IT Asset Management (ITAM): Definition, Benefits and Suitable Software Tools

IT assets have a limited lifetime and must be used in the best possible way. To ensure this starting with planning all the way to disposal, efficient IT asset management is necessary. Find out what asset management is, what benefits it has, and what you need to consider when choosing the right software.

What is IT Asset Management?

IT Asset Management (ITAM), also referred to as “IT Asset Lifecycle Management” or “Asset Lifecycle Management,” is a framework for proactively and strategically managing the entire lifecycle of IT assets, including acquisition, use, maintenance, and disposal.

ITAM focuses on the implementation and automation of asset-related processes. Using other words, asset management in IT can also be defined by the following questions:

  • What resources does your company consist of?
  • What resources does it need?
  • How much do these resources cost?
  • Is the asset still covered by a warranty?
  • Are the warranty terms expired?

Nowadays companies use tools for asset management, because without a certain degree of automation, this would hardly be possible and would require enormous amounts of human resources.

The main role of a comprehensive asset management tool is to provide centralized control over IT assets, optimize their usage, reduce costs, ensure compliance, and efficiently manage the entire asset lifecycle.

The goal of IT asset management goes beyond the simple use of technology and covers various areas of the company. When using ITAM software, the following goals should be considered:

  • Compliance with corporate security policies and legal requirements
  • Increasing productivity with tools that support user and business needs
  • Reducing license and support costs by eliminating or reallocating unused resources and licenses
  • Minimizing indirect costs of IT environment management
IT Asset Management

Important terms related to ITAM

IT asset management helps to obtain a complete overview of all relevant assets, to classify them and to use them optimally over their entire lifecycle. But how exactly do you define an asset and what does a CMDB have to do with it – we will explain these and other important terms in the following.

What is an Asset?

Assets are, for example, IT components that are used in an organization. These include hardware, software, licenses, and information required to support IT operations. To make the best use of resources and their connected assets, it is important to proactively manage and control the lifecycle of these assets. The lifecycle phases are recommended by ITIL, but can be adapted to the individual needs of the company. These phases include planning, procurement, deployment, maintenance, and disposal of assets. Asset management helps to optimize each phase of the asset lifecycle in terms of total cost of ownership and risk minimization.

Asset vs. Configuration Item (CI)

An asset is a term for a resource in a company. If an asset is configurable and has relevant dependencies to other items, it is captured in the CMDB as a configuration item (CI). CIs are the basis for configuration management to track and manage relations and dependencies between different IT components.

So, in simple terms, IT assets are components in the IT environment, while configuration items are specific entities that are managed in a CMDB for configuration management. This allows you to enrich CIs with different attributes that are relevant for the management of a lifecycle, or that correctly describe the properties of the asset on which they are based.

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

A CMDB is a database that collects, organizes, and manages information about Configuration Items (CIs). The CMDB contains configuration items, including dependencies and configuration. In the context of asset management, CMDB is used to provide a comprehensive overview of all of a company’s assets.

You can capture each asset as a configuration item in your CMDB, providing an overview of the available resources. A CMDB captures the relationships between assets, e.g., which software runs on which hardware, which user uses which device, and so on. This enables better tracking and accurate analysis along the lifecycle phases.

A CMDB also contains non-material assets such as services and contracts. These are linked to physical assets such as hardware and software via relations. Accordingly, a contract or service may contain multiple assets. These, on the other hand, are necessary for service delivery. In this way, a complex entity such as a service or a contract can be connected to all relevant assets.

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The 5 phases of IT Asset Management

IT Asset Management is an important part of a successful business. It includes effective management and use of IT resources such as hardware, software, licenses and network devices. The IT asset lifecycle describes the complete lifecycle of IT resources within an organization, including their procurement, provision, use and ultimate disposal or recycling.

IT Asset Lifecycle
  1. Planning: This is where you determine the need for IT assets and create a budget. Further preparations are being made to ensure that assets will be used properly.
  2. Procurement: You will procure the necessary IT assets, e.g., hardware, software, network devices, licenses or cloud subscriptions.
  3. Implementation: In this phase, you bring the IT assets into operation, configure them and adapt to the needs of the company so that they can be used effectively.
  4. Usage: Now it’s about the daily operation of the IT assets. This is the phase when support services, maintenance work and updates are carried out. It also includes continuous monitoring, maintenance and optimization of existing assets. Regular analyses and reports enable you to identify potential for optimization.
  5. Decommissioning: At the end, the disposal or sale of IT assets follows when they have reached the end of their life or are no longer needed.

