IT is far more than software and code. IT support teams deal with virtual and physical assets as well – the key infrastructure that the business runs on. Businesses have often sunk significant money into their infrastructure. However, few properly manage it, incurring unnecessary costs, impacting productivity, and introducing legal and security risks. Here are 5 tips for effective IT asset management.
The first step is creating a central asset repository. This will be the one place where all inventory information is stored, be it software licenses or hardware components, physical items and virtual and cloud-based assets. Depending on what operating systems a company uses, there are a variety of scans and discovery techniques that can compile this information for everything connected to the network. These tools will capture information like asset type, status, and location. This dramatically simplifies the process.
The next step is mapping the dependencies between your assets. Who uses what computer? Which computers are key to maintaining business operations? Where is data coming in, and which IT infrastructure is managing key service? This information allows you to know which system outages would have a disparate impact on the organization.
Don’t Forget About Consumables
IT management tends to focus on the big-ticket items like servers, laptops and printers. Yet smaller items can eat up a budget when not tracked, while running out of them creates problems for employees. A business could set up a storeroom where consumables are automatically tracked as checked out, and new supplies are ordered once the inventory falls below a certain level. Then the business doesn’t lock up money in unused supplies, but never runs out either.
Implement Lifecycle Management
All IT assets, both hardware and software, go through a lifecycle. They are acquired, whether leased or purchased, and then used, maintained and repaired. At the end of the lifecycle, they’re deleted, discarded and disposed of. Lifecycle management involves tracking the lifecycle of assets in the central asset repository. This allows you to better utilize your resources, such as ensuring that you don’t replace computers that will still be good for years but can plan the purchase of assets as they’re sent for repair or disposal.
See IT Asset Management as Part of the Whole System
Asset management isn’t a standalone process. It needs to be integrated with other IT processes. Tying asset management to your helpdesk incident management system allows them to track repairs and problems tied to a particular device. The process of setting up a new computer and installing the right software is assigned through the helpdesk to the right people. Issues with software or hardware can be tracked by device, OS and location, providing invaluable information for root cause analysis. Going with SysAid’s service desk integrated tool allows you to use a single product for both IT asset management and customer support.
Automate Where Possible
Automation is your friend. Using RFID and barcodes to track inventory in real time reduces the need for manual inventory checks. Automated discovery tools further reduce the need for manual data entry.
Automated report generation could dramatically reduce the time required to complete audits and meet industry standards. Nearly any IT asset management system will be better suited to meeting industry standards than a series of spreadsheets.
IT management can be a boon to IT departments, simplifying their jobs while saving the company money. Proper IT asset management will improve the productivity of your IT department and ensure regulatory compliance.