Inventory management is critical
Gaining insight into and control of a company’s IT assets is critical in today’s technology-driven business environment. In order to manage these IT assets more efficiently, drive down costs, increase productivity and reduce risk, one needs clear and comprehensive visibility into all assets across the business.
Most businesses struggle to manage IT assets effectively because they do not have a clear picture of the assets they have deployed. Consequently, they probably pay unnecessary taxes due to inaccurate hardware asset data and they probably have various software products that provide the same functionality. They likely also pay unnecessary annual maintenance and licensing fees for software that is not being used.
Lack of visibility also increases risk as IT departments may not always detect unauthorised software, creating an exposure to serious security breaches. More importantly, hardware that contains proprietary data may have disappeared without the knowledge of the IT staff.
Xprien CEO Wale Arewa says businesses need a comprehensive, detailed and normalised view of hardware assets across the enterprise, especially at time of asset disposal with this data.
“One can enhance business processes, not only within IT but also in other departments such as finance and security. As a result, you can drive down costs, increase IT staff productivity and reduce security risk,” he says.
The minimum inventory requirement at time of disposal should be a spreadsheet that tracks hardware including details such as serial number, asset tag, manufacturer, model, number of processors, processor type, number of cores, RAM, disk size, chassis type and number of hard disks.
Arewa says failure to produced detailed information will encourage organised chaos. “A detailed inventory is designed to detect shortages such as hard drives – which in turn increase the risk of data loss. And yet, more than 80 percent of corporate enterprises still do not have detailed information at time of disposal.”
“So it seems like common sense that these IT assets should be managed, from the day they are requested and procured, to when they are deployed, throughout their entire lifecycle right through to retirement and disposal,” he concludes.