Looking Under the Hood of IT Asset Management
Knowing your IT asset inventory is crucial to make effective business decisions and manage exposure. Yet many companies still struggle with organizing IT asset records and lack a single source of truth (SSOT) for IT assets and associated data.
Enterprises face a number of IT asset management challenges. Taking a physical inventory of a data center is costly and time-consuming. And even if you have accurate hardware records, you also have to account for software, operating systems and virtual deployments. Effective IT asset management influences critical business activities, such as:
- Asset value documentation for acquisition or divestiture
- Equipment service requests
- Asset capitalization
- Code deployment and vulnerabilities
IT Asset Management Types
Let’s take a look at some sources of inventory management and the pros and cons. These sources include:
Service Provider Contracts
Companies frequently rely on IT asset management data in contracts with service providers. However, vendors can only provide data on assets that are part of a contract and warranty assets may not be listed on service contracts.
Relying on many service providers requires a data reconciliation exercise. Alternatively, IBM data center services simplify IT and inventory management complexity.
Another way to keep track of asset records and costs is by reconciling purchase invoices, loans or procurement documents through centralized record keeping. This method does not tell you where assets are located or how they’re used.
Discovery Tool Data
Discovery tools offer a proven method to identify devices on a network. Agentless discovery tools have a centralized function that uses network protocols to communicate with devices within an IP range. The down side — devices that are not IP-enabled are excluded. Also, credentials are required for access and must be managed by a dedicated professional.
Comparatively, agent-based discovery tools require system administrators to install and manage code on each device to collect data. If you miss a device, it won’t be reported.
Either way, reconciling and consolidating information into a SSOT can be challenging. Managed services and one-contact support from IBM can provide you with one view of all your assets and help you to construct your SSOT.