Many mid-market organizations expose themselves to significant security and operational risks by having poor IT asset management documentation. Due to decentralized purchasing and ad hoc administration, these businesses often do not have a clear view of all their IT assets and do not know when or how to best maintain their devices. This lack of oversight can also lead to increased costs and a lack of consistent budgeting due to ineffective IT decisions, such as fixing or replacing devices only when they break down, rather than staying ahead with proactive maintenance.
Instead, organizations can focus on streamlining IT asset management documentation in the following 4 ways:
The first key to IT asset management documentation is taking stock of all your devices. You can’t oversee devices that you’re unaware of, and you can’t manage assets effectively if you’re unclear on key information, like where they are located.
For example, a financial services organization may have to manage IT across several branches while maintaining a seamless client experience. Similarly, healthcare groups may have various systems at different hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices; if they do not stay on top of managing disparate devices, they could put their ability to serve patients at risk.
Thus, you should make a list of all your network devices, including information such as device type, location and associated vendors. From there, you can more easily establish a plan to manage all your devices efficiently, accounting for information like the way devices are spread out across different offices and which vendors you need to work with to keep your devices up to date.
Taking inventory of your IT assets will create another document of sorts. All of your devices may come with their own mix of physical and digital documents, such as service-level agreements (SLAs), warranties, instructions and more. As such, to streamline IT asset management documentation you should collect and organize all of these documents in one place for
Ideally, your network management platform or digital database should allow you to establish and maintain your IT inventory along with all your other IT asset management documentation in one secure, easy-to-manage location.
Organizing your IT asset management documentation is a great starting point. As you look over your inventory list and SLAs, you can start to establish strategies for ongoing device maintenance and management. For example, you may notice that you have numerous service providers associated with different devices, so you may want to streamline your IT management by transferring device service and oversight to a more limited number of service providers.
With your IT asset management documentation all in one centralized place, you may also notice a history of reactive rather than proactive device maintenance, leading to lost productivity and unpredictable costs. As such, you may want to establish a more regular device maintenance plan and utilize ongoing support from your service providers to spot security issues and other technical challenges when they first appear, rather than waiting until they become a
Similar to establishing better maintenance and management practices, businesses should also aim to have a more established plan for end of support timelines. Many devices have a product lifecycle, where after several years, the manufacturer no longer provides ongoing support, such as firmware updates. Staying on top of these dates without strong IT asset management documentation can be challenging. Many organizations don’t know when various devices reach their end of support dates, lose time trying to find the right information and then expose themselves to risk by not upgrading.
Instead, businesses can streamline IT asset management documentation by adding in a plan for handling end of support dates while collating all their device documents. For example, they could set up alerts within a network management platform based on information found in SLAs.
To optimize IT asset management documentation, it helps to have a centralized platform to gain better visibility and oversight of your network. Cisco Smart Net helps all types of organizations easily track and manage their IT inventory, including licensing, preparing for end-of-support dates, providing security updates and more. As a certified Cisco partner and managed service provider, Xigent can help you streamline your IT asset management documentation and overall IT operations through Smart Net and our dedicated team of experts.
Ready to improve your IT asset management documentation? Contact Xigent to learn more or sign up for our services.