When companies remove IT assets, they must ensure that they responsibly recycle their equipment. Furthermore, companies should also consider refurbishing and selling functional assets that are no longer needed. This can help businesses not only make a profit financially, but also achieve important sustainability goals.

What are the benefits of Asset Management in the IT?

Asset Management according to ITIL offers your company a variety of benefits – e.g. in terms of advantage over your competitors, as it increases your efficiency.

IT Asset Management as an essential element of ITSM Practices

IT Asset Management is critical to ITIL processes, such as …

A good ITAM process takes a holistic approach and captures all IT assets in the enterprise, whether they are physical devices, virtual systems or cloud-based applications.

Single Source of Truth with ITAM

ITAM creates a central source of information (single source of truth). This is essential if you want to optimize budgets, support lifecycle management, and make decisions that can affect the entire organization.

Reduce total cost of ownership (TCO)

The total cost of an IT asset is always higher than the purchase price alone. Therefore, asset operation, support and maintenance must be as efficient as possible so that all assets can actually add value to the business. By managing the TCO using ITAM software, unnecessary costs are thus avoided.

Boost automation

Automated ITAM tools are able to collect information about all IT resources and their usage in real time. This allows potential problems to be identified and eliminated at an early stage.

Best possible ROI from the use of assets

Effective IT asset management can help reduce IT infrastructure costs, improve IT system performance, and increase IT staff efficiency. Continuous monitoring and improvement of IT assets can maximize ROI and thus increase the value that IT infrastructure delivers to the business.

Know and use new technologies and upgrades

In addition to a good ROI, benefits for the business result and reduction of TCO, the company can use ITAM to quickly identify needed upgrades and bring IT up to the latest technological standard. As a consequence, ITAM can open the door to greater advantages over the competition.

License and subscription compliance

A challenge organizations face is keeping track of software licenses and cloud subscriptions. Asset management handles this task, ensuring that companies don’t use resources they haven’t paid for or pay for resources they don’t need.

This also has legal advantages, because violating licenses can have financial and also legal consequences.

Criteria for selecting software for IT Asset Management

When selecting a software for IT asset management, you should consider following criteria:


ITAM software should provide the necessary features, such as managing hardware and software, tracking licenses, creating inventory lists or generating reports.

Save costs

Manual monitoring of complex licenses is work-intensive, requires expertise, and does not scale easily. With the help of a tool, you can automate, accelerate and improve manual processes.


The software should be able to be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure and connect various systems in the company.

Improved service desk

A service desk connected to IT asset management software provides IT teams with important context so they can deliver better service.

User Experience

Good asset management tools should be easy and intuitive to use to minimize training time.


The software must be scalable and flexible and be able to grow with the company.


A good software solution provides sufficient security measures to protect the data of customers and users.

Support and maintenance

Good software for ITAM provides support and regular maintenance from the provider to ensure smooth operation and quick problem resolution.

There is a wide variety of ITAM software – from inexpensive and flexible to expensive, complex solutions that automatically detect IP-based hardware on the network, for example. It is important to select the most appropriate solution for the individual use case – whether it is a simple tracking software or one with enterprise functionality.

Our SmartITSM solution not only offers an efficient asset management tool, as a user you also benefit from our expertise and experience in the field of ITSM. But feel free to try it out for yourself, contact us and book our free demo!

IT Asset Management: a way to save costs and increase efficiency

IT asset management is an essential part of a company’s IT infrastructure. Effective IT asset management can help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and ensure compliance with security policies and regulatory requirements. The selection of the appropriate ITAM software is essential to achieve the desired ROI – so be sure to get good advice on this step!

FAQs: IT Asset Management

IT Asset Management (ITAM) provides accurate visibility into the lifecycle costs and risks of technology assets to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, financing, contracting, and procurement decisions.

ITAM includes the following 5 phases:

  • Planning
  • Procurement
  • Implementation
  • Use and
  • Decommissioning of assets