Irrespective of whether you’re equipped to handle them, the number of assets in a growing organization tends to expand and multiply uncontrollably. Much like the mythical Hydra, the minute you think you’ve got your assets under control, two more appear out of nowhere.
From every single mouse, keyboard and computer to the software on those computers and the intellectual property you own, your organisation is made of assets. So it’s certainly not hyperbole when we say that the quality of the asset management you practice can make or break your organisation.
When it’s done right, Asset Management goes way beyond just making a list of everything you own. From helping you keep track of an asset’s performance to helping your finance team with the next year’s budget, Asset Management streamlines a multitude of issues that would otherwise end up stonewalling progress.
But on the flip side, when it’s done the wrong way, it can just as easily bring your operations crumbling down.
This makes a truly great Asset Management Module much more than just a good investment. It becomes a mandatory safety net. Without a great asset management module to bail you out, here’s five common pitfalls you might encounter –
1) Missing Asset Information
It’s quite a daunting task to catalog every piece of hardware, software, document and service owned by your organisation. But true Asset Management, amounting to the acquisition of relevant, valid information on each asset can be an irreplaceable tool. But in the absence of such readily accessible information, your organisation could go from mere disorder to full blown pandemonium.
The first step would be the creation of a central database where all your tangible and intangible assets are listed. This linked information can include everything from IP addresses, pricing, warranty and vendor details, to the location of the asset. You can make things even easier by organising your asset database into different categories like Hardware, Software, Services and so on. This sort of central database can save you a lot of time just by giving you all the information you need about every asset all in one place.
2) Productivity Loss & Errors
At any given point, an organisation has thousands of tangible and intangible assets in play. New assets are added everyday and old ones are constantly removed. Some are sent out for maintenance and some have lapsed warranties. With such frequent activity, it’s quite necessary to keep track of them all. This is usually accomplished by manually identifying new assets and painstakingly inputting their details into the database. The added possibility of errors and forgotten assets makes this already taxing process completely exhausting.
By utilising software that automatically identifies any new additions to your network, you take the manual labour out of the job. Software like this, once downloaded on to your main computer and linked with your network, begin probing for new arrivals on your network periodically. After the new assets are identified, they are uploaded to your central database. Additional filters can also be enabled to ensure that the probe overlooks software that you don’t count as assets.
3) Misallocation of Resources
Whenever you add new assets to your network, there are a multitude of other assets and people associated with it. This is where assigning priority to an asset comes in. For instance, when the sales manager has a presentation due, an issue with his computer is higher up the priority list than an issue with the HR’s computer. With the number of issues they have to fix, your IT team’s time is a resource that should not be taken lightly. And this prioritisation can help them make quick judgement calls about which tickets to resolve first. But the absence of this kind of categorisation and hierarchy will cause a lot of confusion and panic in the ranks.
4) Asset Failure & Depreciation
It’s only natural that the asset management you practice is intrinsically linked to your financial health. Negligent Asset Management can jeopardise everything from your ability to identify faulty assets, to predicting expenses.
One way a great Asset Management module helps avoid these issues is by enabling your IT team to link assets and CIs to the tickets they receive. This creates a ticket history which shows up in association with every asset you possess. When you need to trim the fat and diagnose the health of assets, you needn’t look further than the linked tickets. This can save you a lot of time and money by alerting you to faulty or continually malfunctioning assets in advance.
Another major part of asset management is calculating the shelf life and depreciation of your assets. Your assets, unlike fine wines, don’t always age well. And you need a failsafe system for calculating the depreciation of each asset, to help your financial team predict their next big shopping spree, amongst other things.
5) Unforeseen Vulnerabilities
Each of your assets is dependant on a number of other assets and affects a number of people. This means that even one problematic asset in the link could cause a sort of domino effect that can escalate into a much bigger issue. Efficient Asset Management helps you connect the dots by linking associated assets to each other and to their users. This lets you predict possible issues and gives you access to a comprehensive list of assets owned by every individual employee.
When you also go ahead and link the type (Software, Hardware, Service etc), vendor and location of the asset, you have information that, in the case of asset malfunctions, can make pinpointing the issue’s sources that much easier.
Your assets are hardwired into the workings of your organisation. How you manage them will affect everything about your business. The right asset management module can make your business run like clockwork, which is why picking a great IT asset management software can be all the difference between a home run and a strike out.