Most companies today manage their technology inventory by logging and tracking assets manually, a process that is both cumbersome and error-prone. In fact, more than 65 percent of companies have immature IT asset management strategies in place, according to Meta Group.
Companies who don’t use automated tools to manage hardware and software inventory are likely to face significant challenges. For a variety of reasons, they will struggle to effectively monitor the various components within their infrastructure, and maximize the value of IT assets throughout their lifecycle.
A Dynamic Business Landscape
Today’s organizations are undergoing rapid change – mergers and acquisitions, expansions or downsizing, etc. Each one of these changes has an impact on IT inventory, making hardware and software asset management somewhat of a “moving target”. For example, new employees will require new equipment, while a layoff will make PCs, software licenses, and IT other assets available for use by others. Opening a new branch may call for the purchase of new hardware, while a shift in business strategy may require new applications to be acquired and deployed. This type of dynamic, ever-changing environment makes taking IT inventory a challenge.
A Geographically-Dispersed Network
Long, long ago, companies operated out of a single location. If they wanted to know what IT assets they had, and where they were located, they simply walked around and took stock. However, today’s firms do business on a global scale, with branches, offices, and even remote or home-based employees performing work out of numerous locations spread across the world. With IT assets housed at so many different locations, it becomes harder to manually monitor changes or additions in the environment, such as when an employee installs software on a PC, or when a new peripheral like a scanner or printer is connected to a network. As a result, IT asset inventory logs can quickly become outdated.
Constant Asset Upgrades or Replacement
Technology innovations emerge at a sharp pace, as new and better software and hardware solutions are being introduced by vendors all the time. And, while technology budgets are stagnant or shrinking in today’s tough economic times, companies still invest in the latest and greatest solutions to help them maintain an edge. The acquisition of new hardware, software, or subscription-based technology services means more than just a new physical asset to track – there are financial assets to consider, like contracts and software license management.
Only comprehensive, fully automated IT asset management solutions can help organizations keep their technology inventory up-to-date and balanced at all times, even in the face of rapidly-changing architectures and business conditions. With IT asset management systems, businesses can achieve complete, real-time visibility across their entire technology landscape, knowing exactly what they have, where it is located, and how it is being used at all times.