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How to Analyze Needs for IT Asset Management Policy Planning

Read more in the full article below.

Once technology assets are put in place, they can be hard to track .... mobile devices, 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.

Start with the Asset Management Basics

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 current “status”, and the issues to be addressed. This is the essence of the asset management needs assessment.  (Download Whitepaper:  Quick Guide to Asset Management Policy Planning)

Moving Ahead: Key Planning Questions

  • 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.

Matching Needs to Objectives (To Maximize Value and Benefit)

In order to realize the benefits of the “asset management” effort, needs must be matched to objectives and potential benefits to achieve operational alignment. The following list describes the typical and primary objectives for IT asset management. Which ones apply to you?

  • To maintain a comprehensive asset inventory.
  • 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 associated with technology procurement, retention, support and maintenance.
  • To better manage mobile assets (handhelds, laptops) and reduce losses.

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