What is IT Asset Management Software?

IT asset management (ITAM) software orchestrates the discipline of managing, monitoring, securing, and orchestrating all technology assets owned or used by an enterprise. ITAM software helps IT teams manage costs, streamline and automate processes, simplify audit and compliance, improve security, and deliver a better employee experience.

According to Gartner,IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.” ITAM software is the orchestration engine that makes ITAM possible. ITAM software is selected and deployed by the IT team. Holistic, integrated ITAM software — often referred to as enterprise technology management (ETM) solutions — uses APIs to extend workflows and data flows into other organizations such as HR, security, finance, and legal, to automate many repetitive workflows. This breaks down silos between disconnected systems and enables multi-step tasks to be automated and made programmatic.

IT team at workITAM software quarterbacks many IT functions, including:

  • receiving and imaging of devices
  • ticketing and help desk
  • device and software maintenance
  • license and warranty monitoring
  • equipment refresh planning
  • security incident response
  • employee onboarding and offboarding
  • IT audit data collection, deduplication, and normalization

ITAM software plays a crucial role in service delivery, compliance, and audit for necessary certifications (SOC2, ISO 2700, HIPAA). The scope of ITAM software has grown, now covering hardware and software and cloud infrastructure and SaaS. Sub-functions of ITAM have been stove piped into their software solution categories, including Software Asset Management (SAM), Mobile Device Management (MDM), Configuration Management Database (CMDB), Cloud Service Brokerage (CAM), and Universal Endpoint Management (UEM). This guide to ITAM software will cover everything you need to know to compare, shop for, deploy and build a strategy around ITAM. The article will discuss:

  • Different types of asset management software
  • The importance of IT asset management system
  • Standard features in IT asset management software
  • How to select the best IT asset management software

Different types of asset management software

There are several types of asset management software to be aware of as you search for your IT asset management solution.

Infrastructure Asset Management Software

This type of asset management software tracks and monitors the status of sizable physical infrastructure assets managed by civil engineers, industrial engineers, and governments. These assets include utilities, power plants, dams, roads, communications towers, bridges, power generators, transportation equipment, etc. This type of software is used mainly by governments and large businesses with large numbers of these types of infrastructure assets.

Financial Asset Management Software

This type of software is used to track, monitor, and optimize the allocation of the financial assets owned by the company or individual. Such assets might include stocks, bonds, private equity funds, commodities, loans, cash, and other financial assets.

Software Asset Management

These solutions manage, monitor, and optimize all aspects of software usage in enterprises. Software asset management (SAM) solutions are a subset of ITAM. IT teams use SAMs to orchestrate the purchase, use, upgrade, patching, repatriation and licensing processes for software applications in an enterprise or organization.

Physical Asset Management

These solutions manage physical assets owned or leased by an enterprise or organization. Physical assets might include light fixtures, tables, office furniture but also IT-related assets such as computers (laptops and desktops), smartphones, monitors, tablets, video conferencing systems, and all types of connected devices. ITAM software usually includes the management of IT-related or connected physical assets. Management of these assets includes both a software and hardware component, in many instances, because the hardware is running software. Therefore, all holistic, integrated IT asset management solutions (ETMs) must include some element of physical asset management as part of comprehensive portfolio coverage.

Different organizations use different types of asset management software. That said, any organization that grows will need IT asset management software simply because all enterprises today rely on technology assets to conduct their business.

The Importance of IT Asset Management Systems

For businesses growing quickly, are in regulated industries that hope to go public, or are heavily reliant on technology, IT asset management systems driven by software are increasingly important. Generally speaking, ITAM solutions can deliver both tactical and strategic value by improving employee experience, making IT teams more efficient, improving an enterprise’s security stance, and reducing IT costs and waste. IT asset maintenance management software and IT asset database software are core components of these systems and provide the foundation for a variety of crucial IT team activities around asset management. Some of the more essential elements of IT asset management systems include:

woman using tablet

Cost and waste reduction

Holistic ITAM software delivers a complete and accurate picture of all IT assets along with their costs, status, usage rates, and utilization levels. This picture enables accurate analysis of IT asset needs and consumption patterns. IT, procurement, and finance teams can use this analysis to identify redundant spending and assets and opportunities for cost reduction, either through optimization of purchasing and vendor relationships or consolidation of licenses and assets.

