Enterprise asset management, or EAM, is software that manages the entire lifecycle of an organization’s technology assets and infrastructure, from purchase to onboarding through maintenance and replacement. Modern EAM delivers a holistic view of the lifecycle of all assets to stakeholders through intelligent dashboards and reports and enables IT teams to automate key management processes with workflows.
EAM and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have key differences. The primary one is the difference in scope. CMMS has a far more limited scope, although it overlaps directly with one portion of what EAM does. CMMS is focused on organizing and managing IT asset maintenance during the operational part of an asset’s life. CMMS is used starting at deployment until the retirement of an asset. CMMS is generally not used for the maintenance of software, SaaS, or cloud infrastructure assets. All of the capabilities of CMMS are contained inside of what a holistic and fully integrated EAM also can do. The biggest difference, then, is that EAM delivers management and analytical capabilities over the entire lifecycle of the asset from procurement through disposition as well as many support capabilities around auditing, compliance, and security. More specifically:
Enterprise asset management is important for multiple reasons across multiple departments. EAM is broadly critical because it streamlines and improves essential asset management capabilities. With EAM, an enterprise can more easily manage, track, assess, manage, optimize, visualize and analyze asset life cycles, utilization rates, security, and compliance. With a properly equipped enterprise asset management software solution, IT teams can more easily fulfill almost any of their core functions. For organizations seeking to effect a digital transformation and move to a more agile way of doing business, a solid, holistic and modern EAM that provides a single integrated view for managing all asset types including hardware, software, SaaS and cloud infrastructure is the glue that allows the CFO, CIO, CTO and CISO to all be on the same page and transform the workflows of their business from analog to digital. More specifically:
Modern holistic integrated and extensible EAM offers a wide variety of benefits. Enterprise asset management benefits include:
By ensuring all assets operated are monitored, maintained, secured and analyzed, enterprise asset management can both minimize risks and costs and optimize business value. EAM software might alert IT teams that one type of laptop or workstation is showing an unusual amount of repairs. Or an EAM system might alert an information security team when certain assets are logging onto corporate networks or standing up in public clouds without proper security tools in place. EAM is a powerful cost control by automating the purchasing and procurement supply chain to reduce over-purchasing and to provide greater visibility into all the assets in an enterprise, including stranded assets or assets in purgatory for compliance reasons.
Enterprise Asset Management best practices are not that different from best practices for researching any other important technology purchase. IT teams seeking to adopt new EAM systems may wish to take the following steps: