Hardware, as it turns out, can be a lot like relationships: sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's gone. At least, that's the conclusion drawn by researcher Gartner Inc., which released a report Tuesday revealing that many companies don't understand their hardware asset bases, leading to a loss of time, money and system performance.
According to Gartner, less than 25 percent of companies worldwide have an IT asset management program in place that can determine potential dangers. Without thorough knowledge of their systems, companies risk gathering incorrect information on hardware and software upgrades, overspending on upgrades, or giving false information to application development groups, Gartner said.
Statistics recently gathered from Gartner clients indicated that 40 percent of the clients' hardware assets were not tracked using any tools and only 10 percent are reconciled against a database community, the researcher said. Most clients, Gartner said, employ complicated manual tracking procedures or don't understand their hardware asset base at all.
Poor hardware management can increase companies' total cost of ownership by 7 percent to 10 percent annually, Gartner warned.
What's more, companies that do not have a grasp of their hardware resources often have poor software management as well, which can prove even more costly, the researcher noted.
The findings were released Tuesday as part of Gartner's three-day IT Asset Management and TCO Summit in Orlando, which runs through Wednesday.