As that doyen of management theory, Peter Drucker, once said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” And this applies to IT just as much as it does to the wider business. So it is surprising that so few organizations have a well thought out IT asset management strategy in place.
While most will have noted down the serial numbers of their hardware and the version of the software that runs on it in an Excel spreadsheet, too few have introduced coherent and sustainable policies around managing their resources.
Robert Lee, IT director for the logistics and marine business of the Bibby Line Group, explains: “Asset management is not a project, it’s a process. It’s troublesome because a lot of companies take a snapshot of where the world is today but if there’s no process behind it, it quickly becomes outdated and the value of doing it is lost. They undertake many costly audits and while the benefits come initially, they’re often frittered away.” Failure to undertake such a process consistently means that it becomes almost impossible to know what IT assets the organization has at any given moment in time and this can have an impact on everything from expenditure to security policy and regulatory compliance.
For example, Peter Green, operations director at The Telegraph Group, discovered that they were paying for too many licences after addressing the issue. “We won’t be spending the sort of money that we had been on software licences any longer,” he says. “We were about