Risk reduction

Properly managing technology risk requires instant answers to the fundamental questions — which controls an asset, where the asset is located, and the security compliance status of an asset. Holistic, comprehensive ITAM enables real-time lookups of every asset in the system and automated anomaly detection to trigger remediation and security-centric workflows and automated tracking of all of these factors. This can enable faster responses and investigations of troubling anomalies such as executives not logging key accounts for five days or SaaS assets being accessed from geolocations outside of the company office and employee footprint.

Efficient asset management

Managing IT assets out of spreadsheets or static software scales poorly and generates cascading inefficiencies. Modern, holistic agentless ITAM software automates asset discovery and improves data quality. This leads to more efficient management of assets, less manual labor by already-stretched IT teams, and less wasted effort chasing down assets that are poorly accounted for in the system.

Smooth employee onboarding

Employees anticipate getting all the hardware, software SaaS and cloud infrastructure they need to do their jobs from Day 1. ITAM software provides a premium onboarding experience by ensuring that each new hire gets what they need and asked for to do their jobs. In addition, ITAM software automates workflows for onboarding, from imaging or assigning devices to add records in employee directories or identity management services.

Improved regulatory compliance and auditing

Conducting IT audits and compliance checks are time-consuming, involving multiple steps and cross-team coordination. ITAM software can make audits partially automated and push-button repeatable. As a baseline, ITAM software can create detailed and real-time reports on asset location, status, and owner. By verifying compliance practices like hard drive encryption or malware and antivirus protection, IT asset management solutions can automate those portions of compliance and auditing.

Improved financial controls and cost optimization

ITAM software allows finance teams to quickly ascertain future IT asset requirements and build more accurate rolling forecasts for procurement. ITAM software can also notify and report on purchasing anomalies and drive purchases to preferred vendors.

To summarize, ITAM software improves performance across various business functions, including IT, information security, legal and compliance, finance and operations, and human resources. In addition, the role of ITAM is expanding as more work moves from the analog to the digital world.

Common Features in IT Asset Management Software

Most ITAM software includes key features to allow IT teams to realize the benefits of the ITAM discipline. Asset management tool software should be accessible to multiple levels of the organization, from CIO to line IT, support staff, and security engineers. As a baseline, ITAM software should be:

Cloud-based

this ensures more manageable and faster roll-outs and expansions and is easier for teams to manage and update

Agentless

can acquire data from existing agents and systems like employee directories and SSOs to simplify deployment and allow for rapid addition of new data sources

extensible

Extensible

ideally allows for easy extensions and integrations into other systems using well-known scripting languages like Python or JavaScript to afford IT organizations autonomy to build their systems without paying for extensive customizatio

Secure

All ITAM software should be code-audited by external parties. Cloud-based ITAM should have SOC2 or other appropriate certifications. The best ITAMs should offer a software bill of materials (BOM) that tells you all the applications and third-party services used to build and maintain the IT asset management tool.

Aside from these table stakes, core features that should be on every asset management software list are:         
  • Discovery: find all software installed on enterprise assets and classify that software by publisher, type, and license. This is the first step of building an ITAM practice and is best if it is “agentless” and covers all the subsystems within ITAM.
  • Asset Database: create an accurate, real-time database with records for each asset, including vendor, date of purchase, warranty information, current owner or user, location of asset, device or software patch status, security status, and more
  • License and device tracking: instantly show available licenses and warrantied devices compared to allocated licenses and devices for any hardware or software SKU
  • License reconciliation: maintain accurate license position data by automatically comparing license position entitlement to usage and cost calculations.
  • License and warranty projections: project license and warranty trends and predict when licenses will need to be renewed or additional licenses will need to be purchased. This is a crucial element in driving efficient rolling asset refresh campaigns.
  • License query engine: quickly find and ascertain the status of any software license under management. This is critical to avoid expensive “true-ups” when vendors call out violations and demand additional license purchases.
  • Deny listing and anomaly spotting: asset control software can block the installation of personal or other potentially high-risk software on corporate assets. ITAM software can also spot anomalies and initiate quarantines or access suspensions pending anomalous behavior or findings.
  • Spend and usage tracking: monitor, analyze and surface total software spend. Also, monitor usage trends and surface usage data in interactive dashboards or regular reports.
  • REST API: well-documented and structured API to allow for data to be called out of your SAM software and shared with or imported into external systems.
Solution Overview
Enterprise Technology Management Solution Overview
Learn more about Oomnitza’s approach to providing  a single pane view across your entire IT estate.

