IT Life Cycles and Asset Management
Posted 20th April 2022
Just like anything electrical, every piece of IT equipment has a life span, and that life span should be tracked. You need to know when that piece of equipment will be likely to fail or become obsolete, and its replacement should be planned for as part of an IT Roadmap. Not knowing what hardware or software you have within your business makes it impossible to budget effectively.
Asset lists and Inventory management: Asset Inventory Management
Why should my business track hardware inventory?
Your business or organisation’s IT environment consists of various assets; having an up-to-date database that records all the products is called an asset list or inventory.
Your inventory is a record of all the essential information, such as serial numbers, expiration dates, IP addresses, and types and places of installation related to the hardware within your business IT environment. The inventory is designed to help you stay on top of all your business’ products.
Having an asset inventory can help you understand your business hardware’s age, life span and condition. Additionally, it can also help you keep track of which staff have access to what hardware within your company. An asset list can also hold information on Software licenses and importantly in certain compliance criteria – Business Data.
An asset list like this is also part of ISO accreditation and IASME Governance, so building this will help with both those certifications.
What does good hardware asset management look like?
Good asset management requires you to store your data in an organised and consistent way, so you can quickly find the information you need.
You can collect a range of information, including
- asset types,
- warranty information,
- purchase date,
- serial numbers,
Collating all this information makes it easier to track and monitor your business hardware.
The hardware inventory management process also involves tracking the dates you may need to take action, such as expiration dates. Additionally, you can note changes to hardware and configurations within an associated change management database (CMDB).
Traditional hardware inventory management required manual updates to paper records or spreadsheets. Today, Audit software simplifies this process, saving time and reducing the likelihood of human error.
Why is hardware inventory management important to businesses?
Hardware inventory management can help a business in several ways:
- Planning - if you know what equipment you have, you can ensure your system and company are ready with the necessary resources.
- It provides your team with detailed information about all your hardware assets.
- Enables you to easily visualise the complete asset life cycle from across your organisation.
- Helps you identify areas where you can reduce the overall cost of your assets.
Can you use software to create a hardware inventory?
Yes, computer software can create your inventory; it works by regularly and automatically scanning your entire business network.
The software creates detailed records of the hardware assets it finds during the scan, and it’s programmed to detect changes to the hardware within your network.
The software can be configured to send automated alerts if there are action items that need your attention. Additionally, it can be used to run reports about your business system’s inventory or recent changes.
The software then monitors this hardware inventory automatically. You can then centralise the maintenance process, so you’re better able to keep your devices up to date.
So, in summary, an asset inventory is essential in helping to plan the lifecycle of your IT equipment to ensure you’re hitting the correct balance of cost and performance. Having an inventory enables you to prepare for the depreciation of your IT assets and ensure that your staff have up to date equipment that is fit for purpose.
And using an asset inventory also helps with your long-term business planning and budgets, giving you the heads up that devices will need to be replaced in the future. This kind of proactive planning gives you the peace of mind that you can plan replacement IT equipment that meets your business’s needs instead of reactively replacing hardware and software that can’t handle the workload.
Lastly, an asset list is important in achieving compliance. Get in touch for more information