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GPS IT Asset Tracking: How to Better Utilize and Protect IT Assets

GPS IT asset tracking

As IT ecosystems transform with futuristic technology, the risk of data breaches and security threats also increases. Every organization, large or small, can be a reachable target if it lacks significant security measures and a breach might jeopardize its reputation, operations, and overall revenue. GPS IT asset tracking can help protect high-value IT assets with real-time updates to gain total visibility and control, minimize downtime, reduce operational costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. According to Forrester Research’s 2023 State of Data Security report:

What is GPS IT asset tracking? 

GPS IT asset tracking devices are affixed to IT assets that utilize satellite communication to accurately track the location of these assets, transmitting real-time data to a central system via a mobile network. IT admins can use GPS tracking devices in three ways: 

  1. Location tracking: Accurate asset location tracking can help IT admins stay informed on whereabouts and prevent security breaches. Let’s suppose an employee’s laptop is stolen, it can be recovered via a GPS tracker that provides exact location coordinates to the IT department. 
  2. Remote locking of devices: In the case above, IT admins can also lock the laptop to prevent the device from unauthorized access and ensure the company’s sensitive information remains secure. 
  3. Geofencing: This allows IT admins to define virtual boundaries for IT assets. Alerts are sent to designated users when the device leaves predefined boundaries, helping with quick actions and control over IT assets. 

How can GPS IT asset tracking protect IT assets and ensure better utilization? 

When large IT assets are deployed onsite and remotely, it puts devices at risk of theft and unauthorized use. Not only that, IT managers need to know where each asset is at all times to manage and maintain them efficiently. 

Here are five ways GPS IT asset tracking can help organizations: 

1. Real-time asset location tracking

Large organizations manage a vast inventory of IT assets including laptops, servers, and networking equipment, spread across multiple locations – onsite and remote. Tracking critical IT assets with GPS tracking devices constantly transmits location data to a central system, allowing organizations to track the movements of their IT assets in real-time. 

With the help of real-time location data, organizations can also manage inventory throughout their lifecycle. When assets are procured from vendors, GPS tracking devices can monitor transportation from a vendor to storage facilities. IT admins get quick updates on delivery status and ensure timely deployment to end users. 

Once these assets are deployed, GPS IT asset tracking provides continuous visibility into the location of assets. IT admins can gain insights into when and where assets are being used. For example, a K-12 school has multiple projectors distributed across various classrooms. Using the information on the projector’s movements and locations can help analyze frequent usage during specific days and times and gather peak usage periods. They can track which projectors are idle or underutilized, resulting in reallocation for better resource optimization.

GPS IT asset tracking

2. Protect assets with preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance is pivotal in ensuring optimal performance, undisrupted operations, and longevity of IT assets. Well-maintained assets reduce the risk of unexpected failures and improve productivity. 

GPS tracking data combined with other data sources can help proactively maintain assets. Helpdesk tickets maintain asset maintenance history and custody status information. Let’s say AV equipment is custody verified and the onboarding ticket is updated.  Before scheduled maintenance, IT admins receive alerts for timely check-in and start service before any unexpected downtime. AV equipment is checked in to begin maintenance and another AV equipment is checked out simultaneously to avoid any hindrances.

IT admins can confirm that the correct user has been assigned to AV equipment. They can monitor the user’s location during equipment check-out and the office location upon equipment check-in using real-time GPS tracking. Any discrepancy between locations can highlight incorrect ownership and can be mitigated.

Similarly, monitoring softwares having GPS IT asset tracking enables, can help avoid potential breakdowns and defects. These softwares continuously monitor the health and status of IT assets and send alerts for hardware failures, software crashes, or other malfunctions. Timely maintenance alerts can notify IT admins to troubleshoot issues, resolve errors, and reduce unexpected downtime and failures. 

3. Minimize security breaches

Knowing your assets’ location in real-time safeguards them from unauthorized access and helps recover stolen assets. 

GPS IT asset tracking can help detect unauthorized access attempts to servers or networking equipment. The GPS tracker can trigger alerts to admins so they can investigate and take action promptly if the main server is moved outside business hours without proper authorization. 

Real-time asset monitoring with GPS trackers can minimize malicious attempts to steal or tamper with sensitive data. GPS tracking is a deterrent for unauthorized personnel to intrude as they can be tracked and assets can be recovered without any losses. 

Data collected via GPS tracker can be used as evidence during security audits. Maintaining records of IT assets’ movement and location history reinforces that security policies, especially data protection and access control policies, are being met.  

4. Gain valuable insights and analysis

IT asset tracking softwares integrated with GPS tracking solutions helps organizations identify trends, patterns, and potential risks related to IT assets.  

Generating reports with different correlations provides meaningful insights for IT admins to analyze and strategize. For example, time coordinates from GPS devices can be correlated with employee login activity to understand regular patterns of where and when IT assets are being used. Any irregular pattern may highlight unauthorized access during off hours which can be acted upon promptly to avoid potential security risks. 

5. Enhanced asset management

Organizations can leverage GPS IT asset tracking data to strengthen security measures while optimizing operational efficiency. 

IT admins can monitor and control IT assets remotely or in hard-to-reach locations. Exact location coordinates can be accessed via remote desktop softwares to resolve errors and even shut down compromised assets that can pose security threats. They can also implement encryption protocols such as pseudonymization of GPS tracking data to secure sensitive location information from unauthorized access. 

GPS IT asset tracking
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GPS tracking data integrated with ITSM tools can streamline asset management processes. Asset records are automatically updated in real time to help track assets more accurately.

Continuous evaluation helps refine asset management processes with real-time GPS tracking data. Adapting to evolving security threats and updating policies and technologies enhances asset management practices and mitigates emerging risks effectively. 

Benefits of GPS IT asset tracking 

  1. Maximize ROI: Real-time data helps organizations to identify underutilized assets and optimize their deployment leading to increased efficiency and cost savings. Tracking location coordinates can help standardize deployment times and timely schedule maintenance to keep assets up and running. Additionally, helping recover lost or stolen assets can reduce asset replacement costs and minimize losses. 
  2. Centralized control: GPS IT asset tracking integrated with IT asset management software allows organizations to manage assets from a centralized system. All asset information is consolidated in one platform, helping to make quick decisions based on real-time updates. 
  3. Enhanced customer service: Tracking deployed equipment, field technicians or vehicles can improve customer service. This allows organizations to provide accurate ETA estimates and respond promptly to customer queries or service requests. 

Frequently asked questions

Who needs GPS IT asset tracking solutions? 

Small to large organizations that have invested significant amounts and resources into their IT assets can use GPS IT asset tracking solutions.

What type of IT asset can be tracked with GPS IT asset tracking? 

Any type of IT asset can be tracked from hardware assets including laptops, and peripherals to networking equipment including servers and data centers. 

What information do GPS IT asset tracking solutions provide? 

It provides the latitude, longitude, ground speed, and course direction of IT assets.

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