As an IT manager or executive, you’ve almost certainly experienced the ‘IT asset tracking nightmare’. If not, then you’re either incredibly lucky or you’ve already mastered the six-step process described below.

Here’s the thing: despite your best intentions, you’ll still occasionally find yourself running around trying to chase down mobile phones, laptops, and tablets to match them to the records if you don’t keep good track of your devices. Moreover, as your company grows, the number of employees will increase. The number of assets rises accordingly, and (sometimes) so too will the volume and intensity of the tracking chaos.

This is a common theme but, don’t despair, there’s a way out of the IT asset conundrum. Here are six easy steps to keep control of your IT assets and reclaim your inner peace.

Step 1 – Begin with the history of the asset.

This step is all about figuring out the “who.” That is, you should be looking for answers to the following questions: Who ordered the asset? Who approved the acquisition of the item? Who owns it? Who owned it previously? Who uses it? And, finally, if it was disposed, who did it?

Step 2 – Identify the nature of the asset.

What is the item? What was it used for? What are its components and what value does it provide? What was disposed of?

Step 3 – Map out the timeline of the asset lifecycle.

When was the item acquired? When was it provisioned for use? When was it used? When did its status changed? When was the item disposed of?

Step 4 – Figure out the item’s location.

Where was the item acquired? Where was that item provisioned? Where (in the company) has the item’s status changed? Where was it used? And finally, where was it disposed of?

Step 5 – Determine the reasons for having procured the item.

This step focuses on purpose. Why was it needed in the first place? Why is it still needed? Why was it disposed of?

Step 6 – Wrap up with figuring out the how’s.

How was the item acquired? How many units of that item does the company own? How much did that item cost to acquire? How much does it cost to use that item? How often is this item being used? How was the item disposed of?

A lot of work goes into genuinely controlling the purchase and reuse of items for the purposes of cost reduction. Figuring out answers to the above questions should be a key first piece in your strategy for keeping IT costs down.  Next time you think about purchasing, keeping or disposing of an item, don’t ask yourself: “Do we need it?”

Instead, use the 6-step method above to make meaningful decisions. Then, take concrete steps based on those decisions. Careful consideration followed by decisive action will let you keep control over your IT assets. You’ll see the difference in your IT asset spending in no time.

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