Internet-enabled devices are revolutionizing the way we live, work and do business. These connected devices and systems — collectively referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) — are so commonplace that an estimated 25 billion “things” will be connected by 2020.
The use of IoT has been on the rise for some time, but the advancements of recent years have made it easier for businesses to leverage this technology, especially when it comes to managing physical asset management.
For starters, the cost of internet-enabled devices is falling. It’s cheaper than ever for businesses to invest in IoT and improve their asset management, efficiency, and organizational structure. On top of that, there are new ways to leverage the IoT. Applications vary widely, and they don’t necessarily require a disruptive change during implementation. Finally, IoT can provide additional insight into how your business operates. You can practically guarantee a return on your investment by keeping an eye on analytics and spotting waste and inefficiencies before a financial loss occurs.
As a result of these changes, industries from healthcare to manufacturing and beyond are developing and purchasing applications, software, and devices that will improve efficiency and accommodate demand. As pressure to modernize and utilize this technology rises, the asset management sector is rife for improvement through IoT.
IoT and Asset Management
While IoT can improve efficiency and streamline tasks in your facility or on a jobsite, it does create some new challenges for business owners and project managers. Do you know where all your devices are? Do they work properly? Who is using them? As you add more technology to your business, it becomes difficult to maintain visibility and take full advantage of all your resources.
Legacy asset management systems use siloed systems to manage assets (spreadsheets, paper-based records, email threads), and they don’t always provide the visibility into your inventory that you need. Smart asset monitoring provides a single strategic system for managing all of the hardware and software assets at your organization. IoT-enabled asset monitoring provides some of the same services as traditional monitoring, such as knowing where the asset is, as well as its condition and lifecycle. But smart monitoring adds intelligence with real-time alerts, data insights, predictive maintenance, real-time visibility and more. Here are a few ways the IoT can improve IT asset management:
- Automated approvals. Too often, approvals take up valuable time that your employees could spend working. Smart ITAM (IT asset management) software helps you gain visibility into your approvals process and automate certain tasks to make getting the right tools to the right people faster.
- Streamline on- and off-boarding: the right ITAM software can help with on and off boarding. Certain features will allow you to assign devices to new employees and efficiently manage your resources. This will save money by cutting down on redundancies and unnecessary tools.
- Stay in compliance. Most IoT asset management tools can help you prevent audits by keeping your licensing up-to-date and ensuring software compliance. Similar features can also heighten security and notify you when it’s time to renew contracts.
- Extend the life of technology. ITAM software can help you gain insight into each asset’s working history, including previous service requests. If you send an item in for repairs, you can easily plan for a replacement or temporary solution for an employee. By staying on top of repairs and maintaining configuration, you’ll keep your assets up to date and extend their lifetime. If your asset management workflows integrate with your help desk software, you can use incoming tickets to update asset status and help users get the most functionality and longevity out of their hardware and software.
As the IoT continues to expand, organizations will have hundreds, thousands of assets to issue, repair, and monitor. A smart ITAM solution that tracks and communicates with your assets in real-time can help you maximize your investments, extend the life of your equipment, and get your employees the tools they need as quickly as possible.
Megan Pacella is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in IT, security, B2B marketing and sales. She has also written for USA Today, Bearings Guide, 10Best Nashville, and other publications.