By Brian Lasagna, Director of Field Services for Buchanan Technologies
In today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape, it can be difficult for organizations to create and adhere to business processes and guidelines related to their IT infrastructure. It is also becoming more challenging for organizations to make the most of their investment in IT equipment when it is not managed properly.
Traditionally, keeping a thorough inventory of company IT assets has not been top of mind for many IT departments, especially those with limited resources. This poses numerous issues, from not having an accurate count of equipment, to issuing defective machines to new employees.
Asset management includes keeping an up-to-date account of all IT inventory and determining when changes need to be made – and what those changes should be. An example of this is deciding to decommission damaged laptops, removing them from your inventory, properly disposing of them, purchasing new laptops, and cataloging the hardware.
IT Asset Management Challenges
There are several challenges related to IT asset management (commonly referred to as ITAM), but there are a few key issues businesses face that keep them from operating at peak efficiency.
Many organizations tend to neglect to map out and formalize their IT asset life cycle. This could include guidelines of when to label an asset unusable or defective and thereupon remove the asset from their inventory.
If an IT asset life cycle is established but there are no set processes in place to control, monitor, and enforce the associated policies, the IT asset life cycle will not succeed. IT departments must create comprehensive plans and assign accountability for all activities across the IT asset life cycle.
Organizations oftentimes struggle with a lack of executive sponsorship and accountability related to their IT asset management policies and procedures, which can be due to a lack of free time or knowledge surrounding IT assets. However, without the support of upper management and governance teams, it can be challenging to push ITAM initiatives forward.
All these points considered, businesses may benefit from partnering with a managed service provider for their ITAM.
Benefits Of IT Asset Management
One of the biggest benefits of delegating your ITAM to an MSP is the shift of responsibilities from your internal resources to a third party. This will reduce stress on your resources and free up their time to focus on other important tasks and projects for the company while your ITAM initiatives are being fulfilled.
MSPs typically will provide proof of receipt and documentation of your company assets so you are aware of what you have on hand and don’t experience a shortage of equipment. Additionally, an MSP can offer the technology you need for tracking your assets as well as reporting important stock levels so you can place orders accordingly.
Partnering with an MSP for your ITAM also will provide some cost-saving benefits, as you can take advantage of the MSP’s existing technology and refrain from incurring the cost of the tracking and documentation tools, making it an all-inclusive package to reduce capital costs.
Keep Up With Demand
Another benefit of an MSP managing your ITAM is the ease of keeping up with demand. Whether it is equipping new employees with the proper technology or deactivating company devices due to turnover, your IT assets will be constantly moving through their life cycles amidst your organization, and an MSP can oversee these actions.
MSPs also can assist in ensuring your IT equipment, such as laptops and computers, can simply be pulled off the shelf when needed. This will not only significantly cut down on time spent onboarding new employees as the assets will be in a ready to use state, but you also can rest assured that they have gone through the necessary procedures and protocols related to reimaging, testing, and provisioning equipment.
If you are needing to replace assets or upgrade equipment, you can utilize an MSP’s partnerships with industry leaders such as Microsoft, IBM, or Dell for bulk pricing models and device procurement, leading to additional cost savings. You also can leverage the MSP’s expertise on the latest and most impactful technologies to implement, ensuring you are making a good investment.
Much time is spent day-to-day on hunting down equipment, preparing it for an employee, and shipping the materials. When an MSP handles your ITAM, they are also handling the shipping process – beginning with shipment preparation and ending with shipment tracking – providing you updates during each phase. This will lead to your IT department worrying less about shipping and tracking and allow them to focus their energy in other areas.
You also can free up space at your office by transitioning your IT equipment to be held at an MSP’s storage facility. This will lower rental space and any associated costs, and your equipment will be securely held until it is needed.
If you’re wasting money storing systems you should dispose of, MSPs can assist with that as well. As MSPs handle varying IT equipment every day, they have the knowledge and best practices of how to properly dispose of the equipment, making one less project for your staff to worry about.
Consider Additional Services
Simply having access to a warehouse to store IT assets is not an all-inclusive solution. An MSP can not only identify gaps and additional technical needs within your organization, but they also can provide the necessary on-site support to help you install and configure new IT equipment and systems. Forming a partnership with a reputable service provider is sure to deliver countless benefits to your business for years to come.