Actionable IT Asset Management Best Practices

Asset management is as simple as being able to answer 3 questions about your IT assets:

  1. Where is this?
  2. Who has it?
  3. How many are left?

According to Gartner, up to 30% of an organization's IT budget could be saved by implementing an effective asset management strategy. For instance, a business with an IT budget of as little as $50,000.00 a year could be saving up to $15,000.00 by using asset management software like BlueTally.

In this article, we’ll take you through what asset management is, why these cost savings happen and how you can use various actionable best practices to easily manage your assets.

Let's get started

What is IT asset management?

This is the cost-effective process of accounting for an organization's IT assets through the various stages of procurement, deployment, maintenance, upgrade, and disposal.

Asset management makes it easy to track and manage an asset whether it's being used or not. IT assets range from your hardware such as computers, printers, projectors, mobile phones, laptops, and projectors, to software licenses, routers, and servers.

In smaller businesses, asset management is done by a dedicated IT professional who uses a spreadsheet to keep track of the various IT assets. While there’s nothing wrong with this method, it comes with several drawbacks.

Here’s why using a spreadsheet to track and manage IT asset is just not efficient nor is it effective:

  1. IT staff perform manual tasks that can be easily automated, instead of focusing their energy on more important activities that could benefit the business.
  2. Data in spreadsheets can easily become outdated and prone to incorrect information, so they don't show an accurate representation of the company's IT assets.
  3. Spreadsheets are laborious and overwhelming, imagine having to record who’s using which laptop and manually updating that with every new employee, and keeping records of the employees who used it beforehand… all manually.
  4. Spreadsheets carry security risks as the level of protection can easily be breached, leaving data and formulas at the risk of being manipulated accidentally or intentionally.

These are some reasons why most businesses are choosing to migrate to cloud-based asset management software. Let’s see some of the practical benefits of asset management.

Why is IT asset management important

It can be difficult to justify a budget for yet another app or software that promises to make IT asset management more effective for you. But this is more than just software that makes life easy.

It’s a business practice that provides clarity and consistency in how a business records and values its assets. This leads to optimized financial and inventory planning. Below are some additional benefits of IT asset management:

1. Provides a centralized source of IT assets

As your business grows and its asset management needs increase, having a centralized source for all your assets will make it easier to track and manage them.

You’ll have an overview of where all the assets are, how they are being put to use and whether any changes have been made to them in terms of upgrades, maintenance, etc.

Products - BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software

A central asset management repository or database will be able to give you accurate insights into the full history of an asset including warranty information, maintenance records, and photos showing the condition that the assets are in where possible.

2. Reduces unnecessary spending

When it comes to unnecessary spending, think of all the software that’s either unused or underutilized.

Well-meaning execs may have bought software that ends up being underutilized. Having an asset management software can track the utilization level of software.

How? When the time comes to renew the software licenses, you pay less by only buying seats for the people who actually use the software. You could also decide not to renew it because it's no longer being used.

But the reduction in spending isn't just for software. If a new employee starts at your business and needs a new cellphone and laptop, you can just get unused spares instead of buying new equipment.

This can only happen if you know where the spares are, and if they are in a good enough condition to be used.

3. Provides accurate accounting of assets

Keeping assets in a centralized location will help determine the true value of assets owned and their stage in the asset life cycle. This makes it easy to prevent ghost assets, where assets are recorded in the financial statements but are nowhere to be found physically due to theft, damage, or loss.

Ghost assets can be removed from the books and improve compliance. Accounting also becomes much easier with asset management software. The right tool helps you depreciate assets and update these records in your financials. By retiring assets that are no longer used, Gartner found that a company can reduce tax bills for those assets by 20-30%.

Best practices when implementing IT asset management in your business

To avoid your IT asset management software being yet another white elephant, we’ll provide some best practices to implement your software for maximum efficiency that you can implement with BlueTally’s IT asset management platform.

