Tactical Advice

5 Technologies That Can Lead to Better Asset Management

These five technologies can lead to better asset management.
This story appears in the December 2010 issue of BizTech Magazine.
5 Technologies That Can Lead to Better Asset Management
Credit: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

It’s no secret that IT departments do a lot more than just fix computers and answer questions. Somewhere amidst the hustle and bustle of day-to-day support, IT departments are expected to keep deployments, upgrades and refreshes moving forward. This can be done well, of course, only if the IT team has a complete picture of what needs to be deployed, upgraded and refreshed.

Effective asset management is key to the success of such efforts. The following five technologies can keep your asset management — and your company — on track.

1. Inventory software

This tool can quickly give you a snapshot of your company’s electronic assets. Typically, a central management console is installed on a network server, which then audits network-enabled clients offsite via remote procedure call (RPC) technology. Because no interaction is required from the end user, fewer machines can slip through the cracks, maximizing accuracy.

Employing an inventory solution is useful for hardware assets, but it also can be used to account for software assets, giving your company the data it needs to stay compliant.

2. Asset tagging

This is one of the most cost-effective measures your company can take to help track computer equipment and peripherals. Simply put, asset tagging is accomplished by placing a unique sticker (usually containing a barcode) on a given piece of equipment so that your inventory can be managed electronically by a centralized system.

Generic and custom serialized tags are available as well, and are handy if you have a large organization and want to associate certain prefixes or numeric ranges with geographic locations.

3. Tracking and recovery software

Installing this type of software on mobile machines is a critical facet of asset management. When a device is lost or stolen, a lot more is at stake than the value of the item itself.

Consider a solution such as Computrace LoJack for Laptops, a subscription-based product from Absolute Software that can be used to disable, erase and even track stolen mobile devices using their built-in Wi-Fi and GPS technologies. Secure portable storage devices, such as IronKey flash drives, offer remote administration and security enforcement over the Internet, ensuring that your company’s intellectual property stays where it belongs.

4. Software license management tools

These solutions allow you to monitor your licensing agreements. Many software companies offer inventory and reporting utilities free of charge through their websites, and value-added resellers can instantly provide custom license reporting based on your company’s cumulative purchasing history. Make it a habit to run software audits at least quarterly to stay on top of your organization’s digital assets and ensure compliance.


Photo: Don Farrall/Getty Images

5. RFID tags

Your IT department can track equipment using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in two ways: When used in conjunction with management software, RFID tags can pinpoint the physical location of assets within your organization at any given time. When used inside a set perimeter, they can help prevent theft (as they do at the exits of retail stores, for example).

Although this approach is a bit more expensive than traditional software asset management technology, RFID offers the highest level of accountability and protection.

Jason Holbert is a Tier II desktop support technician at Harcros Chemicals, a chemical distributor in Kansas City, Kan.
Sign up for our e-newsletter

About the Author

Jason Holbert

Jason Holbert

Jason covers desktop applications and help desk utilities, including reviews geared toward the IT end-user support function. Jason is the PC infrastructure manager for Harcros Chemicals, a worldwide leader in chemical manufacturing and distribution. At Harcros, Jason supports over 350 end users at 30 branch locations. In his free time, Jason enjoys reading, motorcycling, competitive shooting and remodeling his starter home with his wife.

Security

Three Ways to Integrate Fire... |
Follow these tips to align the devices with log management and incident tracking systems.
Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...

Storage

The New Backup Utility Proce... |
Just getting used to the Windows 8 workflow? Prepare for a change.
How to Perform Traditional W... |
With previous versions going unused, Microsoft radically reimagined the backup utility in...
5 Easy Ways to Build a Bette... |
While large enterprises have the resources of an entire IT department behind them, these...

Infrastructure Optimization

Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Ensure Uptime Is in Your Dat... |
Power and cooling solutions support disaster recovery and create cost savings and...
The Value of Converged Infra... |
Improvements in security, management and efficiency are just a few of the benefits CI can...

Networking

Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...
How to Maximize WAN Bandwidt... |
Understand six common problems that plague wide area networks — and how to address them.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Mobile & Wireless

Now that Office for iPad Is... |
After waiting awhile for Microsoft’s productivity suite to arrive, professionals who use...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Hardware & Software

New Challenges in Software M... |
IT trends such as cloud, virtualization and BYOD pose serious hurdles for software...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
The Tools That Power Busines... |
Ever-evolving analytic software can greatly improve financial institutions’ decision-...