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IT Asset Management: 5 Ways IT Asset Management Helps You Gain Control When a Crisis Happens

Over the last few years there has been an evolution in IT Asset Management (ITAM) as more and more companies require employees to utilize more and more devices and software to get the job done. This has impacted the ability of IT to get employees back up and running in the event of a crisis—whether that crisis results from a power outage, a flood, equipment failure, theft, or a worldwide pandemic, such as what occurred as a result of COVID-19.

The fundamental key to be prepared for any crisis is to have a solid asset program in place with organized processes and data, regardless of whether some or all of your software assets are in the Cloud. A successful ITAM program can help you understand the who, what, when, where and why of assets. An effective ITAM program should provide a single source of truth, letting asset managers more easily mobilize and deploy assets in a time of need. Therefore, asset managers have a particularly important role to play by implementing and enforcing an ITAM policy and program that puts their company in a position to respond with confidence and control should a crisis happen.

Picture this: Company A used an Excel spreadsheet located on a shared server to understand who had been assigned company laptops, used phone bills to know who had which phones, and had no idea what software people were using on their devices, nor how it was configured. Company B used a modern cloud-based IT Asset Management solution that tracked not only the assignment of laptops, but all devices and hardware, plus the software licenses, including who had access to VPN. When COVID-19 struck, and people were forced to work from home, who was in a better position to get employees back up and running?  We think Company B.

So how does an effective ITAM program let you gain control when a crisis happens?

Here are 5 ways:

Effective ITAM Lets You Address Needs Quickly
If you don’t know what you have, nor where everything is, it will be hard to address any immediate needs. A modern ITAM program, will not only tell you what devices an individual employee has and what software is on those devices, but it should also give you an understanding of configuration data, contractual agreements and other important elements of managing assets on a daily basis. With all this knowledge—accessible from anywhere at any time—no matter the crisis, IT will be able to quickly mobilize assets so work can continue with minimal interruption. The last issue you want is employees in a panic going around IT and then later asking for permission. Their path of least resistance today could be your headache tomorrow.

Effective ITAM Lets You Understand What Assets People Need to Do Their Job
Understanding what people need to do their job will help you in a crisis to prioritize assets by importance or urgency. A modern ITAM program will support discovery and self-verification, so that IT understands the needs of a typical employee, which will help to ensure they remain productive at all times. Assets can be prioritized by importance or urgency, and if your ITAM solution supports a service catalog, you can more effectively control which assets are given to whom, based on role. Business resiliency and insight through asset management starts by tracking, gathering and documenting asset data.

Effective ITAM Lets You Better Manage Suppliers and Contracts
IT and procurement will be able to handle a crisis much better if they already know where and how to obtain assets, or even if it’s more economical, permitted (or even desired) for individuals to purchase needed assets on their own. Certainly, any contingency planning of what types of crisis can cause issues with which assets, or whether you should stockpile certain assets, would be helpful to mitigate the effects of any crisis on an organization. When it comes right down to it, to mitigate a crisis, organizations have to make decisions fast so IT can react fast. Understanding your assets, the suppliers and the contracts, will help you to understand how you’ll be able to respond in the event of a crisis.

Effective ITAM Lets You Be More Proactive
Business continuity is about anticipating a crisis and planning for issues. Having a modern ITAM program in place can support the execution of strategic plans because you have a better, more accurate understanding of assets and their usage. This is best achieved by including cloud and personal assets and relating the individual to the services they need to do their job (or someone else’s). In the face of a crisis, successful asset managers have already planned and prepared based on the best available data that they have already been collecting through their ITAM program.

ITAM Lets You Manage Risk More Effectively
All assets carry with it a fundamental risk to the organization by the mere fact that they contain organizational data. Each asset carries different levels of risk, depending on the type of asset, the department, role or individual the asset is assigned to, the proprietary information contained on that asset, or the ability for an individual to access confidential information through that asset. One of the keys to securing assets is having visibility into your endpoints, the who, what, when, where and how hardware and software assets are being used. An ITAM program helps you understand and mitigate the risk an asset may present. You can only manage the risk of what you can see and know exists.

An effective ITAM program will help you win the day by letting you mitigate some of the impacts of any future crises on your organization. For more in-depth analysis, read our whitepaper, Case for IT Asset Management in Crisis. Or check out the ServiceTeam ITAM Power App.


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