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7 Risks You Can Reduce With an Accurate Inventory of IT Assets

Feb 17, 2022
TOPIC: Asset Tracking
4 min read
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An enterprise’s investment in IT assets begins long before the start of any one device’s lifecycle and extends beyond end-of-life disposition, including reporting and recordkeeping.

A big part of that investment goes into ITAM, and for good reason: mobile devices, computers, servers, and other assets represent countless vulnerabilities to any business. And when you consider the ways these devices interact with each other, the risks quickly multiply.

Obvious threats include potential loss or theft of hardware, as well as security threats to the data on company devices.

But those vulnerabilities are the tip of an iceberg of risks businesses face without comprehensive visibility and accuracy into inventory and assets. 

Given industry’s increasing complexity and competitiveness, the question is no longer whether to track and monitor assets, but how to do it accurately and comprehensively, at the speed of enterprise.

If you’re weighing the investment of barcode inventory management software against your current enterprise ITAM approach, be sure to factor in all the risks, including these seven key vulnerabilities caused by a lack of IT inventory accuracy.

1. Overspending on IT Assets

Without accurate inventory, there’s no way of knowing what you have—and if you don’t know what you have, how can you know what to purchase? When items aren’t accurately tracked and monitored, you could have undetected, uncounted devices losing costly lifecycle time on a shelf or in a drawer somewhere.

Devices, software, licensing, training, and maintenance aren’t cheap, and every needlessly purchased duplicate device or asset adds up to waste. If credit is involved in the purchase, the costs are even higher.

By tracking and monitoring devices consistently, you can also gain visibility into recurrent maintenance issues that may point to manufacturer problems which could be covered by warranties.

2. Security Breaches and/or Data Losses

A comprehensive inventory management system can automate device tracking and monitor use, movement, software installations, and updates. IT can quickly and easily respond by locking down and isolating devices or assets when needed. An integrated inventory management solution also enables IT departments to execute enterprise-wide support, maintenance, and updates to safeguard devices, no matter where they are.

3. Lapses in Preventive Maintenance

Missing scheduled maintenance can also lead to mounting costs, as devices lose efficiency, compute and communicate more slowly, and use more energy. Over time, this can shorten devices’ lifecycles, requiring early replacement purchases that might have otherwise been unnecessary. Failing to keep assets properly maintained could even breach warranty agreements, adding to repair costs.

4. Mismanagement of End-of-Life Hardware

Proper IT asset disposition, including appropriate recycling and disposal of hardware, is a critical part of IT asset decommissioning and retirement. Correct disposal of hardware and devices safeguards data—yours and your customers’. 

But an enterprise that can’t account for and locate every device or asset certainly can’t assure correct decommissioning, data sanitization, and disposal.

5. Penalties, Fines, and Higher Insurance Premiums

Regular internal audits are performed enterprise-wide to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations covering a wide range of issues. IT compliance is just as essential, and problems can arise when assets are procured through third parties, when software or hardware is updated, when users utilize devices for purposes other than their intended uses, and when licenses aren’t tracked using a formal process. Any of these issues could lead to costly vendor penalties, regulatory fines, higher insurance premiums, or loss of coverage.

6. Unplanned Downtime

You can use a quick-and-dirty formula to estimate the cost of IT downtime. First, calculate productivity losses by multiplying the number of employees times the percentage they are affected, times the average cost per employee per hour, times the number of hours down:

Productivity loss = number of employees x % affected x cost per employee per hour x hours down

Next, calculate revenue losses by dividing gross annual revenue by total annual business hours; multiply that by percentage of the downtime’s impact, and multiply again by the number of hours down:

Revenue loss = gross annual revenue ÷ annual business hours x % of downtime’s impact x hours down

Add productivity and revenue losses together, and then add in costs to remediate or repair, potential employee overtime, data recovery costs, loss of reputation, and even permanently lost customers. Depending on your business, you can probably identify other downtime-related losses.

Device- and asset-level visibility into use, location, performance, updates, maintenance, and service agreements can lend much more power to your IT department’s preventive programs. And when your inventory management solution can integrate IT inventory with consumables using barcode inventory software, it can provide powerful, comprehensive visibility that can help you effectively prevent disruptions and unplanned downtime.

7. Lost ROI on Asset Investments

The flip side of overspending and purchasing equipment you don’t need is an inventory of assets sitting idle. Mobile devices, computers, hardware, and other equipment are investments—often expensive ones—intended to support productivity throughout their entire lifecycle. Every missed day of use is a day of lost ROI.

Countless Risks, One Platform

Addressing your most critical enterprise IT risks comes down to the ability to accurately monitor and track all your inventory and assets, in real time, in a fully integrated, enterprise inventory management platform. By putting that visibility, automation, and control into your IT team’s hands, you eliminate countless opportunities for human error to introduce inaccuracy, enterprise-wide, right down to the level of the device user.

The IntelliTrack® enterprise asset and inventory management platform does exactly that, and more. IntelliTrack enables real-time tracking of IT and hardware assets as well as fixed physical assets, rotational assets, and consumable inventory. And they’re all accessible from one enterprise-wide platform that actually integrates with your organization’s other applications, tools, and systems.

Coming from the leader in supply chain efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity, IntelliTrack was created to help enterprise organizations improve productivity and profitability at scale. Learn more about how IntelliTrack can help you deliver the full potential of the digital transformation to your business. Go to the website and see for yourself.

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