Perhaps it’s time for an IT asset audit, or perhaps you are eager to take better control of your IT asset management with software designed for that purpose. No matter why you are planning a close inspection of your IT assets, you can use a bit of guidance and help.
We have created this checklist to help you better understand IT asset management best practices that will help you to make the best use of your assets. Remember that the best IT asset management software is only as good as the data you give it. So it’s important to get this audit right.
Before your audit
IT asset management is all about planning. This goes for before your IT asset audit as well. Before you begin, you will want to address the following:
Set goals for the audit
Decide what you want your audit to accomplish. Even if the process of auditing IT assets is fairly standard, the final outcome may miss something vital without a clear end objective. Are you poised for growth and trying to determine what new equipment you will need? Are your assets nearing the end of their lifecycle and you are preparing a budget and strategy for replacement?
Let these goals guide your IT asset management audit checklist from this point forward.
Understand what assets will be inventoried
Depending on the goals you established, you may focus on a small subset of assets (laptops, for example), or on a full systematic audit. Your plan might include inventorying:
- Computers (desktops, laptops, tablets)
- Peripheral devices (keyboards, mice, projectors)
- Network devices (routers, switches)
- Storage devices
- Security devices
- Software (including subscriptions and licenses)
Then, determine which information will be gathered for each set of assets. You might collect data on:
- Purchase date
- Expected asset life cycle
- Remaining lifespan
- Replacement cost
- Salvage value
It is generally a good idea to gather the same data set for each asset.
Determine who is responsible for each task
Next, determine who will be responsible for each task. Will individual departments or users be expected to assess and report on the assets in their possession? Will your IT team be making visits to each area and managing the audit themselves? Will you have an outside consultant involved?
Be specific and strategic.
During your audit
The next step in the IT asset management (ITAM) process is the physical inventory itself. And this is a good time for IT asset management platforms to get involved. You want somewhere to put, store, and manage the data you are collecting as you go. Select the best IT asset management software for your needs.
Scan the network
Your asset management system may have the capability to scan your network devices and import data. This can make part of your process easier, but don’t forget about devices that are not connected to the network. As CIO Magazine explains, ITAM best practices suggest that
Each individual IT asset must be identified and located, and placed in an asset management system that makes it easy to quickly find any and all IT assets so they can be called up as needed.
It is often a good idea for some members of your audit team to get their eyes on each asset in person if possible.
The physical inventory should plan to locate and assess assets that are not on the network. This will help with asset tracking and with license management as well as providing for peripherals and other devices and assets.
During this process, evaluate your asset tracking protocols. Are you using QR codes to scan assets as you procure and deploy them? Is that practice universal? Use your ITAM tools to help assess your current practices, and your inventory process to correct oversites.
After the Audit
The last stage in the IT asset management checklist is the processing and analysis of the data you have collected. And this is where a strong Enterprise Asset Management tool can really pay off. The best IT asset management software can visualize the data you’ve input and guide investment decisions with actionable intelligence.
If you are ready to begin (or continue) this process, partner with NEXGEN today!