The Asset Management Challenge & Benefits to IT Departments
When IT departments lack the bandwidth or infrastructure to keep accurate track of all the technology assets under their purview, inefficiency, and waste inevitably permeate the asset life cycle, including equipping new teammates with the requisite hardware, updating needed software, retrieving equipment when employee turnover occurs, and retiring outdated devices.
When you can’t manage your inventory, equipment gets lost. New employees start work without the technology tools they need. Repairable equipment – and, often, the data it holds – gets thrown out. Out-of-date equipment creates security vulnerabilities. And, at every stage of the process, money is spent needlessly and productivity can suffer dramatically.
“If you don’t know where your assets are, they might as well be lost. For your organization, that’s a loss of the capital you need to remain viable in a competitive marketplace,” says Brian Nunziato, Director of Business Intelligence and IT Support Services at Mechdyne, a leading provider of IT managed services.
But the losses don’t end there. Even if you are able to manage your IT assets with some level of efficiency, are you doing so with resources that could be more productively deployed elsewhere? What’s your ROI in using high-priced IT talent to document the whereabouts and working status of an iPad?
REALIZING THE BENEFITS OF ASSET LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
The more knowledge and control you have over your IT Assets, the more productive your organization will be and the greater return you’ll realize from your technology investment.
Let’s take a look at what effective asset management looks like and how to realize its benefits with the aid of a partner who can provide ongoing support for the operation and management of IT assets.
Under ideal circumstances, end-users will be promptly and reliably equipped with devices loaded with the software your organization relies on. As equipment ages and technology advances, devices and software will be updated to maintain peak performance. When gear breaks or wears out, it will be quickly repaired or replaced. And at every stage of the asset life cycle, you’ll know the status of what’s out in the field, what’s in inventory, and what is in the pipeline for purchasing.
Too often, however, organizations lack the infrastructure (people, policies, processes, technology, and/or willpower to accomplish the goal) necessary to manage their IT assets efficiently. In the absence of clear processes and dedicated staff to carry them out, what should be an orderly sequence of actions becomes disordered and chaotic. Equipment gets lost or improperly appropriated by individuals. Incomplete record-keeping results in duplicate orders. Worker productivity plummets in the absence of needed technology. Individuals pay a price in lost productivity and reduced satisfaction, and the larger organization can lose vast amounts of time and money.
Managing IT assets for a large (or even medium-sized) organization is a complex undertaking that requires dedicated resources. “Many organizations that have never prioritized IT asset management find it difficult not only to institute the necessary protocols, but to develop a culture of accountability,” says Nunziato. “They benefit from the systemization and resources – not to mention the constant attention – that a capable third-party resource brings to the entire asset life cycle.”
Dedicated IT asset managers meet their clients’ needs in two principal ways: through onsite asset management and remote asset management. The desirability of one option other the other depends entirely on the particular needs of the organization, which can be influenced by size, structure, geography, the particular nature of their work, and a host of other factors.