As a business grows it will start to accumulate a lot of IT assets and adopt new software to help run the business. But adding things over time can lead your IT processes to become rather fragmented and inefficient.
When you are totally focussed on growing your business and keeping things ticking over it can be easy for your IT assets to get out of hand. You may start to notice that your system isn't working as well as it should be or it is becoming very costly to maintain.
At some point, you will need to manage your IT assets, but a lot of business owners have no clue where to start.
Restore Technology has many years of experience helping businesses of all sizes to gain back control over their IT assets, streamline processes and increase efficiency and productivity. We start by conducting a thorough audit of all your assets before working on a management plan for you. Our plan will help to highlight inefficient assets and gaps in your systems that can be improved.
To make the best use of our services, it pays to understand what IT asset management is, why it is important for every business, and how it can benefit your company.
What is IT asset management?
IT asset management is where you develop a set of best practices that incorporate your business IT assets across your whole company. It is the process of joining together your IT inventory, financial, contractual and risk management elements so that you can manage the life-cycle of your IT hardware and software assets and make strategic decisions about your IT infrastructure and processes.
This typically involves making an audited inventory of your company IT hardware and software and then use this information to make informed decisions about future purchases and how you can best use your available assets to achieve and maintain a high level of efficiency.
Keeping an accurate record of your IT assets can help your company to operate more effectively and help you to avoid many common IT asset problems and mitigate risks when extending your IT infrastructure or when building new IT projects on a structure that consists of outdated or obsolete hardware or software that will be incompatible.
What is an IT asset?
An IT asset is any company-owned information, system or hardware that is used in the course of business activities. Within an office or IT environment, IT assets can vary from company to company based on the nature of the business, but mainly will include all elements of your IT infrastructure including computer hardware and software packages and peripheral equipment.
Why IT asset management is good for your business
Your company IT assets are costly to buy and maintain. This is why IT asset management should play a very important part of running your business. By having good asset management your IT team can make the most efficient use of their time and use your assets most effectively.
Good IT asset management goes much further than completing an inventory of your IT assets. It also includes making good use of the captured information you collect for your future IT purchases and processes.
IT asset management practices help businesses to become more efficient and effective. It can help your business to remain compliant with the current Data Protection Act regulations through the safeguarding of sensitive data and the secure destruction of stored data-bearing devices once they reach the end of their working life.
You can boost your productivity levels by identifying gaps in your IT infrastructure and implementing modern technologies to improve your business practices. You can also cut costs by assessing and monitoring your licences and eliminating unnecessary resources that are causing a drain on your finances.
Taking a proactive approach
You can take one of two strategies with your IT asset management: Reactive or proactive. Taking a reactive approach to your asset management will see you simply waiting until something breaks down before either fixing it or replacing it.
Most businesses will usually replace a broken part of their existing IT infrastructure without checking to see if it is really needed or if the structure they have in place is still serving the company well.
Surprisingly, the reactive approach is very common in most businesses. However, this approach can lead to problems, especially if you don't have the available budget to perform a fix. The downtime needed to address a problem can also be costly, so having a good IT asset management plan in place can help to address issues before they become a problem.
Taking a proactive approach looks at the entire life-cycle of your IT assets so you can often address issues before they become a problem. This means you can replace older or obsolete assets, software and processes at the right time instead of waiting for something to fail.
A proactive approach with a solid IT asset management plan in place will save you money in the long run where it may cost you twice as much to fix a problem rather than preventing it from happening in the first place. Plus being proactive with your asset management will result in less downtime when you need to make changes to your system.
Assessing your IT infrastructure
Your business must have a well planned IT infrastructure to maintain the quality and efficiency of your business processes at all levels. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to your asset management needs, we will be able to highlight the weak spots in your system for you.
Our expert team of software engineers will audit your existing system and weed out old, less efficient elements and implement modern integrated software solutions that are more efficient and can link multiple processes together to save you time and money.
We can also provide you with a secure way to dispose of your redundant IT assets that may have broken down and are beyond repair, are obsolete, or become excess to requirements as a result of the successful streamlining of your IT systems.
