Two Misperceptions about IT Asset Management

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IT organizations these days are facing many tough challenges: cyber security, virtualization, mobilization, so they are busy solving these problems. But they are still challenged when asked a simple question, “Do you know how many active and retired IT assets you have, where they are, and who has them?” The answer might be buried in an excel sheet somewhere, but nobody knows where that excel sheet is.

 

 

 

In my view, there are two major misperceptions about IT Asset Management.

  1. IT Asset Management is often perceived as part of the IT Service Management, but they are two separate functions and require different approach. IT Service Management (ITSM) is the configuration minded function governed by change management. IT Asset Management is the logistic and financial end of the IT functions, procuring/delivering/provisioning IT equipment and in the end, repurposing/disposing IT equipment.
  2. IT Asset Management is often perceived as an IT function alone, but it is cross functional. It works with procurement, finance, and all business units that use IT assets, to communicate the policies and procedures, and standardizing the data input and reports.

These misperceptions have led to two big problems:

  1. IT organizations think they have IT asset management practices in place, but not really. IT Service Management solution providers often sell extra modules for IT asset management. With the extra module, IT organizations may have the software, but they don’t have the business processes or cross functional buy in to support it. Therefore, they don’t’ have IT asset management practices in place.
  2. There is a lack of senior level support for IT asset management. Like any cross functional initiatives, IT asset management won’t succeed without senior level support.

Fundamentally, implementing effective IT Asset Management will require the organization to make strategic and organizational commitment. Most large organizations often have sophisticated tools for IT asset management, but they still have problems managing their IT assets. That’s because they haven’t put in place the processes to support the standard practices for life cycle management of assets.

Earlier this year, we learned that the Coca-Cola, a large enterprise, mismanaged their IT assets with sensitive data. “Coca-Cola suffers data breach after employee ‘borrows’ 55 laptops.” This kind of story happens all the time, to organizations large and small. Organizations really need to assess their IT asset management practices from top down, and make a decision whether it is important enough for them to improve their IT asset management practices.

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