What is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?
IT Asset Management (ITAM) has been around for a long time. Yet its function remains as vital as ever: to keep tabs on all hardware components, software and services operating in the enterprise. This includes tracking any changes and determining what additional changes a company needs to make. In other words, ITAM goes beyond maintaining an inventory of assets to help IT management made decisions about ways to improve capacity, reduce infrastructure costs or upgrade hardware or software. It also 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.
As such, IT Asset Management helps with compliance initiatives related to security policy and existing regulations. It also guides management in its efforts to enhance productivity by implementing hardware upgrades or business software. Further goals of IT include reducing overhead, containing licensing and support costs, and detecting unutilized hardware, software or services.
Maintaining an accurate inventory of all IT assets is the bedrock of ITAM. Based on that solid foundation, ITAM helps organizations to lower risk. It would highlight situations like outdated hardware that may struggle to support the latest operating systems and applications. Alternatively, a business could use it to make the case that they are underutilizing the current hardware infrastructure due to running older versions of software.
Best IT Asset Management Software Solutions
- ManageEngine (Best Enterprise ITAM)
- Freshservice (Best ITAM for SMBs)
- Kasaya VSA (Best ITAM for MSPs)
- Altassian Jira Service Desk (Best ITAM for DevOps)
- SolarWinds ITAIM
- ServiceNow ITAM
- IBM Tivoli ITAM
- Oracle Peoplesoft
- Asset Panda
- SolarWinds Service Desk (formerly Samanage)
What are Key Features to Consider in ITAM Software?
It is important to know what features are going to make the biggest impact in your ITAM software investment. Hardware and software discovery, license tracking, automatic tracking of changes, management, analysis, and virtual server management are all important factors when choosing an ITAM solution.
Hardware and Software Discovery
ITAM records all servers, PCs, laptops, tablets, routers, switches, networking equipment, storage assets and other devices existing within the organization. This includes remote assets and mobile devices belonging to the organization. Companies can also use metadata and other triggers to track and categorize all operating systems and applications operating within the enterprise or on organizational hardware assets.
In tandem with software discovery, ITAM records the state of licensing within the enterprise and notes any assets that are operating unlicensed.
Automatic Tracking of Changes
Modern ITAM systems automatically track change management. As the business adds or subtracts new hardware or software, the system automatically updates the inventory.
This includes the ability to configure custom rules, to manage permissions, reporting and maintain scanning schedules.
The best ITAM software go beyond inventorying to include financial analysis and risk management. These systems highlight areas where it’s possible to improve productivity via upgrades or reduce costs due to unutilized resources.
Virtual Server Management
As well as tracking hardware and software, ITAM software need to be able to stay on top of the ever-changing world of virtual systems. With VMs being deployed, operated and then abandoned in a short time span, ITAM must be able to manage licensing, and detect orphan VMs that drain resources yet are no longer utilized.
Top IT Asset Management Software Vendors
ManageEngine (Best Enterprise ITAM)
ManageEngine AssetExplorer is web-based ITAM software that helps monitor and manage assets from the planning phase to the disposal phase. It offers a number of ways to ensure discovery of all assets in the network. IT can manage software & hardware assets, ensure software license compliance and track purchase orders & contracts. The company has a large number of enterprise and SMB customers in many verticals.
With AssetExplorer, it is possible to track and manage ownership of:
- IT & non-IT assets
- Software asset management
- Purchase orders
Hardware/Software Discovery: AssetExplorer allows asset discovery and collection through an agent-based scan, network scan and windows domain scan. Agents can be deployed through an Active Directory logon script or a bulk deployment through the AssetExplorer application. Also, the agent serves as a channel to perform remote control operations on workstations. ITAM teams can add hardware assets by scanning vendor barcodes.
License Tracking: Licenses can be imported into AssetExplorer via a CSV file or added manually into the application. Using the suite licensing capability, ITAM teams can define software suites with the suite components specified. Rules can be configured to automatically apply suite licenses based on the number of suite component software detected in a workstation.
