Tips for Managing Your IT Assets and Services

Today’s IT and Telecom environments are a complex network of systems and services. The key is having a good plan and good tools. Based on years of experience we have compiled a list of tips that can help you create a plan.

Standard Naming Conventions

Using standard naming conventions seems simple enough but many organizations do not have standards defined. Information is entered with abbreviations and generic descriptions. Maybe everyone knows what it means now but what about five years from now? What about staff turnover? Using detailed and consistent ids and descriptions will ensure that the information is clear now and in the future.

Categories and Catalogs

Using categories and catalogs to group like items will reduce the time it takes your staff or customers to find the items they need. A user may not know the exact name of an item they need but catalogs will allow them to start with a broad category and drill down to specific items.

Meaningful Statuses

Using meaningful statuses, statuses other than in stock or in use, will accurately track the complete lifecycle of your assets and services. Marking items as inactive will prevent your customers from requesting it while providing you history. Using other statuses such as missing, broken, out for repair; these all enhance your datas integrity.

Warranty and Maintenance Dates

Tracking warranty and maintenance dates allows you to proactively plan for reviewing your items and knowing when things will need to be upgraded or replaced. How often does something break right after the warranty ends? Scheduled maintenance prior to warranty end can save you a great deal of money.

Accurate Inventory

An accurate inventory of the items you have on hand ensures you have what you need when you need it. It is important to track this inventory based on warehouse or stored location so it is quickly acce accurate inventory not only ensures you have what you need but it also prevents you from spending money on items that you already have.

Software Tools

Use a software application that can manage all aspects of your assets and services. Having a single application that supports not only your assets and services but the workflow to manage them, the infrastructure tracking to see how they connect, and the chargeback functionality to allocate one time and recurring charges ensures data accuracy and saves money over multiple applications.

Meaningful Statuses

Look for a tool that is truly a single application with multiple functions, not modules that talk to each other. These types of applications lead to duplicate data entry and inaccurate data.

It is important that the application easily interfaces with other applications in your environment. Look for an application that allows you to create these interfaces internally, not something that requires expensive vendor customizations.

The tools needs to be configurable by you to meet your specific needs. Applications that have to be vendor customized creates delays, increases cost, and makes support more difficult.

The vendor that supports the application is crucial.

  • How long has the vendor been providing this type of solution? Longevity ensures they understand how quickly the industry changes and they are willing and able to keep up with those changes.
  • Is the vendor in the habit of buying competing products to end of life them? If so, that could happen to the solution you invest in.
  • Is this solution competing with other lines of business? What solution is their priority? Tip: look at their website, the solution that is most emphasized on their website is where they put their resources.
  • What is the vendors definition of support? Are they just providing technical (help desk) support and security updates or are they continually enhancing the solution? Tip: ask to see the vendors most recent release notes and their five-year roadmap.