There are few things that could conceivably be more important for many organisations today, than ensuring they have responsible and effective measures in place for the management of their IT infrastructure.
After all, such infrastructure is not only integral to powering a business’s products, services and growth. That’s because it also consists of a broad range of both tangible and intangible items that an organisation needs to keep track of, deploy, maintain, upgrade, and eventually dispense with.
Ineffective IT asset management practices could therefore – at best – compromise your organisation’s ability to realise its objectives, and at worst, imperil its very existence.
The definition of IT asset management
When we use the term “IT assets”, we are referring to the complete range of hardware and software elements that make up a business’s IT infrastructure. That will include, then, not only the likes of servers, routers, desktop computers, laptops and mice, but also the many both specialised and general software platforms that are likely to need to be assessed, upgraded and replaced over time.
IT asset management then, is not a one-off task of determining what exact assets an organisation has, and their number and location. It is also about – in an acknowledgement that any given IT asset has a finite period of use – proactively managing the company’s entire inventory, and making decisions across the lifecycle of each and every asset.
Why is IT asset management important?
Imagine, for the moment, what the situation would be in your workplace and across your physical sites, if your organisation operates multiple sites or premises and you were operating without any formal means of IT asset management at all. The chances are that chaos would reign, bringing with it mistakes, inefficiency and waste that would hamper your organisation’s efforts to optimise its day-by-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month operations.
The current circumstances may well have contributed to this in that you may not be operating across multiple sites, but with staff having to – or choosing to – work remotely from home, equipment to help them continue in their roles is now spread far and wide.
Perhaps, as tradition would have it, you’re using spreadsheets or other informal means of keeping track of IT assets. However, your organisation would still be hamstrung by the lack of a single, centralised location for maintaining up-to-the-minute data on its assets, and relying on every remote worker or every site maintaining those records when its convenient for them to do so.
This, in turn, would act as a drag on your organisation. The lack of a clear, universally accessible overview of your company’s IT asset infrastructure would likely mean key decision-makers lacking the information they need to make the right choices for your business. This would probably lead to higher costs over time, due to unnecessary purchases being made, all while other elements of your IT infrastructure that require attention are neglected – right up until a point of crisis.
Even if you decided to employ someone with the specific responsibility of keeping an eye on your IT assets, would you not prefer to devote your resources to the employment of someone who could spend more time and energy on your core business? If there is any way of minimising the need for manual human intervention and allowing a proven system to undertake much of this work, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
What are the benefits of IT asset management to you and your business?
So, you will now be more informed on the challenges and difficulties that can arise when an organisation lacks well-optimised arrangements for managing its IT assets. But what are the potential rewards if you do achieve effective an efficient IT asset management?
Here are just a few..
- Being able to access a single source of truth. As we touched on above, some businesses may have formalised or have a relatively informal means of IT asset management already in place. However, this may be rather disorganised, being handled by different people in different ways across different locations. Replacing these ‘ad hoc’ arrangements with a single, central system – accessible to everyone – helps ensure every employee always has access to the most accurate and up-to-date information on the state of IT infrastructure across the organisation. Good IT asset management, then, can help bring vital order and efficiency to this crucial aspect of your company’s operations.
- Making better use of existing assets while minimising waste. The proactive management of your organisation’s IT assets will help ensure that everyone under your business’s umbrella knows exactly what hardware and software is available and in use on your sites and which hardware and software isn’t. This, in turn, allows your personnel to optimise their use of existing IT assets that they may not have previously been aware of. It also enables informed decisions to be made on the removal of assets that are no longer relevant or in use, while helping to prevent unnecessary purchases.
- Achieving contractual, legal and regulatory compliance. The exact legislation and regulation to which your organisation is subject to will naturally depend on its specific industry. Almost regardless of this, though, a well-refined process or IMS (integrated management system) for IT asset management will make it easier for your company to keep track of, and meet, its obligations in this regard. As a consequence, it will help you avoid fines, penalties and the other potential adverse impacts of any breaches. In direct opposition to this, it may also help your organisation gain accreditation with sector bodies that will prove invaluable to you.
- Bolstering productivity without compromising reliability. As stated above, your company’s IT assets are not just your laptops and mice. Indeed, as digital transformation permeates businesses of all sizes and sectors, it becomes an ever-more pressing priority to also track and maintain the software platforms and services that your organisation may be constantly bringing online. It’s all about giving your company much-improved visibility of its entire IT infrastructure, so that your personnel can make decisions and implement them quickly, helping to improve productivity without a detrimental effect on reliability.
How IT asset management software can help
If you would like to unlock the widely recognised benefits of streamlined and effective IT asset management, an increasingly obvious answer is emerging for this quandary: investing in dedicated asset management software.
A platform like Vision Pro can enable you to do away with hard copy spreadsheets or whatever other flawed and inefficient arrangements you might currently have in place for IT asset management at your company. It will allow you to save time, money and labour compared to older and increasingly outdated asset management practices, by providing a clear overview of your assets, their location and their condition.
With its features including – but by no means limited to – an easy-to-use interface, the ability to upload documents and guides and assign maintenance and expiry dates, and asset tagging using Vision-tag (RFiD or Near Field Communication) technology, Vision Pro is a complete solution for the 2020s.
For more information about what the Vision Pro software could do to revolutionise your business’s IT asset management processes, please do not hesitate to call one of our specialist advisors today. When you do so, you will also be able to book a demonstration, which will help give you an even more in-depth appreciation of its functionality and the impact it could have at your organisation.