The Restore group of businesses not only offer expert IT asset management and audits, but we also offer the following IT management related services:
· IT resale and rebate
· IT disposals and destructions
· IT recycling
Restore Technology is the trusted 'go-to' company for thousands of businesses, organisations and healthcare trusts of all sizes from across the UK. We offer a comprehensive end-to-end solution for the care and management of your IT assets from your initial purchase to the end of its useful life, and beyond.
Understanding your IT infrastructure
Understanding your IT assets and infrastructure and having a working management plan in place is important because it allows you to understand how much it costs you to run your assets, and what it takes to maintain, repair or replace vital assets in a cost-effective way.
Your IT asset management plan will provide you with the tools and methodologies to sustain an efficient and effective IT system that is fit for purpose.
It can sometimes be very useful to strip your IT asset infrastructure right back to basics on paper, especially if your business has been operating for many years and may still be supported by outdated computer software and hardware that would be impossible to replace like for like should any part of the system break down.
Making a plan on paper can help you to structure your business using the best practices for the operation and ongoing maintenance of your IT assets. This can help you to save money over the long term because you will be using your assets wisely and cost-effectively.
A strong IT asset management plan sets out on paper what assets you have already got, what you are trying to achieve, and how you want to move forward going into the future.
Are things getting too technical for you?
Your current business processes may involve multiple operatives all performing different tasks and inputting separate information into your system. A lot of headway has been made over recent years into the development of integrated software that acts to join-up lots of different tasks and gather information.
Instead of going to two or three different members of staff to request reports and glean information, you may be able to save a lot of time and effort by using an integrated software solution that centralises all these tasks into one place. This can then mean you have pieces of your original IT infrastructure that may now become obsolete.
If this is the case then you can save a lot of money by streamlining your IT infrastructure down to operate on a lean system and securely dispose of your IT assets that are now superfluous to your requirements.
By using the help of our IT experts at Restore Technology you don't need to get yourself too tangled up in all the minutiae of your asset management plan. In fact, getting too involved in the technical details of your IT infrastructure can make you lose sight of your overall objectives.
You can leave the finer details of your IT asset auditing to our very experienced team IT engineers while you focus on the bigger picture.
Perfectly tailored IT asset management solutions
Always remember that every business and organisation is unique and will operate in a different way to the next one. We can tell you that after so many years in this business that no two IT asset management plans are identical.
We will consult with you to get a deep understanding of your business and your future goals before conducting a thorough audit of your existing IT assets, including analysing all of your components and your software systems to assess whether you are using the right ones for your type of business.
Once we have completed an IT asset inventory we can tell you where your assets are, what their value is, how old each piece is and if there are any concerns over its expected lifespan.
Once our audit is done you will easily be able to see which assets need replacing right away or in the near future. You will also be able to see where there are gaps in your infrastructure that need filling.
Any inefficient practices that can be improved by using integrated software will also be highlighted and we will discuss the options open to you regarding choosing the right integrated software.
Getting the most out of the life-cycle of your IT assets
When a business owner buys IT assets, they will often only consider the initial capital costs for the equipment. However, you should also take a view of the lifetime costs of your assets.
Consider things like operating and maintenance costs, repairs and replacement parts, testing for safety, the energy efficiency of the asset and the costs of replacement insurance and warranties, disposal costs etc.
There will always be technical costs to cover while maintaining your assets, so it makes sense to reclaim as much of those costs as you can once your IT assets have reached the end of their useful life.
By squeezing every last penny of value out of your IT assets you can put these savings towards reducing the initial costs of replacing worn-out equipment and keeping your future asset spending budget down.
Restore Technology offers a comprehensive end of life IT recycling service that helps you to claw back some of your original costs from the sale of the salvaged raw materials that are found in IT assets.
No matter whether you are a fast-growing small business that needs help setting up an IT asset management system before it gets out of hand, or you are a seasoned business that still retains and runs a lot of older IT hardware and software that may not be as efficient as it once was, Restore Technology has the perfect IT asset management solution for you. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly team to talk through your needs.