As companies grow and mature, it’s easy to fall into a mud pit of hardware waste. IT help desk workers, faced with increasing numbers of users, more complex systems, and a variety of vendor products, can lose track of hardware, let maintenance slide, and run into compatibility issues. This is especially true in the era of mobile devices. How can HAM (Hardware Asset Management) help?
1. HAM Identifies New Hardware Needs
Knowing ahead of time what procurement needs IT has helps you negotiate a better deal on the hardware you need to remain competitive. Good asset management also allows you to identify any potential compatibility issues between network devices and your hardware and software. HAM also makes it clear when hardware is still functioning well so you can save money on unnecessary replacement costs.
2. HAM Tracks Lost & Stolen Hardware
PCs that walk off, laptops that go missing when employees quit, and the tablet a worker left at the coffee shop all add up in expenses. HAM is a tool that IT can use to track down hardware that goes missing. With asset management software, you enter a list of all your hardware assets and tag each piece of equipment with identification. You then assign that hardware to a specific user or department, and can easily determine who had possession of the asset when it disappeared.
3. HAM Helps You Keep Up With Maintenance, Service & Warranties
Regular maintenance and proper service assures that the warranties on your hardware remain in effect. You also need to know when a warranty is expiring, so that you can get any necessary repairs done while it’s still free (or cheap). HAM also tracks devices that need more than their fair share of repairs, so you can steer clear of that brand or model when it’s time to replace the item. All of this adds up to huge savings.
4. HAM Helps Eliminate Hardware Redundancies
Does accounting really need four printers? Do remote workers really need a phone, tablet, and notebook computer? Has one employee gotten more than their allotment of devices? Redundant hardware racks up costs in several ways: purchase price, operational costs, and ongoing maintenance and repair work. HAM can identify where too many hardware assets are deployed so that you can give everyone what they need but no more than they need to get the job done.
5. HAM Assures Proper Retirement of Old Hardware
Hardware disposal used to be as simple as tossing old equipment in the garbage bins. But we learned our lessons from Lois Lerner’s email and Hillary Clinton’s server: proper disposal is essential for data protection and regulatory compliance. HAM identifies what hardware is nearing the end of its lifecycle so IT can plan and execute proper retirement. This includes:
- Logging the destruction data in the asset management system
- Backing up all the data on the machine
- Physical or virtual destruction of all the data on the machine
- Responsible disposal or recycling of the hardware
Many of the devices we use should be recycled, because it contains precious metals and other valuable materials.
Isn’t it time to add some pork to your IT menu?
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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