Look around your office, and take a moment to add up all of the computers, printers, servers and other hardware that keep your business operation moving. Right now, how do you manage the lifecycles of all of that hardware? How about that printer, for example? Do you know when its warranty expires? What about all of those laptops? When will they need to be replaced?
If you’re struggling to find the answers to these questions, that’s a problem. Why? Properly tracking your IT assets helps you avoid unscheduled downtime, skip unnecessary asset purchases, and take the pain out of software audits.
It may be time to reevaluate how you track and manage your IT hardware.
Today, many small businesses trust a third-party tech support provider to track the lifecycle of their business-critical hardware and software. Others have opted to maintain this information in-house. Regardless of which path you choose for your small to midsize business, IT asset management and tracking is a critically important practice.
Here are the top three reasons to make this a priority in 2018:
1. Avoid Downtime by Identifying Aging Equipment
Your IT network runs on an amalgamation of software, boxes, circuits, cords and wires, and every single piece has a usable lifespan. If a single piece breaks, the entire network is usually affected. While components are becoming more robust and reliable every day, equipment still breaks down and requires eventual replacement.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t realize this until something actually breaks and takes down their IT network. Unscheduled downtime is expensive because it is unexpected. By regularly keeping an eye on the age of your equipment, you can make replacements proactively, which prevents unscheduled downtime and saves you money.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Spending On New IT Infrastructure
After reading that last paragraph, you may be tempted to start looking around for old hardware to replace, but take it from us: Don’t be over-zealous in your efforts. Replacing aging IT assets can be expensive.
You’ll need to prioritize which equipment to replace first. Asset tracking is key to this process. If you have a brand-new IT budget, but realize that your employees’ laptops have another year left under their warranties, spend that budget somewhere else.
3. Make Software Auditing Easier
Has your business ever been subject to a software audit? If so, you know it’s not a very fun process. You may remember software company representatives demanding long lists of license numbers, trying to ensure that you could properly account for each instance of their product detected on your network. For those who have not yet felt this pain, and those who expect to feel it again soon, consider a change to your asset management strategy.
Software asset tracking doesn’t have to be terribly complicated, and it can save you a great deal of time and hassle down the road. Take steps to record which employee is using which software packages, and record the license number/code for each of those software instances on their machine.
Make no mistake, hunting this information down won’t be easy. However, the effort will have been well worth it. The next time your company receives a software audit request, all you have to do is open a spreadsheet.
Stay a step ahead and save
While it may take a little extra time and effort to get a handle on all of your organization’s hardware and software assets, it’s well worth taking the time to do it. There’s nothing more important than keeping your employees productive and your customers satisfied, and asset tracking is one way to ensure that your network and computers will be there when you need them to keep your business running in peak condition.
Do you want to get a better handle on your small business IT environment? Do you need help making an audit of your equipment? Give us a call and we'll set up a complimentary consulting session to make an assesment.