Getting a good grasp of your IT assets

Be honest. Do you know where your IT assets are? Do you know who is using them, how much is being used and whether those assets need to be upgraded or recycled? I've been talking to some senior IT executives for an upcoming Network World story about asset management and I am blown away by how inefficient and unorganized some organizations are about keeping track of their IT resources. Some are still using spreadsheets and binders to manage all this information. But once they deploy asset management software, the time and money they save by automating the gathering of all this information is astounding.

Take for example one health insurance company, which saved US$8 million last year because its asset management software helped it realize that it was being overcharged for some software licenses. Without the asset management system, the company would have just paid the overcharges because there was no way of noticing the difference.

The asset management software has also relieved the company of the drudgework involved in chargebacks. Before, the company would manually go through each wireless phone bill and try to figure out which departments the calls should be charged back to. With asset management software, this could all be automated, with clear reports produced showing which department has high call volumes so that the company can forecast whether they need more phones or minutes.

Aren't these examples enough to get you calling your nearest asset management software specialist? Getting IT executives excited about asset management isn't difficult when you hear stories like these, but the IT pros I spoke to all said getting buy-in from senior managers was difficult. To them, this software does not help earn revenue, so why should they be interested?

Think of an upcoming event in your organization where asset management would shine and use that example to show senior managers how much money and time you would save. Take, for example, a project to evaluate whether or not to upgrade the company's desktop systems. This is particularly useful if you have multiple sites. If like some companies, you'd have to do a site visit of each of the facilities and manually count the desktops in the company, check their configuration, version numbers, and so on. Then you'd be able to manually figure out the financial and technical impact of an upgrade. If you had all this information in an asset management system, this could all be done with a touch of a few buttons. This is time and money well spent.

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