This blog post was written by: Anil Eranil, Technical Consultant
In this modern age most organizations and businesses are ‘in the cloud’ working with the newest technologies to stay ahead of their competitors or to simply ensure that their services are both efficient and convenient for clients and employees. While we are going to the cloud, become more mobile, and data becomes king, we rarely look back or interact with where it all began… our hardware (and it’s Hardware Asset Management).
To help you understand what hardware asset are, and why Hardware Asset Management (HAM) is so important for your organization, I want to go back to the basics by covering them in this blog.
What are hardware assets?
An IT dependent organization ensures that their IT team keeps track of all the IT assets within their domain. This includes all the licenses, software and hardware assets.
Hardware assets refers to any tangible, physical technology asset including those currently in storage, and support equipment. In an organization, hardware encompasses a wide variety of devices and equipment that can be used to process data.
Below I wrote down some examples of hardware in an organization:
- Computers: This includes desktop computers, laptops, servers, thin clients and workstations.
- Network equipment: Routers, switches, hubs, firewalls, load balances and other equipment used to transfer data over the network.
- Peripheral equipment: Printers, scanners, multifunction devices, copiers, and fax machines.
- Storage devices: Hard drivers, solid-state drivers (SSDs), external drives, tape drives, and other equipment used to store data.
- Displays: screens, projectors and televisions used to display information.
- Peripherals: Mice, Keyboards, Speakers, microphones, webcams, and other equipment used to communicate with computers.
- Mobile devices: smartphones, tablets and laptops used by employees to work remotely.
The hard truth about these hardware assets is that, especially for larger organizations, (re)-purchasing, configuring, and securing a broad set of hardware assets can not only be expensive, but also requires a significant amount of management effort. Therefore, having a structuralized approach for effectively managing the lifecycle of these hardware assets is critical.
Exactly for this, the discipline of Hardware Asset Management comes into play. So, let’s explore the benefits of hardware asset management and how it could work for your organization together.
What is Hardware Asset Management?
To put it simple, Hardware Asset Management (HAM) in IT service refers to the process of inventorying and tracking the lifecycle of IT hardware from the point of purchase to end-of-life.
With HAM, the IT team works with a structured approach to manage its IT hardware infrastructure. It ensures that the organization and its IT team have visibility on in-depth details in what the organizations current hardware assets inventory is, where they are within their asset life cycle, how these are currently being utilized and when they need to be replaced. Moreover, Hardware Asset Management as a component is integrated within the larger concept of IT Asset Management (ITAM) and its processes. Therefore, it is no surprise that this topic is well known among IT Experts as ITAM supports HAM. This is mostly done by helping organizations gather information regarding their hardware and software assets, tracking contracts and licenses and evaluating the IT infrastructure performance.
So, which benefits could your organization expect are you wondering, and should you invest in Hardware Asset Management? The purpose of HAM is to save costs by collecting and updating asset data to optimize tech ROI, minimize risks and properly monitor the usefulness and value of all your hardware assets. Below I share some other benefits
1. Saving costs
When all your hardware assets are well managed throughout their lifecycle, your organization can save costs. This mostly comes from reduced service and maintenance costs since you will be able to predict when you need to buy new hardware assets and when it is time to dispose of them, so you do not end up overinvesting into maintaining these hardware assets.
2. Better utilization through insights and inventory control
By managing the hardware assets, the IT department can work with a more accurate inventory. This gives the opportunity to better utilize underutilized hardware, rather than buying new ones, which leads to saving additional spending costs.
3. Better security and less risk
Similar to Contract and License Entitlement Management, Hardware Asset Management can help your organization comply with data security and privacy laws. By giving your IT department a clear overview to identify what needs maintenance, what has to be replaced or what needs more protection, it becomes significantly easier to mitigate potential treats and issues. This allows your organization to be prepared for compliance audits or inspections.
4. Improved operational efficiency and business agility
Having the right Hardware Asset Management processes and software, allows your organization and IT department to spend less time on managing their assets and focus more on their core tasks and responsibilities. Moreover, by automating the HAM processes, both the administrative and physical tasks are reduced, which leads to more time and effort in security where risks and vulnerabilities can be detected early on before any incidents happen, thus preventing further disruption of the daily business.
The maintenance of hardware is a direct issue that effects the workflow and profitability of any organization. Therefore, within the age of digital transformation Hardware Asset Management is an essential activity for any businesses that are IT dependent or working within a vast IT environment. Those who are not paying attention to managing their hardware assets could face significant problems down the road. In my experience, I often see clients with an incomplete overview of their assets, which causes problems and discussions internally regarding decisions about IT procurement. As a HAM consultant, I have seen first-hand the benefits that effective Hardware Asset Management can bring to organizations of all sizes. Managing all your hardware assets can be quite challenging, especially for larger organizations. However, as your organization grows, the benefits of proper HAM grows too! In summary, the complete transparency of all your assets and their lifecycle opens the path to make more tactical and well-informed purchase decisions. This way of working allows your IT department to better utilize and secure current assets while minimizing time spent on managing the assets. When implemented with IT Asset Management this can be a smart way to further optimize the performance of your organization and its IT infrastructure while reducing costs.
Interested? Let’s get in touch!
So did I pique your interest, or do you want to know where your organization currently stands in terms of Hardware Asset Management? Let’s get in touch then! I am happy to take a closer look with you at where your organization is now in terms of HAM and what more you can do to improve it.
P: +31 (0) 40369 05 40