It’s challenging to manage the large hardware and software assets in most IT organizations. In this video, you’ll learn about asset management strategies, database details, and the procurement life cycle.
The goal of asset management is to create a record of every single asset we have in the organization. From an IT perspective, this might include a list of every laptop the company has purchased, a list of all of the servers, switches, routers, and even the cables that we’re using to connect all of these together. On the help desk, we can associate these assets with tickets that we’ve opened. So if a user is having a problem with the laptop, we not only know the model of the laptop, we have the serial number that was assigned to that user.
This list of assets is also useful for determining financial reports and understanding what devices happen to be depreciated at any particular time. This can be important for financial management and keeping track of tax liability. And in many organizations, an asset tag is physically attached to that particular asset. This might have a barcode or RFID chip, or it might have a number on the asset tag itself so that we can type that into our database and understand more about that particular asset.
This asset management process allows us to create a very detailed database, and the information in this database can be used and managed by almost any part of the organization. If someone calls into the help desk with a problem associated with their laptop, we know exactly what laptop was assigned to that user. If the issue is with a router at a remote site, we’re able to quickly pull up information about that router and what’s been installed in that particular device.
This might also be able to tell us if this device is still under warranty. So if we receive a ticket that a router at a remote site has failed, we can see immediately in our asset management database that device might still be under warranty. We can contact the manufacturer to get a replacement as soon as possible. This can also be a very valuable database for planning. You might be able to create a report that shows all of the licensing that’s expected over the next 12 months so that you can add that to the annual budget.
In most organizations, there’s a very well defined and specific process for acquiring new assets. This purchasing process commonly has multiple steps in different parts of the organization are involved. This usually starts with a request from the user and it often includes budgeting numbers so we know exactly how much money will be spent for this particular request. These usually have to go through a number of different approvals.
So there might be a manager or director that’s able to sign off on this particular request. This request is usually forwarded to the purchasing department who’s responsible for centrally negotiating with vendors and third parties to be able to acquire these assets. There’s usually terms and conditions that have to be negotiated, and sometimes, we’ll even bring in the legal team to finalize this process.
And once those terms are finalized, we can complete the purchase process. Normally, we would create a purchase order inside of our company and provide that purchase order to a vendor. The vendor will then fulfill the terms of that purchase order by providing licenses, equipment, or anything else that’s listed on the purchase order. They’ll then send an invoice requesting payment for that PO.