In the current business environment, IT asset management (ITAM) — proactive deployment, tracking, maintaining, planning for replacement (or upgrade) and disposal of all IT assets — is a requisite for business success. Yet, many companies are still struggling with ungainly spreadsheets or other outdated methods for managing their assets.
Furthermore, most of the business leaders with whom we speak don’t have a formal hardware inventory. If they have one, it isn’t being proactively maintained, making it difficult to budget for replacements, keep track of hardware warranties and other important records, and more. The growth of remote or hybrid working, where company-owned hardware may not reside on the firm’s premises, makes tracking usage and consumption of IT assets even more difficult.
This lack of “asset awareness” not only reduces efficiency, it also costs the firm more money than it should; it can even present a security risk. Let’s take a look at the situation and explore a dramatically better alternative.
What Constitutes an IT Asset?
The definitions of “IT asset” vary, with some even including intangible assets like software and intellectual property. However, for the purpose of this discussion we will consider only hardware — physical assets that generally have a defined life (unlike software and intellectual property which can continually evolve). They include the following:
- Network infrastructure such as firewalls, wifi access points, vpn appliances and switches
- Servers, desktop and laptop computers
- Smartphones (if company-owned)
Asset Management: Why You Need It
Although hardware manufacturers tout the durability and lifespans of their equipment, the reality is that environmental conditions and negative events have a huge impact on equipment life. Many of the problems aren’t even obvious.
Drops and spills are traditional culprits, but dust is also very problematic for hardware components. Even placement within the office can have an impact, since most computer equipment dissipates heat and needs “room to breathe.”
In addition, both operating software and hardware (including firmware — the “hardware’s operating software”) must be updated on a set schedule. Failure to update equipment and its software in a timely fashion may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Our considerable experience indicates that when properly maintained and updated, desktops and laptops should have a life span of five years. File servers and other infrastructure should serve you well for seven. To enjoy these lifespans, organizations must maintain their hardware warranties and conduct all recommended updates.
But who has time for that? JETT does.
Our IT asset management program includes conducting an inventory of your assets (and then maintaining it), tracking your warranties, handling software patches and hardware maintenance, and more. We will also make recommendations for additional improvements that can extend the life of your equipment and help you plan for timely replacement. When you need access to that information for any reason, from insurance requests to investor queries, it will be recorded and up to date. We will also advise you on optional coverage, such as accidental damage policies that cover drops and spills.
According to research firm Gartner, firms that engage in systematic IT asset lifecycle management like JETT offers will reduce their cost per asset by as much as 30% during the first year, and between 5-10% annually during the next five years. Furthermore, increased control also helps promote compliance with security and insurance policies and mandates — and reduces business risk. These factors alone should make asset management a top priority for your firm.
Value Add Benefits
In addition to the hard dollar benefits mentioned here, the following are two more important benefits of our service:
- If assets in the hands of personnel are lost or stolen, it’s much easier to claim insurance — and compensation is more likely — if the assets were being proactively managed and tracked.
- Asset management can help identify “ghost assets” — assets being accounted for in the general ledger, but that are physically missing.
In addition to all of these significant benefits, proactive asset management delivers one more advantage — it enables the entire organization to be more innovative and efficient. With properly maintained and deployed equipment, teams can move with greater speed and agility, giving the organization a competitive edge and enabling it to deliver value to customers more quickly.
No matter what level of asset management is appropriate for your firm, the experts at JETT stand ready to help ensure the best possible outcomes for your unique situation. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call (678) 387-5717 or visit jettbt.com.