The Importance of Hardware Asset Management
The proper management of your IT assets is vital to prevent huge losses of revenue from lost or stolen IT equipment while keeping in check your legal and regulatory obligations.
In general, hardware asset management boils down to one simple question – do you know where all your computers are?
It sounds like a simple proposition, but depending on the size of your company, or its geographical reach, it has become a complicated issue that has serious financial and regulatory consequences.
Let’s start with the basics. Without a robust IT Asset Management (ITAM) strategy, your company leaves itself open to theft. According to Gartner 30% of IT assets are believed to be missing, stolen or considered ‘ghosts’ because sourcing, procurement or IT asset managers fail to manage non-deployed components, spares and other high-value assets.
This has major ramifications.
Firstly, there’s the cost associated with the stolen asset, and potentially the software installed, too. And secondly, there’s the data which is on the asset which you are responsible if the theft becomes a data breach.
Furthermore, if you only have a ‘rough idea’ of the number of assets, you are most certainly losing money through inefficiencies such as having too many software licenses, too many computers and incorrect IT budgets running through your departments.
And if you have too many computers, then that encourages theft and a vicious circle happens.
Also, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) covering the maintenance and support of your computer infrastructure may also be incorrect.
Computers, both hardware, and software, are assets in the way that other purchases that a company makes are assets. From an office space perspective, your facilities department would know exactly how much office space they have and how many people can fit comfortably, and likewise, you fleet manager would know down to the last wheel how many cars, vans or trucks are being used.
Yet, when it comes to IT assets, companies are often complacent when tracking their inventory. This is partly due to the relatively small cost one IT asset, or a software license, can cost. As it’s not in the thousands it can fly beneath a purchase-order approval limit, yet all these assets add up.
A company would never have 10% of its labor force lying around being idle, so why are some companies lax with their IT assets?
In short, auditing your IT infrastructure is all about reporting and building an accurate and reliable inventory of all your IT assets. Most companies do not have the skills required in-house, and only realize how off the mark their own reports were when they are faced with an audit, a data breach or their disaster recovery plan didn’t work as planned.
There is a tendency for companies to waste a lot of money on standalone hardware asset management tools that do not meet their needs, resulting in costly manual efforts and rebuying of lost assets not tracked.
For more information about Wisetek’s services, see: https://wisetek.net/services/it-asset-disposition/