Asset management is a systematic process of developing, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets most cost-effectively. Assets include hardware, software, and licensing that support the operations of the business. It is important to maintain an accurate inventory of such assets because it will make your company more efficient and effective.
Tracking assets allows your company to know where physical assets are located, how they are used, and when changes were made. It also helps from a finance perspective by capturing the amortization rates, which will lead to more accurate financial statements. Conducting regular inventory counts enables your businesses to reduce the risk of theft, loss, or damaged assets. Assets recovery becomes more efficient, making it easier to identify and manage risk.
By closely monitoring assets, your company will also save money on maintenance. Doing this allows for more efficient operations since it is easier to understand the capabilities, lifespan, and how to use the equipment most effectively.
Although it is important to focus on physical assets, managing software and licensing is equally crucial; it is vital to track how and where software is used. Compliance with a relevant enterprise license and end-user agreement (EULA) is important to any business. The software license distinguishes the contract requirements, which governs how they can be used and how a provider will be compensated.
Taking an inventory of licensing enables your business to track how many licenses were purchased, how that translates into permitted installations, and the consequences if licenses are exceeded. This helps avoid penalties for being non-compliant and cuts unnecessary licensing costs.
It is important to periodically update the inventory records of all assets to reflect changes to the environment. For one, it is necessary from a technical standpoint that the assets are supported by the IT environment. Updating records ensures compliance with corporate security policies and desktop standards. This allows your company to see where potentials risks may exist and to quickly isolate vulnerabilities, unauthorized software, malicious downloads, and out-of-date software.
Second, for insurance reasons, your company does not want to insure items that are lost, damaged, or scrapped. Conversely, you do want to ensure that the assets still in use are being appropriately insured.
Regularly updating the inventory provides a more comprehensive lifecycle management plan for each asset. This helps your business plan when to replace assets, extend warranties, and uninstall or patch applications. It also ensures that cybersecurity practices are in best use, so cybercriminals can’t exploit unaccounted for or out of date hardware and software to access networks and systems.
With more companies using cloud and mobile device add-ons, updating records offers another layer of security. Managing the lifecycle ensures that firmware is updated regularly, as well as keeping track of contracts, licenses, mandatory updates, and regulatory compliance issues.
Using a Central Repository
It is crucial for your company to establish and maintain a central repository of licenses, product keys, and activation codes. The central repository is a resource that ensures there is valid data integrity that can prevent errors and other technical issues. This is a great tool in case of an emergency; it allows for a quicker response to disaster recovery efforts.
The repository also assists when there is an audit from an outside party; it demonstrates that all the compliance requirements are being met. When an audit occurs, your company’s response is quick; employees can easily access this information at the time of implementation, which will help avoid delays.
Lastly, as mentioned above, cybersecurity is vital in today’s workplace, and it is critical to have all the information in one place to keep hardware, software, and licenses updated. Doing this helps reduce the risks of system failures due to licensing and support expirations or non-compliance issues. Keeping this information readily available ensures that all assets are accounted for and alleviates loss of production, time, and other unnecessary costs.
It is crucial to establish and maintain an accurate inventory of all assets. A central repository of this information assists with audits, disasters, and data integrity. It is important to regularly update the inventory or repository of assets to track them for insurance reasons and ensure that the IT environment supports all current assets. Updating the repository also helps reduce unnecessary licensing costs. Managing assets allows a company to better support all their business operations and to enable its success.