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IT Asset Management (ITIL 4)

Parent Process Reference Framework: ITIL 4

Service Value Stream Activities

Highly impacted Service Value System(SVS) Activities:

  • Design and Transition
  • Obtain/build

Description

The purpose of the IT asset management practice is to plan and manage the full lifecycle of all IT assets, to help the organization 

IT asset is any financially valuable component that can contribute to the delivery of an IT product or service. 

The scope of IT asset management typically includes all software, hardware, networking, cloud services, and client devices. In some cases, it may also include non-IT assets such as buildings or information where these have a financial value and are required to deliver an IT service. IT asset management can include operational technology (OT), including devices that are part of the Internet of Things. These are typically devices that were not traditionally thought of as IT assets, but that now include embedded computing capability and network connectivity. 

Understanding the cost and value of assets is essential to also comprehending the cost and value of products and services, and is therefore an important underpinning factor in everything the service provider does. IT asset management contributes to the visibility of assets and their value, which is a key element to successful service management as well as being useful to other practices. 

IT asset management requires accurate inventory information, which it keeps in an asset register. This information can be gathered in an audit, but it is much better to capture it as part of the processes that change the status of assets, for example, when new hardware is delivered, or when a new instance of a cloud service is requested. If IT asset management has good interfaces with other practices, including service configuration management, incident management, change control, and deployment management, then the asset status information can be maintained with less effort. Audits are still needed, but these can be less frequent, and are easier to do when there is already an accurate asset register. 

IT asset management helps to optimize the use of valuable resources. For example, the number of spare computers an organization requires can be calculated based on service level agreement commitments, the measured performance of service requests, and demand predictions from capacity and performance management. 

Some organizations discover a need for IT asset management after a software vendor requests an audit of licence use. This can be very stressful if the required information has not been maintained, and can lead to significant costs, both in carrying out the audit and then paying any additional licence costs that are identified. It is much cheaper and easier to simply maintain information about software licence use as part of normal IT asset management activity, and to provide this in response to any vendor requests. Software runs on hardware, so the management of software and hardware assets should be combined to ensure that all licences are properly managed. For the same reason, the management of cloud-based assets should also be included. 

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