IT Asset Management in the shifting work environment
Last year the focus on accelerated digital transformation was palpable and seen in the rush to expedite many IT initiatives. These initiatives usually took months if not years to approve, but COVID-19 conclusively showed that the rate of adoption for digitalisation can change course rapidly in response to market shifts.
While digital transformation requires the rethinking of many business processes and even business models, a process that is often neglected is asset tracking. This is according to David Buck, CIO of V-Track™. Asset tracking, simply put, is a single source of information that is accurate, relevant and available to whoever requires it for effective asset management. It forms the basis to provide intelligence to be the catalyst for closer collaboration between the three movers of digital transformation: IT, finance and HR.
Buck says: "IT asset management (ITAM) is generally difficult to successfully accomplish due to multiple layers of moving parts. It is a complex framework that utilises resources, processes and procedures to track and manage the financial, physical, licensing and contractual aspects of IT assets through their life cycle."
He continues: "Imagine tracking all your assets in various spreadsheets and on different platforms while still being reliant on this information to make informed business decisions? Manual processes are prone to human error. The validity and availability of that information must be questioned and reviewed! It is only through accurate accounts that we can truly be in a position to have clarity of the information we own to make better decisions."
We know that technology plays a pivotal and central role in this process. It provides the means through which digitalisation is achieved. In all probability, it will influence how business processes and models will mutate. With that said, is the focus on persistent IT asset tracking really the answer to successful ITAM?
Buck says: "Technology alone does not solve this, and certainly not one that claims to do it persistently. The answer lies in the effective combination of utilising technology with a consistent process framework and a dedicated team."
Asset tracking is key to success in a fragmented business environment
IT asset tracking is often overlooked in the pursuit of focusing on other areas of IT asset management, such as cyber security, service management, financial management, etc. This oversight is often unquantifiable in terms of loss, financial or otherwise, due to the lack of reliable data.
One such requirement for tracking today is managing the complexities of working from home or return-to-work strategies. For example, when organisations had to equip staff to work from home in a great hurry at the beginning of the pandemic, large volumes of IT equipment – laptops, screens, dongles, routers and so on – had to be purchased.
If, as it seems likely, a hybrid working model persists after the pandemic is over, this kind of distributed technology environment will remain a feature. Meaning, many corporate IT assets will be located for at least some of the time, outside of the traditional office environment.
Buck mentions that keeping track of corporate IT assets assigned to staff working from home is more challenging than it initially appeared. There are risks of potential data breaches (POPI), theft of assets, damage to assets, support issues and other considerations.
Ensuring accurate data to underpin good decision-making
The answer to effective asset management, at home or the office, starts with a customisable and configurable asset-tracking solution carefully constructed to integrate into defined processes.
By creating an accurate and continually updated asset dataset – a single version of the truth across the whole organisation – CIOs and other members of the executive team will be able to track and manage their assets effectively across their life cycles.
For HR, the benefits are also highly tangible. Onboarding and exiting staff are facilitated if there is a clear and granular understanding of the organisation’s IT assets. In addition, HR also has a keen interest in guaranteeing that staff members always have the appropriate device, particularly as roles change or promotions occur, regardless of where they are working in the organisation.
And for the CFO, always at the eye of the storm, accurate data relating to the existing IT estate is essential for making the right decisions in an increasingly digital world.
Fortunately, keeping track of your IT assets in a remote world does not need to be an impossible task. With an IT asset tracking solution like V-Track™, you can simplify the complex task of navigating remote work and effectively manage your ITAM and business objectives.