Asset management Discussion topic Secrets of the IT department

The inventory you didn’t know existed – Secrets of the IT department

In this series of short articles, we uncover some of the secret workings of the IT department, finding out what is jargon and what is just common sense that can apply to all of us, regardless of our role, work, or profession.

Did you know that mismanaging IT assets could cost your company thousands of pounds? Whether you’re a fan of your IT department or not, there comes a time when everyone needs to interact with them. After exploring service level management in our last article, today we’re diving into the fascinating world of asset management.

What is asset management?

Asset management in IT is all about keeping track of the hardware and software that make your organisation tick. Think of it like organising your kitchen. You need to know where every utensil is, its condition, and when to replace it. In IT terms, hardware refers to the physical components like computers, monitors, and printers, while software includes programs like Microsoft Word or your favourite mobile app.

Why asset management matters

Organisations need effective asset management to save time, money and other resources that might otherwise be wasted on unused or redundant technology. Moreover, compliance with licenses and contracts is crucial to avoid legal ramifications.

Key elements of asset management

These include:

  1. Software licenses – ensure that your organisation legally owns the software it uses
  2. Hardware inventory – a list of all hardware devices and where they are located
  3. Lifecycle management – tracking an asset from acquisition to disposal
  4. Compliance checks – regular audits to ensure that all assets are being used per relevant laws and agreements.

The benefits of doing this well

Effective asset management isn’t just about saving money; it’s about creating a more efficient and secure environment. Just like a well-organised warehouse ensures faster customer delivery, effective asset management ensures smoother operations and better service across the board.

  • Cost savings – avoid unnecessary purchases and get the most out of your existing assets.
  • Compliance – stay within the legal boundaries of software licenses and contracts.
  • Efficiency – streamline daily operations by knowing what you have and where it is.
  • Security – identify and mitigate potential risks tied to outdated or unaccounted-for assets.

Example: A school library

Imagine asset management as a school library’s system to track books, DVDs, and computers. It would be a mess if the librarian didn’t know which items were checked out, by whom, and for how long.

Example: Your personal belongings

In a household context, consider it as keeping an inventory of your valuable belongings for insurance purposes. You would want to know what you have, its condition, and its worth.

Your thoughts

Now that you’re familiar with how asset management works behind the scenes, how does this change your perspective on the IT department and how they support you? Feel free to share your stories and insights.

This article is the fifth in our ‘Secrets of the IT Department’ series, aiming to demystify the essential elements that keep IT running smoothly. Keep an eye out for our next insightful piece.