Automatic Tracking: AssetExplorer allows ITAM teams to schedule scans to track changes in the inventory or detect newly added workstations at regular intervals automatically.
Management: ITAM teams can setup: organization details, custom regions, sites, and departments; configure custom rules and provide view, add, edit, and delete permissions for technicians across modules; and configure permissions across areas like inventory, purchase, scanning and reports.
Analytics: AssetExplorer allows ITAM teams to record various financials including asset purchase costs, maintenance costs, and asset depreciation.
Virtual Server Management: Not done
Additional Features: Purchase and contract management, Built-in CMDB for configuration management
Integration: ManageEngine AssetExplorer is available as an integrated module within its ITSM product ServiceDesk Plus. This enables incident, problem and change management.
Delivery: On premises
Cost: 5,000 assets managed for around $10,000
Freshservice (Best ITAM for SMBs)
Freshservice by Freshworks is cloud-based service desk software with ITIL-aligned features along with multi-channel support, workflow automation and analytics.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Freshservice Discovery Probe and Discovery Agent automatically detect all pingable devices like laptops, desktops, network printers, etc., as well as auto-tracking of all installed software.
License Tracking: You can track software installed across the organization and compare this against licenses purchased.
Automatic Tracking: Freshservice tracks asset inventory through the asset management database. The company is building functionality to tightly couple the service catalog and asset inventory. As the service request is fulfilled and the asset is assigned, the asset inventory will automatically account for that change.
Management: Manages inventory, tracks asset lifecycle changes and draws insights from asset reporting.
Analytics: Freshservice lets you track depreciation of assets over time. The supported methods are declining balance, straight line and sum of years digits.
Virtual Server Management: Freshservice can integrate with AWS to manage all virtual servers, databases and volumes in the centralized CMDB.
Additional Features: Service Catalog, Employee Onboarding, Workflow automator, Sandbox to test a configuration or feature, Gamification
Integration: There are integrations with 200+ apps
Cost: Starts at $19 per agent/month and ranges up to $99 per agent/month.
Kaseya VSA (Best ITAM for MSPs)
VSA is Kaseya’s remote monitoring, endpoint and network management solution. It is designed primarily for MSPs and SMBs. It integrates with Kasaya Network Monitor for agent-less monitoring and enables IT to view all installed applications (including version and last modified date) per system
Hardware/Software Discovery: VSA performs network discovery as well as AD domain discovery and software discovery. It discovers computers and devices on individual networks, deploys agents to discovered machines and identifies SNMP-enabled devices that can be monitored.
License Tracking: VSA allows you to track and view software license keys stored on the device, and maintain lists of popular software titles and versions that can be installed on agent machines.
Automatic Tracking: Automatically tracks changes to inventory data and identifies when new devices are found in the environment. It generates alerts for first-time discovery of new device names and new IP addresses.
Management: Policy based automation allows you to automate deployment of software, patch management, resolve issues and manage IT infrastructure with dashboards and reports.
Virtual Server Management: Management of both physical and virtual servers, as well as cloud-based systems
Additional Features: Remote desktop control, Advanced network management
- Integrated into VSA are:
- Unified Backup and Disaster Recovery
- Compliance Management (GDPR)
- Antivirus and Anti-malware Management
- Office 365 Backup
- Professional Services Automation (PSA) and IT Documentation
- Kaseya BMS/Vorex helpdesk and business management
Delivery: Cloud and on-prem
Cost: Cost per device per month varies based on tiers starting at $1.25.
Jira Service Desk (Best ITAM for DevOps)
Jira Service Desk is an Atlassian ITSM solution that offers ITAM capabilities via integrations with tools such as Riada, Oomnitza, Device42, and Snipe-IT. These plug-ins provide CMDB capabilities to Jira Service Desk to provide complete ITAM support.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Automatic discovery which also includes dependency mapping and impact analysis.
