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Asset Management For Improved Asset Performance

Asset Management Done Early is Done Best

If you've ever taken some long looks at your company's IT software and hardware inventories, then you know just how daunting a task it can be to track and manage every IT asset your company owns and uses to run its business. You may have a multitude of employees, several physical locations, and all the complexities of mobile devices, portable laptop computers and equipment located in the home offices of remote workers.

Well, misery loves company and your not alone. Even the big guys sometimes have trouble managing their assets. The federal government has been working to consolidate many of its data centers. The government defines a data center as a room larger than 500 square feet that's used for data processing, and which also adheres one of the Tier 1 through 4 classifications of The Uptime Institute. The consolidation plan is designed to save energy, decrease costs, improve data security and lower carbon emissions.

Unexpectedly though, the government got a surprise when its data center inventory was taken. Originally, agencies believed they had 1,100 data centers among them based on the government's definition. But a more thorough IT audit found a total of 2,094 data centers that fit those criteria.

Try explaining something like that to your CEO. So what can your business learn from this? Well, to start, be happy that your consolidation and asset management processes are likely not nearly as cumbersome as the government's.

Next, ask yourself a few questions:

Do you know the exact location of all company equipment and software? Do you know the serial numbers, suppliers and custodians for each asset? Do you know if the asset is fully depreciated, or still has financial life on the books? Do you have the maintenance records for the asset?

Have you seriously considered paring down some of your IT equipment, via server consolidation, data center consolidation or office mergers? To implement an asset strategy, you first have to know your baseline so you can accurately reach your goals.

There are plenty of asset management and IT inventory systems to efficiently track all of your company's IT assets and inventory. Are you still keeping those records on paper files or in Excel spreadsheets? Hey, it's time to join the modern ages and put it all in a more fluid and reportable format so you can track it and manage it more effectively.

Popular asset management systems include Lansweeper Network Inventory, Altiris Inventory from Symantec Corp. and SysAid Asset Management from SysAid Technologies Ltd. Many others also exist, from a wide range of vendors and several open source software applications are seeing increased adoption.

The more you know about your IT assets, the easier it is to maintain your technology equilibrium from your data centers to the servers, software and every other piece of hardware in your business. The key is to have that inventory information at your disposal so you can stay on top of it.

Be assertive and be proactive. Know what IT resources you have and track and monitor them. Then consider consolidation when the growth gets to a level where you can make it easier to manage again.

It's always easier to do this from the beginning and as you go, rather than trying to catch up and implement a massive inventory catch-up.

Learning from the mistakes of others is always a good shared lesson in IT.

Take this one to heart and take a new look at your IT asset management processes and systems.

The aggravation that you save later may be your own.

 

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