving Target 

Managing hardware assets (e.g., laptops and smartphones) is even more complex than tracking software licensing and usage. For example, we can scan a network remotely to determine inventory and consumption patterns with 95% accuracy. On the other hand, the hands-on nature of hardware asset management makes it more costly and less scalable.  

Unlike software, hardware is constantly in flux. Keeping a baseline inventory is difficult because employees frequently trade, upgrade, or lose devices. Even if you can establish a baseline, you must create a dynamic repository that syncs with data sources in real time to gain relevant and actionable insights. 

Additionally, few IT teams or service providers have the boots on the ground to support a distributed workforce or the capabilities to handle the entire asset lifecycle, from acquisition and identification to safe and responsible disposal. It’s also challenging to manage and monitor numerous physical touchpoints, each of which can be a security and compliance weak link. 

blog 1 graphicData Management: A Hard-to-Wrangle Business Necessity 

Data security has become more complex by the day, while an increasingly diverse ecosystem means you’re more likely to be exposed to sophisticated threats. Yet, data is the lifeblood of many business processes, and protecting your customer and business-critical information is no longer an option. 

Meanwhile, data analytics from your IT processes can help you avoid violating software contracts, which may lead to audits, legal consequences, and hefty penalties. The insights also help you identify where you’re spending your budget and where redundancy creates wastage to curb overspending and underutilization.

blog 1 graphic 4

Access to data is just the first step. You must also have the ability to turn the information into actionable insights. Unfortunately, many companies invest in Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) like ServiceNow to connect IT processes and data but fail to support adoption — spending a lot of money without achieving the desired outcomes. 

Augment ITAM with a Comprehensive Framework 

A comprehensive ITAM framework provides a systematic approach to improve performance, security, and productivity while reducing costs and improving budgeting accuracy. Here at Compugen, we help our clients implement a proven framework with these critical components: 

  1. Scope: Define process purpose, goals, and capabilities. 

  2. Policies: Establish process policies, standards, and conceptual models. 

  3. Processes: Design workflows and procedures. 

  4. People: Define organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities. 

  5. Controls: Identify and measure metrics for continuous improvement. 

  6. Technologies: Implement the right tools and support user adoption. 

To ensure the success of the framework, we address three tiers of dependencies during implementation: 

Tier 1: Trustworthy data on asset inventory, including hardware, software, applications, operation, information, and identification. 

Tier 2: Controls and sustainment for asset lifecycle management to support planning, acquisition, operation, verification, and disposition. 

Tier 3: Financial and operational integration and automation to improve cost efficiency, reduce compliance risks, and improve service quality to achieve the desired outcomes. 

Redefine Your IT Experience with Modern ITAM 

In today’s complex IT landscape, organizations must implement a holistic ITAM strategy to control costs, ensure compliance, close consumption gaps, and maximize their ROI. However, finding a technology partner with all the capabilities under one roof to create synergies and efficiencies while eliminating blind spots is challenging.  

Consulting firms give you a strategy on paper and say, Good luck with that.” Meanwhile, most IT service vendors don't have the capabilities to create a strategic plan that aligns with your business requirements or handle complex hardware lifecycle management. 

Compugen delivers a truly end-to-end ITAM solution thanks to our broad range of expertise and outcome-aligned capabilities. We analyze your challenges, map your workflows, create a comprehensive ITAM strategy, and provide implementation support on all aspects, including hardware, software, and data, to help you achieve your business objectives. 

Learn more about our ITAM Advisory Service  to see how we can help you achieve long-term success.  

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