The quality of any IT asset management (ITAM) program rests on how well you track those assets. After all, you cannot manage assets if you don’t know where they are! The more clearly defined and structured your asset tracking process, the more efficient the management. By automating and streamlining activities, you’ll free up your time to focus on higher-level activities—after all, as an asset manager, you have a lot on your plate.

Finding the best asset management solution, however, can seem daunting. Where do you start? In this guide, we’ll outline how to assess your current process and possible solutions best. This way, you can optimize asset management at your operation with conviction in the choices you’ve made.

Step 1: Assess Your Current ITAM Process

To take your current system anywhere, you must first know what you’re starting with. An accurate evaluation of how you track and manage IT assets will enable you to pinpoint areas for improvement. If you’re currently running with an inefficient asset tracking system—as many companies unfortunately do—you’re likely to find yourself looking for assets on a semi-regular basis. This can result in unnecessary IT purchases to patch the immediate problem.

In certain scenarios, inefficient IT asset management processes can have even more harmful consequences. Consider, for example, the importance of IT for a healthcare organization. Patients depend on consistently available medical services. You can’t provide the expected level of care if critical assets are gone or you’ve spent in excess on replacements. In some cases, it could be life or death if you do not have the correct assets where they should be. Thus, healthcare organizations need high-performance asset tracking to enhance services while managing costs. The same logic applies to any industry—accurate asset tracking is essential.

The typical data center or remote IT site has an asset location accuracy of around 85%. On its face, this might not seem too bad—but in practice, “not too bad” simply doesn’t cut it. Losing 15% of your assets is simply unacceptable when that could mean thousands of dollars of equipment. And if the equipment contains client data, this could cost a lot more in litigation, fines, and damage to your reputation. It’s just not worth the risk.

Thus, the best place to start is by finding out just how inefficient your current ITAM system is. By clearly articulating the current problems, you can make relevant improvements to your situation.

Step 2: Analyze the Lifecycle of Your IT Assets

Comprehensive IT asset management goes beyond just counting devices on your network. You also must understand the complete lifecycle of assets—from when they hit the loading dock to decommissioning time.

And it doesn’t stop there. Do you know when to order each shipment, and at what cadence? Do you know why you’re ordering each quantity? It’s critical to understand that you are purchasing each asset for actual business reasons—and to be confident ordering them at favorable cost terms.

Tracking the entire asset lifecycle reveals optimal times to replace or update equipment, allowing you to pull the maximum value out of each IT asset. Eliminate the guesswork with real-time information on all your assets—whether they’re connected to your network, in storage, or under maintenance.

female executive handling IT asset management

Efficient lifecycle asset management also helps lift availability. With accurate data regarding equipment status, it’s easy to plan purchases to ensure your organization retains access to necessary equipment at all times. A clear picture of your assets and their status simplifies capacity planning.

Outdated manual inventory processes—such as clipboards, spreadsheets, barcode scanners, or passive RFID—result in inaccurate or outdated lifecycle updates (and thus poor IT asset management). If you find that you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of asset status from end to end, it may be time to adopt a solution with better visibility.

Step 3: Determine What Features and Requirements You Need From an IT Asset Tracking Solution

After looking at your current ITAM process and lifecycle visibility, you should better understand exactly which functionalities you need from your new solution. For starters, your IT asset tracking tool should integrate with other systems, like your data center infrastructure management (DCIM) and environmental monitoring.

The size and complexity of your IT environment affect which asset-tracking system is right for you. How many assets will you track? Of which types? In which locations? The proposed solution should match your unique situation.

For example: if you need on-demand audits, the system must provide real-time data. Perhaps your company just paid a fine and now wants to improve ITAM for compliance. Or an organization may focus on reducing downtime and increasing asset utilization. After determining which features best support your specific use case, it’s time to negotiate a deal.

Step 4: Select and Negotiate the Best IT Asset Tracking Solution for Your Organization

Now that you know what you need, it’s time to find a solution to match. Compare several options beforehand to make sure you pick the best solution—different solutions will naturally come with their particular advantages and disadvantages, so evaluate the prospects against your needs.

A suitable ITAM solution accelerates your processes. For example, with RF Code’s technology, you’ll never lose sight of an asset—so you can stop budgeting wide swaths of time to comb through your facility for lost or misplaced assets. Look for a solution that fronts preemptive management, as opposed to reactionary clean-up.

As mentioned earlier, you also want a solution that tracks IT assets across their entire lifecycle. This helps you streamline asset purchase planning—but negotiating for a comprehensive ITAM solution now can also position you for better vendor negotiation in the future. Data-driven IT procurement puts you in a stronger bargaining position with vendors.

Step 5: Implement and Deploy Your Chosen IT Asset Tracking Solution

So you’ve made your selection, and you’ve got a brand new, upgraded ITAM solution. Now it’s time to deploy it and put the idea into practice.

Start by defining which data you’ll collect on which assets. The more specific your project objectives, the more profitable the solution will prove.

server engineer deploying asset tracking

Before going live throughout the organization, conduct a smaller pilot test so you can find and fix any issues that crop up. It also makes sense to train staff on the new system, so they can use it efficiently from day one. Employees should know their duties involving IT asset management—so you must establish relevant policies and procedures ahead of time.

Once you have your new asset-tracking solution in operation, integrate it with any other systems your organization needs. For instance, RF Code’s open API supports integration with help desk, IT service management (ITSM), other systems commonly found in data centers.

After the initial deployment, it remains important to monitor and maintain the system. Regular attention will keep the technology functioning efficiently and securely.

Optimize IT Asset Management with RF Code

Effective IT asset management relies on a robust tracking system. You need an accurate view of what you’re managing before you can effectively do so. But unfortunately, many operations rely on outdated methods for tracking assets. These methods are inefficient at best—and directly harmful to your operation at worst.

When assessing your next ITAM move, be sure to do a thorough appraisal of your operation’s needs, and then of all the tools on offer. Then pick a solution that can deliver comprehensive asset visibility: RF Code.

RF Code offers the only active RFID solution built for 100% accurate real-time IT asset tracking, providing the foundation for next-gen asset management. For data centers and remote IT sites across many industries, RF Code’s technology more than meets their needs—it exceeds them.

Gain an unparalleled view of your data center. Reach out to discuss asset management solutions for your operation today.