Understanding the fundamental differences between ITAM (IT Asset Management) and ITAD (Disposition) is key to making the most of your business’s ITAM program. The two disciplines often overlap, but with larger corporations and enterprise businesses, outsourcing one part will yield the best results overall.
Splitting IT Asset hairs
Making this delineation between ITAM and ITAD might seem like swimming upstream, but there is a sound argument. In the past twenty years or so we’ve all seen how specialization has helped the medical industry—bringing a whole new depth of perspective to areas that had gone unchanged for decades before. This same kind of specialization can be made with electronic devices in an enterprise office, believe it or not. The reason has everything to do with volume.
ITAD is about disposition, which requires a decent amount of management for inventory control. However, ITAM includes managing things like software and spyware updates, which ITAD typically doesn’t include. On the flip side, ITAD handles refurbishments and similar End-of-Life (EOL) actions, which ITAM won’t touch. It’s this gap that warrants creating a specialization.
When companies roll the two together, things fall through the cracks and money is left on the table—especially with regards to potential resale revenue. By separating the two disciplines into their requisite categories, a larger corporation benefits from its size through accessing a specialization that most businesses can’t afford. But even smaller businesses need not fret, there is one more wrinkle to this concept: outsourcing.
Outsourcing specializations yields better results
Taking this concept one step further, it can be argued that a stellar ITAM department can easily handle a wealth of data that needs to be managed within a larger company. Likewise, a single ITAD department can effectively and conscientiously handle the refurbishment and reselling of EOL devices. But if there is one element that needs to be outsourced, it makes more sense to hand over EOL devices than it does the daily tasks of software updates and swapping out peripherals.
It’s true that, as it stands today, ITAD is an integrated part of most ITAM programs. However, when you see what a conscientious ITAD partner can do—with refurbishments, redeployment, reselling, employee purchase programs, donating devices, sustainably recycling—you can quickly see how taking the time and energy to responsibly handle End-of-Life IT equipment is a job unto itself, and often one that requires specific processes, software, and equipment of its own to do correctly.
When you think about it, every business in America today is in the business of IT. There’s only a handful of businesses that are not so integrated with technology that they couldn’t use an IT Asset plan. With this kind of investment (IT borders on being the most well-funded department of most larger businesses), does it really make sense not to give it the specialized, conscientious attention it deserves?
What about your business? Do you have an ITAM program that tries to handle the disposition of its devices alongside all the other duties it is meant to handle? How’s that working for you? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.