IT infrastructure is nothing but a bunch of hardware and software equipment or assets – of course there’s a ton of configurations, connections and customizations that go into making IT work for the business. But, in essence, all the elements of the IT infrastructure are assets – all those that network devices and storage hardware in the server room, all those computers that employees use in your network, all the communication equipment including printers, telephones, projectors, almost anything and everything IT and hardware are assets. Do not leave out software, because that’s IT asset too, and goes through most of the phases of the hardware asset lifecycle.
As IT admins and help desk managers go about managing IT assets from the process of procurement, assignment, problem resolution, change and disposal, there are many a challenge that they face in implementing a smooth and seamless asset management process. Let’s list out some top challenges that IT pros face with both hardware and software asset management.
#1 LACK OF ORDER = MANAGEMENT CHAOS
The biggest challenge that small organizations face is they don’t have a good asset inventory. Without an inventory you are missing vital information on what exists on your network and where, who owns what assets, etc. You could try spinning this up in an Excel sheet or using any home-grown tools, but without a comprehensive asset management practice managing asset information will be extremely challenging leading to management disarray.
#2 EVER-CHANGING NATURE OF CHANGE
Any piece of IT equipment whether it’s hardware or licensed software has an expiry date. Either a hardware goes dysfunctional/kaput due to usage over time, or there’s a better version, an upgraded version of software/hardware that must replace the incumbent one. When there’s lack of organization with asset management, tracking and keeping abreast of changes in asset equipment, changes in asset assignment, and repairs/changes done on assets become almost impossible.
#3 PROCUREMENT PREDICAMENT AND BUDGETARY BLINDNESS
When you do not know what exists in your IT infrastructure, it becomes harder to determine what to buy and how many to buy, because you don’t know what’s in stock. IT teams will end up spending money on new purchase without knowing the real need for expenditure. Only if you knew what you have, who has what, what’s in use, how old or expired existing assets are, you will be able to make informed decisions about procurement of new equipment and software.
#4 ALL THAT LOST TIME FOR WHAT – DISCOVERING ASSETS?
Where IT admins tend to lose their valuable time each day is trying to manually discover and make stock of assets. As your network and user base grows, it’ll become physically impossible to inventory computer equipment and software in a one-by-one basis manually. What you need is an automated asset discovery process that allows you to automatically discover computer assets, and lets you know what exists and where, and keeps the inventory up to date with periodic discovery updates.
#5 THE HELP DESK & IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE
All the aforementioned points impacts IT service and support process. Most of the trouble tickets are related to IT assets (either hardware or software). Without sufficient information about the history of the asset, its configuration, previous IT issues, etc., you will have to spend time figuring this out each and every time. This slows down service request resolution and makes the help desk management process more challenging. Having an IT asset management software would help you save time on managing asset and let you focus on actual IT administration and support.
One of the best use cases of IT asset management is with your help desk or infrastructure monitoring tool that allows you to discover assets, maintain inventory, report on changes and alert on license/warranty expiry.
If you face any IT asset management challenges, or have any tips to overcome them, please do share your views.
Read this free white paper to learn more about the benefits of and best practices for IT asset management.