Businesses are always looking for ways to streamline their processes in addition to reducing overhead costs. But one area that should not be overlooked is asset management.
The overall goal of asset management—whether it is hardware, software, or something else—is to ensure we are appropriately managing assets throughout their lifespan. Simply put, without it how would you ever know what assets the people in the business are using and the costs associated.
If you were to ask around, you would probably find that everyone tracks their assets to some degree or another. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “From the time you procure an asset until it is disposed of, what mechanisms or people are guiding it through this process?”
For many this might not be an easy question to answer; in fact, the more answers you provide, the more questions may come up. This is the beginnings of the gap analysis for your own asset management review. Keep in mind that every organization may be a little bit different, so keep that in mind as part of this initial analysis. The key to success will be your ability to right-size your flavor of asset management for your organization.
The first roadblock that many companies will throw out will be around the costs associated with reviewing, establishing, and perhaps even automating the asset process. Let’s face it—in the beginning this may look to be an expensive exercise, but what you need to really think about is the cost if you do nothing. This is a marathon, not a race.
So how do you get your leaders on board with why this is so important? Here are a few tried and tested reasons that you can leverage.
Understand what software titles you may have installed in your service catalog. Without even realizing it you may have several similar software titles that could be costing you untold dollars, money that may be better streamlined with reviewing what makes sense for your business. How are you managing your hardware assets? Even doing a simple assessment in these areas will allow you to build a cost effectiveness model for this activity. If your organization is in the beginning stages of managing hardware and software consistently then outlining a cost benefit against not doing it will be relatively easy
Depending on the assets you are looking at, compliance from a license perspective can be very costly when you talk about penalties or other violations that are missed without a solid asset management process. Having visibility on your assets will ensure that the right people are using the approved software titles and that they are available. Showing leaders that you are at risk of violating agreements or that you are already out of compliance with software licenses will be another check box in getting the ball rolling
For starters, you will be in a better position to track what you have in your environment from an inventory perspective. Knowing what you have will allow your teams to make better decisions when it comes to budgeting (including future refreshes), patch management, access, as well as future purchasing decisions. It might sound strange but if someone was to ask you what equipment you owned, leased or had access to at any time would you be able to easily come up with an answer?
Many leaders see automation as a streamlining of resource costs so this language will always perk up their ears. Without a solid asset management process, no tools to control it can really be implemented properly, which impacts further automation. Imagine when your processes are so solid that you are able to automate them in a tool which will allow people to request assets that will be approved and deployed in a fraction of the time that a manual process could ever accomplish.
Overall asset management is a really big topic and I have only really scraped the surface here. Do some checking in your organization and see where some review may need to take place. A small improvement can have a lasting impact on the bottom line for your business.