When it comes to IT asset management (ITAM), there are two approaches you can take. There’s reactive IT asset management, where issues are discovered and handled after they have already occurred – a virus that is located and removed after it has damaged systems, software licenses that are reconciled with contracts after unauthorized usage has been detected during an IT audit, or asset disposal and acquisition decisions that are not in line with asset utilization.
Legacy IT asset management systems only allow companies to manage assets in this way. They’re little more than advanced reporting engines that deliver raw, historical asset information as-is. This data is only valuable if the user knows exactly what to look for, and how to interpret it, and what action to take. For example, a software inventory report may also include drivers, patches, service packs, and updates (which can account for as much as 50 percent of all software assets). This makes it challenging to distinguish between those and the actual titles owned, which can hinder effective software asset management. The reactive approach relays on the user to interpret the data and make a decision or take action.
Proactive IT Asset Management
With Proactive IT asset management, asset inventory is constantly analyzed by the system in an effort to “make sense” out of all the data and come up with recommendations on ways to optimize asset utilization and reduce risks to the business. With the proactive approach, threats and risks are detected and flagged long before they cause problems. Many of the next-generation IT asset management solutions, particularly those that are software-as-a-service (SaaS) based enable truly proactive tracking and management of technologies throughout their lifecycle.
What makes proactive IT asset management so much more effective? Moving from legacy enterprise software tools to a more proactive approach through the use of SaaS ITAM can:
- Increase IT staff productivity by dynamically transforming raw asset data into the intelligence they need to maximize asset ROI
- Reduce the total cost of technology ownership by providing insight that can help optimize asset performance, allocation, and utilization
- Eliminate the extensive administration and maintenance required to support legacy IT asset management solutions
Unlike legacy IT asset management systems, which lack the needed functionality, next-generation IT asset management software can help IT professionals make sense of the massive volumes of asset inventory that exist across their network. So, they can focus on important issues, and the actions required to resolve them.
For example, next-generation IT asset management software will:
- Dynamically analyze computer inventory and software inventory and exclude system files and other irrelevant information from software reports, enabling more precise software license compliance by showing only actual applications installed on end user PCs.
- Provide asset audit reports including a history of all modifications and changes to the asset, making it easier to troubleshoot and repair support requests.
- Deliver in-depth analysis of asset inventory, so potential problems can be immediate detected and brought to the attention of the appropriate stakeholders.
- Detect risks and illegal software existing in the asset inventory and provide tools to mitigate these risks from the network.