Asset Management Needs Analysis

Once technology assets are put in place, they can be hard to track .... relocations, staff changes, and frequent configuration updates, can all transform the overall asset landscape. These changes, when left uncontrolled, can have a major impact on IT's ability to support, upgrade and manage these same assets. Asset management is a series of policies, procedures and practices for keeping track of technology assets (hardware and software) by location, ownership, usage, configuration and maintenance.  While technical and organizational requirements will determine the scope and extent of any asset management program, management methods can range from the simple to the complex --- from manual inventory lists to integrated software solutions for inventory, problem management, change control and software distribution. 

While it is often assumed that asset management is only worthwhile in the large, corporate environment, any business can benefit from practices that facilitate technology usage and support.  The key is to develop the right program for your individual circumstances.

Before you can begin to develop any long term asset management strategy, you must first size the effort to identify where are you now, and the issues to be addressed.  This is the essence of the asset management needs assessment.  [Also available for download:  The IT Asset Management Glossary]

The Asset Management Needs Assessment

Can you readily identify the status of all your technology assets (in service, or out of service)?
Do you know where all your IT assets are physically located?
Are you fully compliant with all software licensing requirements?
Do you have all the asset information you need for the next upgrade project?
Have IT services or projects ever been hindered by a lack of asset information?
Are all IT assets allocated as efficiently and productively as possible?
Are all IT assets configured consistently and according to defined standards?
Are you sufficiently aware of all configuration variations?
Does the Help Desk (or relevant support organization) have ready access to all the asset information needed to solve technical problems and provide quality end-user support?
Do you have all the asset information needed to properly plan for disaster recovery and business continuity programs?

If you are unable to answer one or more of these questions in a sufficiently positive fashion, then you may need to take a careful look at your current methods and strategies for asset management.  Your overall goal should be the creation of a realistic "workable" asset management program.... designed to meet budgets, technical requirements and internal capabilities.

How will you use the information that you track?

To assign assets to end-users.
To manage configurations and provide change control.
To facilitate technical support and problem resolution.
To establish standards and purchasing controls.
To provide a picture of technology usage and allocation for company management.
To control costs.
To better manage mobile assets (handhelds, laptops) and reduce losses.

Policy Planning is a Top IT Management Priority Disaster Recovery Planning is a Top IT Management Priority End-User Satisfaction is a Top IT Management Priority
Priority #1: Policy Planning
IT policies run the gamut from technology standards to email usage.  No matter the purpose, each policy must be relevant and realistic.  Learn how it's done with our IT policy series.
Priority #2: Disaster Recovery
Effective disaster recovery planning is essential to IT service credibility.  You must be prepared to respond if and when disaster strikes.  Learn how its done with our disaster recovery series.
Priority #3: Customer Service
End-user satisfaction can be an elusive goal.  It takes a bit of effort and planning to identify end-user needs and fill service requirements in the most productive manner.
Top 5 Characteristics of Successful Committees Get it Defined.  Part 1 of the Define, Align and Approve management guideline. The IT Service Review Toolkit
Making Committees Work
What are the most important characteristics of committee success? Size?  Composition? Organization?  Communication? A documented charter?  Learn all about the "top 5" ways to deliver committee success in this quick reference IT-Manage infographic.
Get it Defined.
Define, align and approve is a management strategy and working guideline used to promote informed decision making and successful project delivery.  Get started with the definition phase, illustrated in this informative IT-Manage infographic.
End-User Satisfaction Surveys
When it comes to end-user satisfaction it's best to not make any assumptions.  Service perceptions develop from any number of factors, and well planned surveys will address all variables.  Learn how with the IT Service Review Toolkit.