Most modern organizations still lack a complete understanding of what an IT asset is and how it can be managed strategically to improve the performance and productivity of the business. Your IT assets include every kind and size of network and connectivity equipment. They can be either very obvious tangible network devices like your computer systems, routers, and other physical connectivity gadgets or they could be intangible networking platforms like software. So a complete blend of your hardware and software together makes up your IT asset.
If you lack a comprehensive mix of IT assets, your business cannot operate. Therefore, without having in-depth know-how of your IT asset network–tangible or intangible you cannot really manage it for optimal business performance.
Different businesses have a different take on “asset management” based on their understanding of this concept. Some organizations, typically less IT sophisticated, think asset management is making a consistent value chain from business’ assets present on your network. While this is not totally wrong, there is more to asset management than this.
What is IT Asset Management then?
A more holistic view of IT asset management includes encompassing and tracing all the devices, programs, and software that are present on your network. This lets you ensure the verification of each program with updated security and protection protocols.
You may consider IT asset management a continuous process. It requires your IT team or outsourced technical partners to be vigilant about any old hardware that needs to be replaced or any new program that needs to be integrated with your network. In short, managing your IT lifecycle for an efficient and secured workflow is what we call IT asset management.
Let’s first discover what constitutes your IT asset and how to manage the IT lifecycle:
IT Asset Types
In the past companies used to have a single data center at which their technology stacks were configured which hosted in-house servers. This made it a little easier to identify IT components. Today, the network complexity of enterprises has made it difficult to identify the same IT components. With the inception of cloud platforms, it’s difficult for you to identify your actual IT asset since every aspect of your business network falls under the IT asset term.
- Infrastructure Hardware
The IT infrastructure hardware typically includes all the hardware components and company-owned devices confined to your network. The hardware systems are managed by your in-house IT team, managing all the physical devices, systems, data center, and network inspection infrastructure.
- In-house Applications
When your in-house developer team designs your own software and writes programs for your company’s specific needs which are directly controlled by you, it constitutes your in-house applications that are different from all the cloud-based applications and services.
- Cloud-based Applications
When you outsource cloud-based services and applications for integrating with your network, the licensing of these cloud services and software makes them an IT asset for your network. The software or app itself does not become a part of your IT asset rather in this case the license becomes your asset.
- Digital Data
With the increase of digitization, you are exposed to digital data sites more than ever before. By constantly consuming the digital data from various sources it becomes a permanent part of your IT asset. This digital asset needs to be organized and managed just as any company-owned hardware.
Since you have now developed an understanding of what IT asset management is and what constitutes it. Here are the top 5 reasons why your business should focus on it.
1. Improves Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
Apparent weak points in your network system can be spotted and managed easily. However, the loopholes in your enterprise network that you do not know of can be a reason for a data breach. Hence, you can not track the devices/hardware and programs and update security configurations for them. Forgetting to resolve these weak points in your system opens doors for hackers.
Thus, you may end up losing crucial consumer insights and the company’s valuable data. Here, IT asset management software plays an important role in keeping a track of all the apparent as well as hidden weak areas of your IT network. It helps you identify every minor or major cybersecurity threat that needs your attention. Therefore protecting you from any malicious cyber-attacks and data breaches.
2. Improves Productivity
Not being aware of what devices or software are available on your network for your team to work on can adversely affect their performance. If you do not run regular IT asset audits, you can end up with a pool of outdated hardware and software that can have a significant negative impact on your workflow. It can cause a slump in your business operations and may slow down your critical business applications. Consequently affecting your overall productivity and customer experience. Whereas, running regular IT asset audits helps you trace the lifecycle of every app, software, and hardware and helps spot the issues that need to be fixed for improved operational outcomes.
3. Compliance Regulations
Without a proper IT infrastructure management process, your company may find it difficult to follow various industry best practices of compliance regulations. It lets you store relevant consumer information on your workstation and remove any irrelevant consumer data that should not be present on your devices. So, that the legal authorities can not fine you for violating any compliance regulations.
4. New IT Asset Tracking
The rapid progress in technology calls for the adoption of new IT assets in your network. As businesses continue to grow with the technology, outdated IT equipment and software also need to be tracked. IT asset management tool helps you to roll out new IT assets in your enterprise network and build accurate network architecture for your company. It, therefore, helps you maintain cybersecurity protocols and efficient operations.
5. Old IT Asset Disposal
Your old hardware and devices need proper disposal as it concerns major data security standards. IT asset management software helps you dispose of your outdated IT assets that ever held any critical data. It makes sure that your critical information is properly cleansed from that device/hardware and cannot be recovered.
To gain maximum value out of your IT asset management system, you need to make sure that your enterprise executes extensive IT audits regularly. This way, you can always be aware of any loopholes in your network, identify outdated hardware, and roll out new IT equipment for an efficient workflow. It can also help build a complete network architecture roadmap that can guide you throughout your operations and ensure business continuity.