Corralling Those Wild IT Assets

IT asset tracking does not need to be a major IT project or an enormous undertaking.

 By Beth Cohen
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You are responsible for managing the 3,000 user accounts and 3,500 computers for your company. It's 9AM on Monday morning...Do you know where your users' computers are?

If you are working for a typical company, it's highly probable you do not. As an example, Dave Bingham, Consulting Director at Fujitsu Consulting UK, recently audited British Telecom's IT assets and found that they had 20,000 more computers than they thought -- now that is a serious asset management problem!

The typical IT shop is responsible for the administration of over 500 desktop systems loaded with standard desktop productivity software and random other applications. It has 30 servers at various patch levels and ages supporting a complex variety of functions -- and don't forget all the network and telecom gear to track as well.

Is your asset inventory management in your head or on a piece of paper tacked in your cubicle? Do you even know if you have paid for all your software licenses? Microsoft and some of the other big software companies have recently become much more aggressive at prosecuting companies for unlicensed software, which means you might be vulnerable to a very hefty charge if you are audited. If this sounds like your IT shop, you are not alone.

Benefits of IT Asset Management

Obviously, the combination of IT inventory shrinkage and unutilized computers directly affects the company's bottom line, but there are more subtle and equally costly effects of inadequate IT inventory control. If you do not have standardized systems, your IT support costs can be substantially higher due to:

  • More configurations to support
  • More IT staff time researching and integrating systems
  • More potential for integration problems and application conflicts
  • Slower problem resolutions
  • Longer upgrade cycle times
You know that you will never find the time to track your IT assets unless you make it a priority. Fortunately, IT asset tracking does not need to be a major IT project or an enormous undertaking. By implementing it as part of your regular IT support processes and by taking advantage of new automated tracking tools, you can get a handle on your IT assets and start working more effectively and efficiently in short order. Let's look at a few simple steps to get you started.

Page 2: Getting Started Managing Your IT Assets

This article was originally published on Mar 31, 2003
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