You may think that keeping a record of the computers, printers, monitors, tablets and other IT equipment your business owns is something only large companies with lots of assets have to worry about. However, even for the smallest businesses with only a few employees, using a system with inventory stickers to log and keep track of hardware assets can be a very good idea. Here, we look at why you may want to consider implementing an asset log within your business:
IT Asset Ownership Can Creep Up
If you are a small business, you usually accrue new IT hardware as and when you feel the need for it. You may buy a new laptop when you hire a new person, buy a new printer when you feel you need to start doing some color printing, buy a projector to set up for a specific meeting, and so on. Over time, this organic growth of your IT assets can mean you end up with far more ‘things’ in your collection than you are aware of. While you might keep track of what you spend as you spend it, looking back to see what you have spent over a year on hardware for your business can be difficult if you don’t have a log that identifies every asset, including smaller things like keyboards, smartphone accessories and tablet docking stations you might otherwise overlook.
Keeping Track of Need
If you don’t know exactly what you have in terms of IT assets, it can be hard to identify things you might actually need. This can be especially important when it comes to things that need to be updated or replaced from time to time like laptops and phones.
It is all very well having a policy to upgrade staff phones every two years and laptops every three, however, if you don’t know exactly when this time will come or exactly how many you’ll need to buy, it can be hard to actually stick to your policy. You may then find yourself buying new phones because your staff are complaining about their batteries failing, rather than as part of your original strategy for hardware. Equally, if you expand and hire more people, you may not know whether you need to buy them things or whether you already have things, including expensive investments like laptops, available for them. Moreover, without logging in new purchases, if can be difficult to know when to plan dna budget for replacements. A simple asset tracking system makes planning for what you will need much easier.
Generally, you trust your staff, but without a good inventory log it can be hard to know which hardware someone is using, and therefore whether they have returned everything should they leave the company. Having a record of what you have and who it is assigned to prevents any security problems like these.
These are just some of the reasons why it is well worth considering an asset management system – even if it is one you create yourself – for your small business.