License Tracking: Yes, licenses for software and OSes are tracked.
Automatic Tracking: Provides a modern CMDB used to manage any type of structured data.
Management: Integrate Insight with Jira Service Desk to enable asset selection in the customer portal. An audit trail of all changes being made to every asset ensures compliance and enables change management reporting.
Analysis: Helps increase governance and reduce operational risk by providing complete reporting on all assets. Limited in terms of analytics.
Virtual Server Management: VMs are discovered, tracked and managed.
Additional Features: Jira Service Desk adjusts to existing workflows and agents to provide service. It offers integration with analytics tool from BI to Google Analytics, and can be used as a standalone ITSM tool or part of the Atlassian suite for DevOps, which includes Jira Software, Bitbucket, Confluence, Opsgenie and Statuspage.
Integration: In addition to integrations into the broader Atlassian suite, Jira Service Desk has over 900 add-ons in the Atlassian marketplace.
Delivery: Cloud or on-premises
Cost: A version for 100 agents costs $1,575 per month. The Insight add-on for 100 agents costs $2.50 per agent per month.
Solarwinds Server & Application Monitor (ITAIM)
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor IT (ITAIM) inventory management software automatically collects IT asset details, including system updates, server warranty information, hosted VM details, removable media, processors, USB ports, memory, network interfaces, operating system and firmware updates, and software information—such as publisher, version, and installation dates. ITAIM is offered through the SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM).
Hardware/Discovery: Tracks details, such as purchase date, usage, warranty expiration date, location, version, installation or purchase date, and latest software updates.
License Tracking: Manage vendor contracts and gain familiarity with contracts, purchase orders, and expiration details.
Automatic Tracking: Reports on asset inventory with charts and tables. Reports show current asset usage along with model number, last update dates, names of admins who installed the updates, total resources used, unused hardware, etc.
Management: Monitor and manage IT assets in one place and facilitate improved inventory lifecycle management.
Analytics: Cross-stack IT data correlation via the PerfStack dashboard which is included with SAM server monitoring software.
Virtual Server Management: Tracks virtual server warranties that have expired and that are going to expire.
Additional Features: Automatically discover and store IT asset data, Track assets throughout their life cycle, Quickly alert and report on IT assets
Integration: Complements and integrates with the on-premises products SolarWinds provides.
Delivery: SolarWinds SAM is designed to be installed on a Windows Server, and supports on-premises, hosted and public cloud environments.
Cost: ITAIM starts at $2,995
ServiceNow IT Asset Management
ServiceNow IT Asset Management is part of the ServiceNow Workflows suite that runs on the Now Platform. The suite includes ITSM, ITOM, IT Business Management, IT Asset Management, DevOps, Security Operations, Governance, Risk and Compliance and Build Your Own Apps. ServiceNow ITAM integrates with other monitoring tools, cloud platforms, serverless infrastructure and asset management software including AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud, VMWare, App Dynamics and ForeScout.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Discovers hardware and software data across the enterprise. However, mainframe discovery relies on a plug-in from Syncsort.
License Tracking: Tracks software licenses through their lifecycle
Automatic Tracking: The ServiceNow CMDB provides a single system of record for IT. The CMDB provides full automation of change management.
Management: Can automate workflows across the organization, provide reporting and maintain control of assets.
Analytics: Machine learning automates categorization, routing, and other classification of data. Also provides analysis of IT spend, ways to reduce it, and what actions companies should take to improve productivity.
Virtual Server Management: VMs are discovered, monitored and managed.
Additional Features: The Now Platform delivers a digital workplace that brings together IT service management, ITOM, IT business management to create contextual workflows and digitize business processes.
Integration: The Workflows suite is fully integrated. ServiceNow also has a large roster of companies that interoperate with its tools.
Cost: Subscription licensing in a SaaS deployment model hosted in ServiceNow’s private cloud.
