Guest Column | April 11, 2018

4 Reasons Why IT Asset Management Is Effective For People Management

By Kiran Ajaz

4 Reasons Why IT Asset Management Is Effective For People Management

Buying IT assets off the shelf is an easy task, but managing the hardware and software requirements, permissions, licenses, and people using it across the organization is certainly not. It is not just the IT assets that need to be tracked, but also the people who are using it. If your organization has thousands of assets and hundreds of employees, you cannot keep an eye on each and every employee. The good news is you can use a cloud-based IT asset tracking system to effectively manage your IT assets, and eventually the people using it, by increasing transparency, maintaining accountability, enhancing productivity, and knowing what permissions they have with regards to equipment, what items they have responsibility for, and much more.

What Makes IT Asset Management Effective For People Management?

1.  It allows IT assets to add more value to your organization

IT assets should be operated in a way that they add more value to your organization. Most of the time, this operation is divided between the employees who use the asset to produce value and an administrator who maintains the asset in a functioning state. IT assets are often deployed without an admin having any idea about how they are going to be used by the employees. At times they are not used as they were initially intended for. For instance, in case a laptop is deployed and then overused or rarely used. You can easily highlight these patterns and reallocate your IT resources to better add value to the organization, using the combination of data from IT asset management system and operational data.

Standardization of equipment is also important not only to eliminate compliance issues, but also to maintain employee productivity. Non-standard IT equipment and software incurs unnecessary costs for organizations.

Did you know? It is estimated that an average of 37 minutes or 8 percent of the workday is spent searching for a file.

Moreover, it wastes a lot of time when people have to understand and use non-conforming systems and data. A system in place can keep the organizations informed about their level of compliance with standards and enable IT teams to make efforts into compliance. It is required to increase their employee’s productivity levels.

2. It brings more transparency with IT asset lifecycle management

Having more transparency into your IT assets allows IT managers to better manage their employees as well. After all, it is your employees who are using those assets. Keeping a close eye on your assets will eventually help you keep a close eye on how your employees are using your assets. Whether it is software or hardware, they all have a replacement or disposal date. Using an IT asset tracking tool, you can keep track of how long a hardware has been used, when it was purchased, who has been responsible for it, if there is a lease expiring on the component, and much more.

Statistics show that utilizing a centralized repository where assets can be searched can improve staff productivity by 30 percent. It is also important for system administrators to know whether the OS used by the employees is current, the version of software that is in use, and the amount of time the end-users have been running this version of software. The IT teams make use of this actionable data to decide whether a firmware on the system needs to be updated or uninstalled, or if faulty hardware should be replaced. Doing this won’t disrupt the workflow of their employees.

You must familiarize yourself with asset data so that you are aware of the right time to renew or extend a contract with the vendor. This can be done on the basis of purchase order, expiry, and contract information stored in the system. You can then decide when to hand over your employees with a new hardware or software.

3. It keeps your IT assets safe and increases accountability

A study by Hiscox, a global specialist insurer, found that U.S. businesses affected by employee theft lost an average of $1.13 million in 2016. What lies at the heart of IT security is the knowledge about who is using the assets, which assets they are responsible for, what permissions they have, and whether the allocation and asset usage conforms to the policy. When you constantly keep track of your IT inventory and automatically update it by using asset management solution, you will be able to monitor software and hardware components of your network computers. You can instantly find out if a harmful or unapproved hardware/software is installed. It not only keeps your assets and systems safe and secure, but increases accountability in your employees who are using them.

With malicious websites, worms, and botnets on the rise, efficient software management is a must. You cannot completely trust your employees and expect them to act on every update notice sent to them, which is why you need to monitor their activities. Keeping tabs with updates, announcements, and weekly vulnerabilities is an endless task for IT managers. A robust solution allows system administrators to quickly filter out vulnerabilities like outdated software, unauthorized or illegal software, malicious or unauthorized downloads, and games. It allows you to see where potential risks are and prevent them; you never know when your employee secretly decides to download or install anything malicious or unauthorized.

4. It enables zero-day employee provisioning

Good employees don’t come easy. It is important that you keep them productive and functioning at their optimum. This is true right from the moment an employee joins your company — whether he/she just changed his/her position or just started working for your organization, he/she needs to be provided with everything to remain productive and start working. Nowadays that also includes a computer, laptop, or any other mobile device that is properly configured and setup with the right software, in order to complete the required tasks and access the needed data.

When you have an IT asset management system in place, you can easily do that without wasting hours or even days of your employee’s productivity and work hours. You can even find out if an intern or an employee who retired recently has left behind a laptop that is in a good shape with updated software. You can hand that over to the new employee instead of arranging a new one.

On the flip side, when the employee is leaving a company, his or her access to the systems and data is immediately cut. Any IT equipment that he/she was using is moved to the decommissioning phase so that it can be made available again for someone else.

Is your company having trouble with people management? How's your IT asset management? How's your management team? Here are some of the IT Asset Management Best Practices.

Kiran Ajaz is a technical writer and publisher at EZOfficeInventory, an IT asset management software for tech businesses, enterprises, and beyond. She is also a guest writer and MBA graduate. She is enthusiastic about the way technology interacts with contemporary businesses and enables them to focus on core efficiencies.