Fifty-four percent of HR leaders say that the biggest barrier to effective remote working in their organization is “poor technology and/or infrastructure.” It doesn’t help that when a worker is sent home with a faulty company laptop, IT isn’t just down the hall to ask for help. That’s why IT hardware asset management is crucial, especially right now.
IT hardware asset management is vital for building a high-performing organization. It’s more than just knowing who has which laptop charger—it’s a set of business processes that combine the financial, contractual, and inventory elements of an asset’s life cycle inside of an IT environment. With all of these elements in one system, IT hardware asset management benefits the entire organization, presents important data to help decision-makers, and helps organizations meet the demands of a work-from-anywhere world.
Conduct Asset Management That Benefits the Entire Business
It may not seem like it on a surface level, but hardware asset management is crucial to businesses as a whole. As the saying goes at ServiceNow, “IT asset management is a business issue disguised as an IT problem.”
Every company has IT assets: from phones to computers to the accessories that make them run. It is important to keep track of to whom these assets are assigned and from where they came. But IT hardware asset management should go beyond those basics to tracking the entire lifecycle of the asset. Tracking the entire lifecycle (1) helps you know when to recycle an asset and when you need to restock your inventory and (2) keeps track of the asset as it moves between different parts of the company.
“ITAM is actually 80 percent process and 20 percent technology,” says Joel Gyolai, IT asset management practice lead at Crossfuze. “[The IT department] might be responsible for supporting IT devices or tracking them in an inventory, but it’s the business as a whole that completes the full lifecycle.”
ITAM is a concern for the entire company, and the entire company needs to be involved in fixing the issues involved. For example, the sales department might place a purchase order for new laptops, and the COO’s assistant might contact a vendor to renew a contract. These actions involve IT, but the IT department isn’t the only part of the company that has a hand in them. That’s why ServiceNow is important: It handles the entire lifecycle of an asset, no matter who’s involved.
Make Knowledgeable Decisions with Data
ServiceNow tracks data points that help users make knowledgeable hardware asset decisions. For example, many companies only track who has each asset and where the asset came from, but ServiceNow also tracks important data points like warranty expiration dates. When companies are aware of when warranties are going to expire, they can be proactive and start the refresh process before the warranty expiration date approaches.
One company connected ServiceNow ITAM to their purchasing and contract management systems. They also leveraged procurement to procure and generate asset records in the platform. With all this data, they were able to be proactive and make strategic decisions about their hardware assets. As in the example above, this company was never surprised by warranties running out.
Meet the Challenges of a Work-from-Anywhere World
Our work-from-anywhere world presents some unique challenges to IT hardware asset management. When organizations span multiple countries and regions or don’t have warehouse storage space, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with ITAM demands. This was true in the recent past, but the challenges are especially poignant during a global pandemic.
“Companies are scrambling right now,” Gyolai says. “People [are] saying, ‘I need help right now. I have hundreds of people at home. We’re just throwing computers and monitors at them, but we have no idea who we assigned it to or when we assigned it to them.’”
This time of confusion is the perfect opportunity to implement hardware asset management. Companies can start by using ServiceNow to make sure their inventory is updated. This will (1) ensure that they know who has what and when assets were assigned and (2) allow them to proactively prepare for scenarios that will arise with a remote workforce. Companies can also use the catalog to standardize requesting and offering IT support for company devices. When everything is set up and running smoothly during an unusual time, it will make a return to “usual” times better than ever.
IT hardware asset management helps the entire organization by tracking important data and providing a platform to meet the demands of a work-from-anywhere world. If your organization could use support getting started with ITAM, consider Crossfuze’s Smart HAM. With this program, we help you from planning through end of life, helping you understand how the entire lifecycle works and creating standard processes for everyone to use in the company going forward.