IBM Tivoli ITAM
IBM Tivoli software includes ITAM capabilities. Its start center is a collection of links, notifications, work queues and key indicators appropriate to user role. The start center helps users stay aware of conditions that might require attention. However, IBM Tivoli ITAM is not a product that is high on the radar within IBM, does not receive emphasis or investment and is best suited for existing IBM customers.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Discovery tools are available for both distributed and IBM mainframe environments. They discover hardware, software and virtual systems.
License Tracking: Licenses, especially IBM licenses, are tracked. Reports are useful in obtaining license details and preparing for a license audit.
Automatic Tracking: IBM Tivoli ITAM uses a comprehensive CMDB which keeps track of all changes.
Management: Asset Management for IT offers understanding of the state of a particular aspect of the environment so users can recognize when corrective measures are required.
Analytics: Asset Management for IT key performance indicators give users a look at measurements of efficiency and effectiveness. Role-appropriate KPI graphs appear on most Asset Management for IT start centers. Additional integration with other IBM analytics platforms is available.
Virtual Server Management: Virtual servers are discovered, tracked and managed.
Additional Features: Control which users can use individual applications, and which users can work with groups of configuration items. Configure job plans and more complex workflows to meet exact needs.
Integration: Well integrated with all IBM platforms, Tivoli’s process automation engine provides integration with
- Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database
- Tivoli Service Request Manager
- Maximo Asset Management
- Other industry solutions
Delivery: On premise.
Cost: Not available
Flexera FlexNet Manager
Flexera FlexNet Manager optimize enterprise software regardless of location, from the desktop to the data center to the cloud. It is supported by Flexera’s data intelligence library, a repository of data on enterprise software and hardware which is constantly updated. This provides the foundation for making the enterprise technology decisions by delivering a complete, categorized listing of all hardware and software, eliminating confusion. Rather than being a complete ITAM platform, Flexera provides the data backbone that supports ITAM and improves CMDB quality.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Flexera provides the ability to pull discovery data from a huge number of sources. This also simplifies vendor audit processes. FlexNet Manager tracks each hardware and software asset including identification, purchasing, user allocation, financial, technical, and contractual information.
License Tracking: Tracking and optimization of license consumption
Automatic Tracking: Automatically tracks changes
Management: Tracks key indicators over time for trend analysis, and creates custom reports.
Analytics: What-if analysis capabilities allow organizations to see the impact of hardware and software changes on their license position before they make changes. Provides BI and reporting including multidimensional analysis.
Virtual Server Management: Support for various virtualization technologies (VMware, Hyper-V, Solaris, etc.). FlexNet Manager for VMware provides a product use rights library.
Additional Features: Application Recognition Library, SKU Library, Product Use Rights Library
Integration: Integrates with: Flexera App Portal, an enterprise app store that allows end users to perform self-service requests for products in an approved software catalog and manages the approval and software deployment process; and the FlexNet Manager Platform, which provides integration to many existing IT systems, including configuration management, inventory and usage data tools as well as ITSM.
Delivery: On-premises, cloud and managed service.
Cost: Pricing is per device.
Oracle Peoplesoft ITAM
PeopleSoft IT Asset Management (ITAM) is a system of integrated management processes, strategies and technologies implemented to provide control over IT assets throughout their life cycle. It increases the productivity of the asset base, improve software license compliance, streamline provisioning of equipment, alert personnel about lease end dates, reduce warranty costs and provide IT asset data for business and financial analytics.
Hardware/Software Discovery: PeopleSoft partners with providers of network discovery tools to perpetually inventory IT assets, including hardware devices that connect to the network and software licenses installed on these devices.
License Tracking: The ITAM interactive workspace monitors authorized versus unauthorized license deployment with access to contract and warranty information relative to IT assets.
Automatic Tracking: IT assets are perpetually inventoried using network discovery tools, IT assets are always accurately reflected in business data and financial reporting. When you use PeopleSoft ITAM with PeopleSoft Maintenance Management, the repository also stores organizational asset information, including physical and financial definitions, acquisition history and maintenance history.
