As your organization begins to grow, keeping track of your assets becomes a critical task. Although most employees can be trusted, IT equipment can mysteriously disappear prompting many CIOs to inquire about how they can keep better track of their investments in technology.
Your IT staff must embrace asset tracking by making it a part of their daily routine. When new equipment is issued, the IT department must inbound the equipment and save the serial number, make and model in a database.
Larger organizations will take this a step further by putting a unique bar code on each device that has been deployed. When assets are moved or reassigned, the IT staff will log this change in their database.
In this article, we will examine the best practices of asset management.
Decide On An Approach
If you make the IT decisions in a small business, your office may not be large enough to justify the purchase of asset tracking software.
If your business falls in the medium to large enterprise category, building an asset management strategy is absolutely essential. Decide on your approach to asset management by building a plan. Your plan must consist of the following:
- Knowing which user has a device
- Labeling the equipment before deployment
- Knowing the real time status of a device
- Labeling your cubicles to provide exact locations of devices
- Providing employees with an Acceptable Use Policy for IT equipment
If your business has not implemented these practices, your CIO should make it a priority to begin developing a strategy that helps the IT staff track their IT assets.
Inventory What You Have
If your business is creating an asset inventory strategy, the best way to test this strategy is to begin inventorying what you already have.
One of the core principles of asset tracking is having a proprietary method of inventorying equipment. Many organizations use barcodes that correlate with an asset tag number. This asset tag number references a device in a database that was inbounded when the device was originally purchased.
As we mentioned above, this database could be a sophisticated third party app that is created for the purpose of asset management or it could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Nevertheless, you will need to devise a secure method of storing your asset data in a way that can be easily accessed by the IT staff.
Specialized vendors such as MyAssetTag.com have popped up to help organizations create these tags. Some organizations may purchase office supplies and create their own asset tags in-house. Since these tags will have a barcode, it’s probably a good idea to begin investing in handheld barcode scanners for your IT staff.
Find a Home for Your Asset Data
As we mentioned above, smaller businesses may be able to get away with tracking their assets in an Excel sheet. Larger organizations may require an enterprise level solution.
Here is a shortlist of some of the most popular asset management apps on the market today:
- Asset.guru — Ready to manage your assets from the cloud? Asset.guru is a new SaaS solution for enterprises who want advanced intelligence on the status of their assets.
- ITAM by BMC — ITAM, which is short for IT Asset Management is an enterprise level asset management suite created by BMC. Many of world’s largest enterprises use BMC’s ITAM.
- SpiceWorks — One of the best free asset management apps is called SpiceWorks. With SpiceWorks, you’ll gain intelligence on all of the devices connected to your network.
Perform Self Audits
Each quarter, your IT staff should check its physical assets against the asset database. As mentioned previously, it may be a good idea to use bar codes to label each desk location in your office.
When you perform your audit, you’ll want to ensure that the devices that you track are physically located where they are supposed to be. If they are not, the IT staff must locate the device and figure out why the device was moved.
As a best practice, you should discourage employees from moving their own IT equipment. When your IT staff is tasked with moving equipment, they will be able to create an audit trail of where the equipment was previously located and where the equipment is located now.
When you commit to tracking your company’s assets, you’ll gain insight into how much capital is tied up in IT infrastructure. You’ll also be able to plan for PC refreshes and rapidly pinpoint where an asset is physically located. If a piece of critical equipment has gone missing, you’ll be able to review the audit trail in efforts to recover the missing IT asset.
IT asset management provides a win-win situation for businesses of all sizes. Don’t wait until it’s too late; talk to Wolf Technology Group today! Simply dial (833) 482-6435 or click on the banner below to request a free consultation for IT services in Greenville, SC or Atlanta, GA.