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In today’s modern business world, every organization needs to ensure that its IT resources are accounted for, cost-effective, and properly employed. But these days, many organizations are struggling to simply keep track of all of their IT assets, meaning that devoting time and resources to optimizing them feels out of the question.

But IT asset lifecycle management can help companies around the world combat this struggle by visualizing, organizing, and coordinating their IT assets. It describes and defines the series of stages that are involved in managing any given IT asset throughout its life of being useful.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the IT asset lifecycle and IT asset lifecycle management best practices so that you’re empowered to put this framework to use.

What is an IT asset lifecycle?

The IT asset lifecycle is a process that a business uses to manage its IT assets. The lifecycle can include the creation, use, maintenance, and disposal of IT assets.

IT asset lifecycle management process: from acquisition to disposal

The IT asset lifecycle typically follows a formalized process, and these days, it is often tracked and supported by software tools that allow for automation and easy access. Different organizations may have their own unique interpretations of the IT asset lifecycle, but most follow a basic, six-stage format.

Request

Before any assets are purchased or deployed, the request stage takes place. You can think of this stage as the ideation or planning phase, and it typically involves stakeholders convening to discuss their objectives and determining which assets are necessary. The request stage will end with a formal request for an IT asset, hence its name.

Fulfill

After the request has been made, it will likely need to pass through the proper channels of approval. Those who are in the role of approving these requests will want to compare available assets that are already in stock to see if any of those will suffice. If they won’t, a purchase will have to be made.

Deploy

At this point, the right IT asset has been selected and made available. Now, it’s time to deploy it into service. Many organizations will employ workflow automations and a network discovery tool to make software deployment and the onboarding of new devices easier.

Monitor

This stage of the IT asset life cycle is focused on increasing visibility. That ensures optimal and efficient asset usage, plus it can help identify and mitigate risks before big problems occur. The monitoring stage may also involve capturing relevant data that may inform future IT asset strategy.

Service

Throughout the lifecycle of an IT asset, it will require various forms of service management, including AI ITSM processes, to maintain optimal functionality. These services could encompass ongoing maintenance, upgrades facilitated by intelligent automation, or even emergency repairs coordinated by advanced AI helpdesk systems. Whether the service is a swift response to helpdesk ticketing or a meticulously planned maintenance task, it remains a crucial step to ensure that IT assets are operating at their highest potential.

Retire

Eventually, every asset will reach the end of its lifespan. At that point, it’s time to dispose of it and deploy a new asset in its place — and then the IT asset lifecycle starts all over again. It’s important that, during asset disposal, the IT team follows best practices to ensure that the disposal process doesn’t incur future security risks.

The importance of IT asset lifecycle management

Effective IT asset lifecycle management will empower businesses with the strategies and tools necessary to get the most out of their IT assets. There are numerous ways in which IT asset lifecycle management best practices make organizations more effective and efficient. Here are just a few of them.

Correct planning

One benefit of IT asset lifecycle management is the thorough view that it gives organizations of all existing IT assets. This information is helpful when analyzing your IT footprint and optimizing the entire asset lifecycle to enhance efficiency.

Centralized procedures for cost-effectiveness

IT asset lifecycle management helps organizations identify opportunities for consolidation and enables smart procurement. That means your organization can be more efficient, cost-effective, and streamlined than ever. Instead, break up with frustration over useless IT tools & step into the all-in-one solution like Atera, where you can get everything you need in one platform.

Optimized provision

Throughout this process, provisioning can also be improved. With automated workflows, your organization can directly populate relevant IT asset information into databases while simultaneously linking to identity management systems and other relevant records.

Optimizing usage

With IT asset lifecycle management, you’ll be able to access a more comprehensive overview of asset portfolios. That means you’ll be able to map usage trends and optimize the utilization of existing assets to get the most out of what you already have.

Better maintenance efficiency

The best IT asset lifecycle management systems out there can integrate with ticketing and helpdesk systems. That means you’ll be able to generate the necessary lifecycle maintenance interventions automatically.

Safe and punctual disposal

It’s crucial to dispose of all broken or obsolete assets securely and safely. If you don’t, your business might be open to risks, vulnerabilities, and even liabilities.

Benefits of IT asset lifecycle management

IT asset lifecycle management comes with numerous advantages that can benefit organizations of any size and across many different industries. Here are some standout benefits of this practice.

Better employee experience

When IT teams ensure that IT assets are taken care of, regularly upgraded, and available when they’re needed, employees are happier. IT asset management, therefore, can eliminate major stress points for IT employees – and general employees at an organization.

Correct inventory

By providing visibility and transparency with regard to IT inventories, IT asset lifecycle management helps organizations make informed decisions. Those decisions can be truly data-driven, based on hard numbers rather than loose approximations of inventory that may end up being inaccurate.

Reduction of data leaks and cyber risks and threats

When you employ an effective IT asset lifecycle management strategy, you’re setting your organization up for success when it comes to tracking and enforcing asset policies and regulatory requirements. That way, your team will be able to identify and eliminate risks before major problems arise.

Reduction of workload and IT costs

When it’s properly employed, IT asset lifecycle management can make a major dent in the time and effort that organizations need to invest in manually managing IT assets. That means your organization will be able to save money on technology costs and work hours, plus promote effective resource utilization.

IT asset lifecycle management best practices

Getting the most out of your IT asset lifecycles involves taking an informed approach to IT asset management. Not just any tactic will lead to the best results, so it’s crucial to understand what actually works. That means it’s important to follow these best practices, which will take your IT asset lifecycle management processes to the next level.

Mapping of the IT asset lifecycle process

Depending on the asset, items will have different lifecycles and predictable lifespans. It’s important for every IT department to map out those lifecycles and any processes involved so that they can predict pain points in advance.

Creation of KPIs

KPIs, or key performance indicators, should be established, measured, and reported on so that any IT asset lifecycle management changes can be understood and evaluated. That process will help stakeholders determine if policy changes have positively or negatively affected the company workflow.

Process automation

Automation within the IT asset lifecycle management process increases efficiency while decreasing human error. Plus, it means that human resources can be dedicated to more complex or demanding tasks that cannot be automated.

When you can get the most out of your IT team’s creative skills and leave the mundane tasks to automation, everyone will be happier, and your department will be more efficient.

Involvement of stakeholders in the process

Every IT department has different needs, which should be taken into consideration when making any changes to the IT asset infrastructure. That can be done by consulting with stakeholders and ensuring that those affected by the change are on board and feel that their needs are being addressed thoughtfully.

Automation with Atera

In order to benefit as much as possible from employing IT asset lifecycle management, organizations need tools that are capable of managing and administering these lifecycles. And ideally, those tools won’t add any additional work to your already-busy plate. That’s where Atera comes in.

With unparalleled IT automation offerings, we can help you with your IT asset management needs. Our best-in-class tools, including AI service desk and Atera’s AI features, allow users to track and maintain their organization’s hardware and software assets throughout their lifecycles, from acquisition to eventual disposal. This lifecycle management involves managing inventory, licensing, contracts, maintenance schedules, and more.

When you effectively harness IT asset lifecycle management with Atera’s automation tools, you’ll be able to ensure all of your assets are used efficiently together, producing the best results for your network and your company.

Our all-in-one solution for IT departments encompasses all of these services and more, and you will benefit from all that IT asset lifecycle management has to offer.

With the knowledge and best practices that you’ve gleaned from this article, you’re already set up for success. If you’d like to learn more about optimizing how your IT department operates, take a look at some of our other blog posts.

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