Management: Performs a configurable rules-based reconciliation of discovered data to the asset repository after the discovery tool has collected usage data. Provides a central, roles-based portal.
Analytics: Provides reliable IT asset data for business and financial analytics engines available from Peoplesoft and Oracle.
Virtual Server Management: Tracks VMs as well as physical assets and software.
Additional Features: PeopleSoft ITAM embeds network discovery tools into PeopleSoft Asset Management to collect asset inventory for reconciliation to the Asset Repository Manager (ARM).
Integration: IT Asset Management integrates with the following PeopleSoft and third-party applications:
- PeopleSoft Asset Management
- PeopleSoft Maintenance Management
- PeopleSoft Human Resources
- Third-party asset inventory discovery software
- IT Portal
- PeopleSoft Purchasing
- PeopleSoft Payables
- PeopleSoft Customer Relationship Management IT Help Desk
Delivery: On premise.
Cost: Not available
Asset Panda is a configurable, cloud-based fixed asset tracking platform that helps organizations track, manage, and support fixed assets throughout their life cycle. It leverages the mobile devices most organizations already own. The platform also offers configurations for everything from vendor management to help desk ticketing.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Integration with Microsoft SCCM for hardware and software discovery
License Tracking: Tracks custom groups for software licenses, notifications for the expiration of licenses or need to purchase additional licenses, and license assignment tracking by employee and/or machine
Automatic Tracking: Built-in barcode scanner within mobile app assists with inventory changes; custom inventory groups and actions for tracking and transferring between locations
Management: Custom request ticketing configuration for tracking, notification, and resolution. In addition, offers maintenance management configurations for ensuring warranty compliance and tracking costs, and a help desk system for handling and tracking incidents
Analytics: Reporting tools for depreciation, maintenance costs, and overall budgeting
Virtual Server Management: No
- iOS and Android apps
- Custom workflows and notifications
- Role-based user management and security
- Automated email reporting
- Purchase orders and request tickets
- Vendor Management
Integration: Asset Panda offers integrations with the following:
- Microsoft SCCM
- Google Device Manager
- Microsoft Active Directory
- G Suite
- JAMF Cloud
Cost: Starts at $1,400 per year for an unlimited number of users.
SolarWinds Service Desk – ITAM (formerly Samanage)
SolarWinds Service Desk – IT Asset Management is based on technology the company acquired from Samanage. It includes ITAM software that allow organizations to keep track of assets within their organization. It works in tandem with SolarWinds Discovery to collect asset data. Discovery options include agentless, agent-based and integration methods.
Hardware/Software Discovery: Provides organizations with a way to discover, map and manage IT assets. It enables organizations to consolidate asset information from multiple repositories, provide real-time intelligence on assets and manage data.
License Tracking: Allows businesses to make informed decisions around licensing strategy by gaining visibility into over and under usage of software.
Automatic Tracking: Includes a discovery scanner, agent and integrations that periodically collect information on new assets and update existing asset records. The platform tracks changes in IT hardware inventory to plan migrations and projects accordingly.
- Lifecycle Management
- Risk Detection
- Ticket Resolution
Analysis: IT asset management helps organizations maximize their current inventory of assets.
Virtual Server Management: Tracks the various components of their virtual environments, keeping the details of their virtual machines continually up to date in their system.
Additional Features: Service Desk, Incident Management, Problem Management
Integration: It integrates with SolarWinds Dameware Remote Everywhere, helping to resolve employee issues faster directly within the service desk. Service Desk and Asset Management are fully integrated. Also integrates with SCCM, VMWare vCenter and ChromeOS.
Delivery: Cloud-based multi-tenant SaaS platform.
Cost: Starting at $19 per month per agent for small teams. The professional version costs $69 per month per agent, $0.50 per month per device.