Increasing dependency on IT across all core business functions means that organisations are spending considerable sums of money to keep employees equipped with the resources they need to get their job done.
From PCs to laptops, mobiles to SIM cards, the list of assets provided to employees seems never-ending. It can be a considerable overhead to manage allocating these items, tracking their whereabouts and recovering them when an employee leaves or changes role.
In addition to the initial costs of procuring whatever may be needed, there are ongoing maintenance, repair, upgrade and replacement costs to take into consideration. There may also be perpetual or annual licensing charges to pay for hardware or software assets in some cases.
When IT assets are not effectively managed, organisations risk losing money and impacting their operations.
To minimise the risk, organisations should consider creating policies and processes to ensure they can identify and manage their assets simply and efficiently. Organisations can benefit by implementing the following basic steps:
- Create a base inventory and periodically audit the assets
- Allocate tracking reference numbers and any essential information to each asset
- Create HR policies around management and recovery of assets
- Automate asset management and tracking
Create a base inventory and periodically audit the assets
The number of assets that an organisation needs to manage increases substantially in a relatively short timeframe. Issuing a PC to an employee also involves a keyboard and mouse, and a laptop usually includes a bag, mouse and often a docking station to connect to company networks. Add software licenses to the hardware allocated, and you can see how the numbers grow.
The most essential step that an organisation can take is to document the assets in place and maintain these records as new items are allocated. At least once per year, the assets should be audited by physically checking wherever possible and requesting employees to verify that they are still in possession of the items they have been allocated.
Allocate tracking reference numbers and any essential information to each asset
Tagging each asset, preferably with a barcode, makes identifying and auditing much more manageable. In addition to tagging, it is important to record some basic information on each item, including:
- make and model number
- manufacturer or supplier
- asset location
- employee id of the current owner
- any relevant date – issue/replacement/audit/expiry
Create HR policies around management and recovery of assets
It is good practice to have HR policies that cover the management and recovery of assets. These will typically include such elements as taking care of the assets allocated, responsibilities in the case of damage or loss, recovery process and any financial implications that might apply to the employee in the case of loss or damage. Larger organisations may also instigate a re-charge to specific departments from their budgets for allocated assets.
Automate asset management and tracking
Manual asset management and tracking is open to human error and increased losses. The ideal scenario is for organisations to automate the process, enabling integration with other systems. Using barcodes for tagging streamlines and speeds up the audit process, saving cost and reducing human error.
Why not look at how our HRBluSky HRMS can help you save money and streamline managing and auditing your IT assets.