- Automatic tracking gives you a clear picture of what you own and are paying for
- Audit and inventory will no longer be a headache
- Eliminate ‘Shadow IT’ and avoid problems
- Reduce IT downtime with CMDB
- Paperless handover
- Better planning and resource allocation lowers costs
- Choosing a reliable supplier is essential
In anticipation of tougher economic times, companies and organizations are looking for ways to save money, but also to do things better and more efficiently. Many companies are adopting IT Asset Management (ITAM) solutions because these bring numerous benefits, including strengthening cybersecurity, streamlining processes and increasing ROI. In addition, ITAM enables businesses to cut operational costs, even outside of IT. In this article we summarise the most typical cases, but the overlap is much wider and often varies from company to company.
Automatic tracking gives you a clear picture of what you own and are paying for
Keeping asset records in ‘if only’ regularly updated Excel spreadsheets is time-consuming and unreliable. This is why the phenomenon of “ghost assets” has been a trending topic lately. Industry estimates suggest that up to 65 % of corporate fixed asset records are incomplete or inaccurate, while 10 % to 30 % of recorded assets are missing entirely. In such a situation, the organization is reckoning with assets that do not exist, which translates into financial balance sheets and unnecessary expenses for insuring items it no longer owns. On closer inspection, this applies to every department, including IT. Another consequence is the impact on productivity. A computer that only exists on paper is not very useful for an employee to do their job. Likewise, a computer that does exist, but is in a different location than listed is not only unavailable for actual use but its condition is difficult to verify. These factors lead to additional re-purchase costs. With its automatic software and hardware detection function, IT Asset Management can easily trace whether the computer is currently in use and where, as required. The device log records any fault claims and, if the tool is integrated with Service Desk, related tickets. Asset Management commonly integrates with ERP and surveillance systems, so you can rely on the records to be true-to-life and about assets that actually exist. In addition, automatic detection saves you up to 70 % of the time you would spend listing the necessary technical and software configuration data with a spreadsheet.
Audit and inventory will no longer be a headache
Have you tried to calculate how much regular inventorization really costs you? A simple mistake like forgetting to register one of the computers into stock can lead to discrepancies during inventory-taking. Pirated software not only gives companies a headache because of security risks but also because of the high fines they’d face after an audit. As a baseline, fines tend to be set at three times the purchase price of the license, and only after that do you get to decide whether to buy the license or switch to another solution. Thanks to the automated asset recording and having all the necessary data in one place, you are able to shorten a regular audit from weeks to days, and a major one from months to weeks, as well as avoid potential financial penalties.
Eliminate ‘Shadow IT’ and avoid problems
Shadow IT is one of the biggest risks and too expensive an issue to ignore. Large companies routinely spend 40-50 % of their IT budgets on eliminating it through rigorous controls, security, and problem resolution. And there’s a reason for that; unverified (pirated) software poses a risk not only in the event of an audit but a potential leak of sensitive data that can shake the foundations of an otherwise very stable company. In fact, around 30% of employees have at some time been affected by pirated software on their computers. With license management, you always know exactly what software your employees are using and which licenses are valid. This will not only help your organization reduce security risk, but also reduce the potential costs associated with license purchase and renewal.
Reduce IT downtime with CMDB
According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. Because there are so many differences in how businesses operate, downtime can be as high as $140,000 per hour at the low end, $300,000 per hour on average, and as high as $540,000 per hour at the high end. Yet much of the downtime could be avoided. Using a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), you can identify which services require the highest level of priority. It also helps you better leverage postmortem analyses to improve processes, and avoid unplanned downtime in the future.
Handover reports and paper dockets have become a thing of the past with Asset Management. Thanks to the complete digitization of ITAM processes with electronic handover protocols, the entire workflow becomes more transparent, and faster, but also cheaper and more environmentally friendly, because you don’t have to print anything, and have the information consolidated. This saves both IT and HR work during employee onboarding and offboarding when you want to make sure that all the equipment entrusted to people changes hands with nothing overlooked. This prevents inconsistencies when an employee starts and leaves when you want to be sure that the employee has received or returned all entrusted property and that nothing has been forgotten.
Better planning and resource allocation lowers costs
Budgeting and purchasing new equipment and licenses for applications is always time-consuming and complex. Many companies rely on spreadsheets, which are often inaccurate. The consequence is that, for example, a hundred new computers get bought but only a third are currently needed, with the remaining units unnecessarily getting out of date in stock. This not only shortens their operating warranty but also allocates resources that could be used more efficiently at the time. Much the same is true of software purchases. According to international surveys, on average some $260 worth of unused or unnecessary software is installed on every company computer. For a company with a thousand employees, a significant extra cost. Another example where Software Asset Management (or SAM) can help you is when planning to add licenses for more advanced features in some software, for only relevant staff, yet everyone uses that software in some form, with some type of license. Without Software Asset Management, it would be difficult to know who has which version and edition of the software and which employees really need the upgrade. Especially so, if the company has multiple branches and lots of laptops outside the office, which makes the task virtually impossible. Some companies address this by switching to more advanced licenses for everyone (higher edition software) – if that’s at all affordable. However, this often incurs significant extra costs that could easily have been avoided if only the company had a SAM management tool and process in place.
Choosing a reliable supplier is essential
Along with your accounting records and technical data, Asset Management keeps track of your supplier network. In addition, you can add an invoice or purchase receipt for each new piece of equipment. In the event of a claim, you can easily find out who supplied the equipment. You don’t have to contact your accountant to provide the receipt and risk the warranty expiring in the meantime. Some companies deal with this by keeping duplicate records in accounting and IT, but this is an extra unnecessary cost. But with Asset Management you can also see if some issue is recurring over and over again. If it is, you have the hard data to negotiate with your supplier about changing the terms and conditions, or a good reason to look for another vendor. This can save not only money but also time for IT and the purchasing department.