Over the coming months we will be diving deeper into what exactly our ‘Managed IT Solutions’ are, highlighting key features. One of the most common questions we get asked is “What are Managed IT Solutions?” In response, check our Managed IT Solutions page. Let’s dive in to the first feature, IT Asset Management (ITAM)
What is IT Asset Management?
The easiest way to put it? ITAM is a running inventory of your current IT Assets, which can fall into one of two categories. Hardware or Software. Let’s start with hardware, a hardware asset can be components of your infrastructure such as servers, workstations, laptops, network equipment or peripheral devices (printers, scanners, etc.). When I say software think about the software you use on a day to day basis. Software like Quickbooks, Microsoft Office, and the operating system currently running on your system (Windows or Mac OS).
Why is it important to track and manage these assets?
Like most things in the realm of technology, hardware and software become dated in which they start to creep closer and closer to the inevitable day where they “expire” (or become incompatible). When they unexpectedly expire on you, the results can vary from complete downtime to drastically lowered productivity. One of the goals of tracking and managing your infrastructure is to avoid this unexpected expiration, as well as give you a detailed look into the hardware and software that power your business. At any moment you will be able to see the specifics of a computer that is in play such as the hardware that is installed and the software it is running.
How do you stay ahead of that unexpected expiration?
A good offensive strategy is to utilize preventative maintenance by collecting detailed information pertaining to your current assets and take an inventory by asking yourself:
- What assets exist?
- What are their purpose?
- When were they purchased?
- If they were to “expire” how would it affect my business?
- What did, or do they cost?
With these few questions you can develop a detailed plan and budget for future upgrades, replacing and upgrading assets before they become inefficient. Keeping them compatible with the demand of your business in order to stay current, compliant and secure not only is a must but will also give you peace of mind.
How will tracking and managing your IT assets benefit the business?
Aside from keeping them compatible, current, compliant and secure, properly following the upgrade plan you will see reliable performance as you are eliminating the chance of using outdated hardware or software. This will result in an increase in efficiency within the office, allowing you to work without having to wait for you computer to start or software to open (We’ve all been there once or twice, am i right?). If you take credit cards or store confidential client information then you know all about meeting compliance (and the pesky surveys you are required to take every year). Having up to date software and hardware won’t eliminate those surveys, but it will lighten the load as you will have a detailed report of all your assets. This report not only helps with compliance, it also aids in the over all management of your IT needs (which we’ll discuss later in the series, stay tuned).
Lastly, financial accountability. With an upgrade plan you will know when you need to upgrade hardware and renew software licenses allowing you to easily budget for it while reducing unnecessary IT spending, and who doesn’t like the sound of that!
All of this is what we provide with our IT Asset Management. ITAM is used to track the life of your assets from acquisition to disposal. Providing reliable performance, keeping you and your employees efficient, keeping you compliant, aiding in future IT management, and creating a high level of financial accountability.
Next time we will discuss the in’s and outs of monitoring these assets, as well as the benefits it provides your business. Stay tuned!