Effectively managing your hardware assets from the point of procurement till retirement is an integral part of successful IT asset management. However, this can quickly become cumbersome and error-prone without streamlined procedures and dedicated software in place.
Manual and decentralized tracking solutions are usually inaccurate and are often difficult to maintain. As the information resides in silos, it increases an organization’s overhead costs, risk of lost assets, and mismanagement while the company’s overall compliance status cannot be accurately assessed.
Therefore, adopting hardware asset management software is the best practice for IT infrastructure management for businesses. Gartner reports that organizations that have successfully implemented such solutions achieved 30% reduced overheads in the first year and 5% in the following years.
What is hardware asset management software?
Hardware asset management is the process of tracking and managing the full life cycle of physical IT elements — laptops, desktops, servers, etc. — within a business environment. Managing IT assets allows you to get real-time information on your hardware asset inventory, a bird’s eye view of the asset’s life cycle, and the utilization of these assets across your business.
Investing in the right hardware asset management software can help with controlling costs, limiting surplus purchases, and can also lighten your load during audit time. Along with providing full visibility into your IT inventory, a reliable hardware asset management tool offers these essential benefits:
- Leverage real-time information: Get real-time information on your assets regarding their location, usage status, and lifespan, etc. and leverage this information to optimize your IT infrastructure.
- Reduce overhead cost: A unified solution helps you cut costs by avoiding non-compliance, IT overspend, and optimizing asset management processes.
- Connect with vendors: Make effective purchasing decisions, send out purchase orders and invoices, etc., and connect directly with your vendors through the hardware asset management software.
- Asset Utilization: Analyze what hardware assets you own and how you are using them to avoid the risk of being vulnerable during an audit.
- Increased Lifespan: Regular scheduling of servicing and maintenance through an ITAM solution automates this recurring process and helps you get the most out of your IT assets.
Efficient hardware asset management software enables business agility, reduced overheads, and enhanced operational efficiency.
Let’s discuss in more detail:
1. Prevent asset loss and theft
Robust hardware asset management software monitors the complete life cycle of a company’s assets from procurement to retirement. The process involves asset tagging, assigning and revoking ownership, location tracking, and regular maintenance and servicing. It enables organizations to easily stay on top of the work status of an asset, its physical location, and disposition.
You can also accurately track and record hardware warranty information, maintenance status, contract agreements, and licensing compliance and renewal. Monitoring all this information mitigates the risks associated with the lack of asset knowledge and prevents asset theft. It enables IT teams to know what is available and how it is being utilized so they know which assets are underutilized or idle and make proactive purchase decisions when existing assets are close to retirement.
2. Optimize asset use and procurement
Hardware asset management focuses on getting the most out of an organization’s assets by using idle or underused assets. Use the software to keep an accurate track of your inventory so you don’t overspend. Conversely, get timely alerts when inventory reaches a low order threshold. Creating standards by utilizing such information enables companies to buy only what is necessary and avoid shelving hardware assets.
According to Information Services Group, 70% of the organizations experience billing “surprises’’ with asset invoices. On the other hand, having complete visibility into the inventory and knowing what is available allows the teams to pull inventory from the existing stores instead of making large surplus purchases and impacting the budget.
A HAM software also allows you to have a central database for crucial hardware information that can be beneficial while procuring new assets. For example, if you are managing laptops, you can save information about device hard drive space, encryption status, Bios Serial Number, and so on.
3. Enhance productivity
Adoption of a hardware asset management process frees up resources so they can focus on their core responsibilities. With less administrative burden, employees can get more done as previously manual or inefficient processes are automated. Hardware asset management software also helps predict asset problems before they even occur and before they delay or disrupt operations.
If your hardware asset management tool is integrated with ITSM tools such as Zendesk or Jira, then your employees will easily be able to link assets to tickets, checkout those assets, and put them in service or maintenance.
4. Improve security & compliance
With an efficient hardware asset management solution in place, security teams have an accurate and complete listing of hardware assets with version information. They can easily prioritize and implement strict security measures to ensure complete coverage of threats to the company assets. They can also identify assets that need servicing or are close to retirement, so they can be remediated before they become a vulnerability to the organization.
Keeping track of your IT inventory also allows you to identify if any unapproved assets are being used. ITAM solutions contain strong hardware asset management features that ensure compliance with corporate security policies and standards. By allowing IT teams to quickly isolate vulnerabilities, ITAM solutions make it easier to see where the potential risks lie. These features not only improve security and compliance but also prove helpful during compliance auditing.
5. Increased control over IT inventory
Having deeper visibility into your hardware assets leads to increased control over IT inventory. Tracking assets across your IT landscape will give your IT teams better control and accountability to ensure compliance. Using features like asset discovery and request verification enables you to view the hardware inventory details and ensure that they are at the right location.
Robust hardware asset management software tracks your hardware assets in real-time and sync logs automatically get created. If a device goes offline, the system will notify you in the form of an Alert. Timely alerts allow you to investigate as soon as possible and minimizes the risk of misplaced or stolen assets. As you would have provisioned the device against a user, it would increase governance, accountability, and transparency
6. Lifecycle management
Hardware asset management software enables you to frame an asset life cycle to cover all the important stages, right from procurement to retirement. With hardware asset management software, you can keep track of when an asset is purchased, details about the vendor, how long has it been used, which version is it and how long your end-users can use the asset.
This actionable data can later be utilized to make decisions about new purchases, replacements, servicing, or upgrades. Vendor contracts can be uploaded into the system so know when to renew a contract with your vendor allowing you to easily create and send purchase orders.
7. Auto Checkouts
If you deploy hardware assets in bulk in your hardware inventory management software but through different sources, i.e. you import some devices using HAM Agent while others using Intune or JamfPro or some other source, there is a possibility of asset duplication in your database. Assets can also get duplicated if you merge them. However, a robust system will discover and list down all the duplicated IT assets so you can manage them accordingly.
8. Duplicate Management
If you deploy hardware assets in bulk in your hardware asset management tool but through different sources, i.e. you import some devices using HAM Agent while others using Intune or JamfPro or some other source, there is a possibility of asset duplication in your database. Assets can also get duplicated if you merge them. However, a robust system will discover and list down all the duplicated IT assets so you can manage them accordingly.
An effective hardware asset management solution can deliver significant benefits through IT cost management, increased operational efficiency, and minimized risks. This is why centralized and automated hardware asset management is the key to improving the overall IT infrastructure for your organization.
AssetSonar is a leading hardware asset management software that leverages best practices to support your IT asset management requirements and seamlessly integrates with other critical businesses and IT systems.
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