Every laptop in an organization is someone’s responsibility. The same applies to mobile phones, tablets, external displays, desktop printers, software licenses – you name it.
So when was the last time you checked which assets you are responsible for?
Chances are, if you do go and check your responsibilities, you’ll be surprised. Firstly, it may not be an easy task to do. Secondly, the longer you’ve been in an organization, the more exhaustive a list you’ll see.
Assigning assets to an employee is a straightforward task. Connect a device ID with an employee ID. Check. So is removing an asset. Disconnect, return to IT department. Check.
With that in mind, it is somewhat striking to see 20-30 % of IT assets in a typical organization being allocated to either incorrect or inactive users. The reason is very simple: poor documentation, coupled with manual and inefficient monitoring.
The processes of assigning, removing and reallocating assets usually work fairly well with standard laptops and mobile phones. It doesn’t go as smoothly with peripherals such as external displays and desktop printers, which typically carry a value of up to 30 % on top of the laptop price. Another often-found money drain is software licenses that remain allocated to unused laptops stored away in drawers.
In my dream world of IT asset management, there are two keys to success worth noting: self-service and automated monitoring.
A self-service portal provides every employee with a direct access to an online database, which contains all of the organization’s assets under their responsibility, also including software and peripheral devices. Change requests are easily made online, which helps keep the centralized asset management system always up-to-date.
An automated monitoring system keeps an eye on the use of devices and software. It prompts employees and IT staff about potential issues such as devices that haven’t been connected to the corporate network for a long time, or expensive software that is not currently used and could therefore be reallocated to someone else.
The work towards the dream world is well under way. More to come!
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