  1. Form an ITAM team: This can be one or two IT professionals who can champion the asset management initiative within the organization. They will report on optimizations, savings, progress, and realized benefits of ITAM to various stakeholders in the business.
  2. Define and categorize assets: Define what gets labeled as an asset and what is an accessory. Then put them into categories that you will use in your software.
  3. Record assets in a register: Once you've determined what gets labeled as an asset and you've created your categories, it's time to input the individual assets in the register. Each asset should be uniquely identifiable either with serial numbers or unique barcodes and tags. If you were using a spreadsheet, you can just import the data from the spreadsheet, but be sure to check for accuracy.
Categories - BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software
  1. Assign assets to employees: Assigning assets to employees helps to determine who has what and how many. Assets that aren't assigned to employees can be identified and tracked to their current location. This way, anything that can't be found can be investigated.
  2. Integrate other tools: Instead of using your ITAM in a silo, integrate other tools that you use in your business for added efficiency. BlueTally has integrations with Azure Active DirectoryMicrosoft IntuneSlack, TeamsOkta and other tools to give you an enhanced user experience.
  3. Manage software licenses: Track which software licenses you own, when they expire, who is using the software, and how much the software costs among other things. This allows you to create accurate business cases to either reduce or increase usage based on your business needs.
  4. Self-audit to ensure registry accuracy: Self-audits help you prepare for actual external audits so that you know where to focus your attention in terms of improvements and avoid penalties. Audits ensure all assets are still functioning according to their intended use and haven't gone missing. You can generate and compare accurate audit reports for your assets and minimize the need for constant verifications. With the right asset management software, you can even have multiple people conducting audits in different locations without the need to travel.
  5. Synchronize your employee directory: Part of knowing where assets are and who has them is having an up-to-date employee directory. When your employee directory is synchronized with your asset management software, it's easy to automatically update when employees leave and new ones get hired. This makes assigning assets easier and removes the need to perform these updates manually.
  6. Automate ITAM processes: Automating as much of the ITAM process reduces the need for manual work which is prone to mistakes. Here are some things that can be automated:
    - Setting up all the confirmations or notifications when assigning assets to employees
    - Checking in assets when employees leave are a few things that can be automated.
    Automating saves time and increases productivity. Think about it, saving 2 hours a day can lead to 10 hours saved a week and 40 hours a month.
Microsoft Teams - BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software
  1. Set permissions for access rights: Setting permissions determines who can view, edit, export or delete data in your asset management register. This creates a trail that you can use to identify who did what and when.

Key features of a good IT asset management software

At its core, asset management software should be able to do the primary task of identifying, tracking, and monitoring your IT assets. If you want a cloud-based, secure, and easy-to-use asset management software, consider BlueTally. Not only does it help you identify, track and monitor assets, but here are 3 noteworthy features that will simplify asset management for your business:

  1. Asset depreciation
    The values of your assets depreciate from the moment you open the box and financial statements should reflect this lower value. Having a tool that automatically depreciates assets increases accuracy in reporting asset values in financial statements. BlueTally uses straight-line depreciation to depreciate assets and gives you a report to get a financial overview of your assets at any point in time. No more guesses or inaccurate reporting on asset values.
Depreciation - BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software
  1. Checkout history and detailed changelog
    Having a checkout history and detailed changelog provide a verifiable trail of where the asset is, where it’s been, who has used it, what condition it’s in, and any changes made to it. This feature helps eliminate ghost assets as it's easier to now track every asset throughout its lifecycle.
  2. Asset audits and maintenance
    You can schedule asset audits and maintenance using BlueTally, which allows you to set notifications and reminders when audits are due or maintenance needs to be done. Audits help reduce the risk of fraud and loss of assets in your business.
  3. Spreadsheets carry security risks as the level of protection can easily be breached, leaving data and formulas at the risk of being manipulated accidentally or intentionally.

Done right, IT asset management is an effective tool that enables data-driven decision-making regarding your assets, optimizes asset use, and reduces costs for your business. Use recommended best practices to get the most value out of your asset management software.

Choosing the best asset management software goes a long way in making sure you achieve your strategic IT asset optimization goals so that you have better management and control of your assets. Try our live demo to kickstart your journey to simple stress-free asset management.