More advanced ITAM solutions deliver more robust integration capabilities, including:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Cloud infrastructure license monitoring and management: Monitor license and asset usage of cloud infrastructure running on Amazon AWS, Google Compute Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
  • SaaS license management: Manages and tracks SaaS licenses for major online solutions like Zoom, Adobe Creative Cloud, DocuSign, Zoom, G-Suite, Microsoft O365, and Salesforce.
  • SSO connections: Leverages common SSOs such as Okta and Ping Identity and employee directory software such as Azure AD and G Suite to automate workflows for provisioning and usage analysis
  • ERP and finance tool integrations: out-of-the-box integration with finance platforms such as NetSuite and Oracle ERP to enable quick analysis and comprehensive views of IT spend for finance teams

Why Oomnitza is the Best IT Asset Management Software

The best IT asset management software should be versatile, agile, and extensible. Ideally, the best IT asset management software is not overwhelming for smaller, fast-growing companies, such as pre-IPO startups, but is also appropriate for the world’s largest enterprises. Oomnitza is a modern and holistic IT asset management solution that includes ITAM software that is extensible, easy to use, and deploys in days. In addition, Oomnitza is agentless and has a unique mixture of usability, power, integrations, and agility. Specific features and benefits that make Oomnitza the best IT asset management software include:

  • Complete IT asset lifecycle management – Oomnitza covers the full spectrum from planning and purchasing to imaging and assigning to maintenance and refresh to disposition. Oomnitza enhances asset receiving by offering labor-saving features like populating asset data via vendor API to onboarding to servicing and refresh to retirement of software license information. Oomnitza can manage all four major IT classes – hardware, software, cloud infrastructure, and SaaS
  • Agentless – Oomnitza deploys an agentless architecture that discovers existing agents and acquires data collected by various IT asset subsystems without installing new agents on devices or assets
  • Highly accurate – Oomnitza automatically acquires and dedupes all asset data to provide an accurate real-time view of assets managed, including owner, location, history, security status, and encryption or patch status.
  • Holistic Integration – Oomnitza is designed to work as an overlay atop other ITAM and SAM systems, SSOs, and directories. Oomnitza automatically discovers, integrates, and reconciles the data from existing systems into a single “golden” database.
  • Ease of deployment and use – IT teams can deploy Oomnitza SAM in a matter of days with no coding and no significant configuration changes required. Once deployed, Oomnitza’s intuitive UX makes it simple for non-technical users to query the SAM database and construct automated workflows.
  • Platform agnostic – Oomnitza works equally well to track all types of assets, including hardware, software, cloud infrastructure, and SaaS. It also works on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS systems.
  • Extensible – Aside from dozens of built-in connectors, Oomnitza’s API is Python-based and easy to extend into other systems that have their own REST APIs
  • Native mobile / tablet applications – Oomnitza’s SAM module simplifies life both for IT specialists and employees with native apps that allow IT support teams to provide check-ins and service startup lookups at the employee’s desk.

Some of the more advanced features of Oomnitza SAM include:

  • Automated data mapping: Oomnitza ITAM software maps data fields to generate flexible schemas and create a single source of truth for all asset data. It also allows for the easy inclusion of new data sources, asset types, and fields.
  • Bi-directional data syncing – Oomnitza provides bi-directional data syncing between the Oomnitza platform and other applications, including employee directories and SSOs, ERPs, lower-level asset tracking and discovery systems, HRIS systems, ticketing and ITSM systems, and security systems.
  • Pre-made dashboards and KPIs – Oomnitza includes pre-configured dashboards that automatically create detailed reports on KPIs and goal monitoring. Users can create new reports and dashboards based on their roles with simple filtering menus. Every query can also be saved as a report with a few clicks.
  • Pre-configured connectors – Oomnitza’s includes dozens of pre-built integrations, integrating with dozens of systems including Jira, Zendesk, NetSuite, JAMF, Microsoft InTune, Tanium, Salesforce, and many more.
  • Automated WYSIWYG workflows – Oomnitza lets anyone create multi-step workflows with drag-and-drop ease across multiple systems in different business functions to automate or enforce processes