Asset Management System

Many asset managers have no idea of the scale of unused software assets lying within their company nor do they have the supporting tools to give them an accurate view.

Are you one of them? Do you know how much software you have in the organization that’s not being used?

Watch this video to learn more about how AppClarity seeks out unused software in an enterprise, financially quantifies the waste caused by that unused software, reclaims and reuses the unused licenses and eliminates unnecessary license liability.

IT asset management refers to any set of processes and procedures that helps an organization keep track of its technology resources. At the simplest level, asset management is really just inventory control. What hardware and software do you own, and where is it located? In its more advanced forms, asset management can help you better understand how your staff uses technology, with the goal of becoming more efficient and standardized in your purchasing and decision making.

 

Keep in mind that asset management is a continuous process rather than a one-time event to help your library comply with regulations and license agreements. Any time you acquire new software or hardware, it has to be entered into the asset management system. Any time you move a computer or dispose of it, those changes have to be recorded.



Avoiding duplicate purchases

  • When you’re managing 20 or 50 or 200 computers, how often do you lose track of what you own? If a colleague needs a new computer, do you have an unused PC in the building? Does it have enough power and memory? Do you have the right software licenses? It’s easy to lose track of computers, printers, routers, cell phones and PDAs, and it’s even easier to lose track of software CDs and software licenses. Asset management can stop you from buying more than you need.
  • Automating reports and inventories

  • How many PCs in your library are more than four years old? Which computers need an update because they have an old version of Adobe Reader or Flash? Which machines don’t have enough RAM to run Microsoft Office 2007? You can answer all of these questions with good asset management software.
  • Renegotiating software license agreements to lower costs

  • With asset management, you’ll know which machines have an installed copy of a particular program. You might find that you have 40 licenses for Microsoft Office, but you only have 35 copies installed in your library. Or a piece of software could be installed on a machine where it never gets used. Some asset management software will actually keep track of how often your end users are running different applications (this function is sometimes known as software metering). In other words, you may be able to remove unused and under-used copies of a program and then renegotiate that licensing agreement. Even if you can’t renegotiate your licensing agreement, you’ll have a better sense of usage patterns so that you don’t over-purchase in the future.
  • Automating reports and inventories

  • How many PCs in your library are more than four years old? Which computers need an update because they have an old version of Adobe Reader or Flash? Which machines don’t have enough RAM to run Microsoft Office 2007? You can answer all of these questions with good asset management software.
  • Saving time

  • Having all of your IT information in a single, centralized location will save you countless hours of frustrated searching. How many times in the average month do you need to track down a software license number, an activation key, the phone number of a sales representative or a tech support department?
  • Standardizing your IT environment

  • After you have an up-to-date inventory of your hardware and software, you may notice that you own three different graphics-editing programs and four different word-processing programs. And you have 12 different hardware configurations. If you’re trying to simplify maintenance and troubleshooting by standardizing your IT environment, an asset management system will help you establish a baseline. It also helps you ensure that new technology acquisitions meet the standards that you’ve established.
  • Obeying local laws and regulations 

  • Most libraries are departments of city or county government, and these governments have rules to prevent waste and fraud. If you purchased a new computer within the past few years, the auditors may want to know exactly where that PC is located.
  • Complying with e-rate rules

  • If you’ve ever purchased networking equipment with e-rate funds, that equipment has to be tracked carefully. According to the SLD (Schools and Libraries Division) Web site, “the applicant must maintain asset and inventory records for five years from the date of purchase that clearly show the actual location of the equipment.” For more information, see Demonstrating Compliance and Transfers of Equipment. Also, other grant-making organizations have similar tracking and record-keeping requirements.
  • Planning and budgeting

  • If you always have an up-to-date inventory of your current hardware and software, it’s much easier to predict your future requirements.
  • Pick the right tool

  • An IT notebook works fine in a lot of small libraries, and it costs about $4. If you’re ready to go digital, a spreadsheet may be all you need if you only manage a handful of computers. However, even for small libraries there are advantages in using specialized asset management software such as TechAtlas or Spiceworks.
  • Evaluate free software

  •  TechAtlas was designed specifically for libraries, and it combines asset management, technology planning and help-desk management functionality. You can use it to document the configuration of desktop PCs, servers, printers, local networks, wide area networks, Internet connections and more. It’s easy to use, and WebJunction provides documentation, training and support. Spiceworks is another free program with good asset management functionality
  • Create a baseline inventory

  • Once you’ve picked a tool, do a complete inventory of the hardware and software in your library.
  • SAssess your licensing compliance

  • Once you have a complete list of all your software, compare it to your current software-licensing agreements and ask yourself if you are under-licensed in any key areas.
  • Look for savings

  • Do you have more copies of a program and more software licenses than you really need? You might be able to renegotiate with the software vendor, sell some of your unused copies or plan better so you don’t over-purchase again next time.
  • Look for inefficiencies

  • After you’ve completed your inventory, ask yourself and your staff, “Are there any ways we can simplify and standardize our hardware and software so that we’re supporting fewer configurations?”
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    Our asset management and network inventory software provides maximum visibility and control over the inventory, usage, entitlements, and purchasing data related to your IT assets. Now you can seamlessly
    track and manage your hardware and software assets from purchase
    through retirement—and finally abandon those Excel spreadsheets

    Gain control over your Assets with Sysmic's Asset Management System

     



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