You might not have heard of the phrase hardware asset management but it is a certainty that your business engages in some form of HAM. Hardware asset management is just a way of describing the process of buying, using, storing, and disposing of the technology your company uses. From the moment you buy your first piece of business-related equipment, you have already started the process. Having a strategic approach to HAM will benefit your business financially and in terms of productivity. There are also the security implications of not disposing of unwanted hardware safely. Below we have a quick guide to hardware asset management that you can use to better manage the hardware your business uses.
You shouldn’t simply buy a piece of hardware because you think it will suit your company’s needs. You need to know that it is going to be the job you want it for. If it doesn’t, you will be wasting money and it also makes you look bad at your job. Research as much as you can into the requirements of the specific area you are using the hardware for before initiating the buying process. Time spent here will save you time and money in the long term.
When researching, take into consideration the potential lifespan of the hardware. Reviews will give you an idea of how long it will last and how soon you will need to replace it. It will also give you a good idea of maintenance needs and whether the required maintenance is worth the expenditure in relation to what it brings to your company. Also think about the security aspects, as hardware will keep files that may be confidential or important to your company’s security. If it seems easy to breach, then it is best to avoid.
Use and Maintenance
All hardware will need to be maintained so have the appropriate resources available to do so. Utilizing your business help desk with a cloud-based solution to manage hardware assets in your company will give you a service catalog to streamline workflows and automate repetitive service requests. The software also uses cutting edge UI and continuous release cycle to ensure the most up to date experience. AI powered suggestions encourage self-service, saving money, and quickly connects users to their needs.
No matter how advanced technology is, it is still fallible but potential issues can be mitigated if the hardware is maintained well. Having maintenance easily available for your employees will allow for issues to be fixed promptly and without needing to bring in experts from outside your own company. Keep software up to date, and ensure that all security features are up to date, too. Keeping hardware functional will save you money in maintenance costs.
Now that you have your hardware you are going to have to put it to use. How this is done will depend on the size of your company. If you are a smaller company, you may just give it to its intended user, whereas in a larger company it will go through the IT department first. You must ensure that the hardware is set up properly, this will save time later as it is immediately accessible to its intended user.
Correct implementation of your hardware will be effective in prolonging the lifespan of the hardware. This could also include training for employees who are using it, if necessary. If an employee doesn’t now know how to use a piece of hardware, you run the risk of them making errors which could put it out of service or even leave it unusable which will cost you money and leave you without the correct hardware to do the job you obtained it for.
You must keep track of all of your hardware and the user who is currently in possession of it. If you don’t do this, any problems that arise will be difficult to track, and you are not going to be aware of any potential issues that could arise with your hardware. It’s important to make a record of all of the company hardware from laptops to smartphones and anything else that could require maintenance or have possible security issues. The keeping of records ties in with security issues. This is a point that needs to be reiterated as many companies do not take the requisite precautions when it comes to the security of their hardware.
Even if you think any software you have installed to protect your hardware is up to date, keep checking as the world of cybersecurity moves very quickly. What was safe today might not be safe tomorrow. Security breaches could mean expensive repairs or valuable assets stolen. Include all security measures and information in your records. You also have the option of this being automated through help desk software.
Retirement and Disposal
Your records should include all details on the warranty for each piece of hardware, and when the warranty expires, you need to assess if the hardware is still of any use or if it may be better financially to replace it. If the warranty has expired, you are going to have to pay for it to be fixed and this may be as much as the cost of replacing it, especially if the issue is likely to reoccur. With this in mind, you have to decide whether to dispose of it.
You can’t just throw away a piece of tech, it poses a security risk to your company, your clients and effectively anyone you have dealings with. Take the steps to erase everything from each individual piece of hardware that has been used before disposing of it. If necessary, you could employ an expert to do this, which will give you peace of mind that there is no confidential information which could be used by criminals to commit fraud or other nefarious activities. Remember to back up anything that you do need, because once it’s all been wiped professionally, you are not going to be able to recover it.