Every business needs to have an effective and efficient IT infrastructure in place to stay competitive. This needs to meet the immediate IT requirements for day to day business activities and processes, regulatory compliance such as GDPR, and cyber security, as well as future innovation and growth, but it must also fit into the IT budget and prove cost-effective. Managing those IT assets efficiently is therefore vital in keeping both the CTO and CFO happy, and ensuring the business optimises their use. Here’s what your IT support in London should be doing to help you get the most from your tech assets.
First and foremost, hiring an outsourced IT service to act as your virtual CTO makes sense when it comes to the effective and efficient use of the IT budget. As well as being a more affordable and tailored option than having a full-time in-house team on board, they can also provide the expertise, processes and tools needed to oversee all aspects of your IT support service and tech asset management, and can help your organisation make informed decisions regarding strategic purchases and building a solid IT roadmap, rather than simply focusing on break-fix scenarios.
Running an IT asset inventory
Despite the fact that more and more businesses are moving to the cloud, most still have some form of physical IT infrastructure that needs to be monitored, maintained and upgraded. Your IT support service should work with you to choose the right asset management tools, and secure the resources needed. This should start with an inventory of what assets you have.
This inventory should include:
- A detailed list of all hardware and software assets (including mobile devices and apps)
- The physical location of each device
- All contractual and licensing details for each device and software application
- The date of purchase
- Expected lifespan
- User info, including who is authorised to use each machine, device or software application
- Network configuration data
- Disk space
- The services each IT asset supports
A manual inventory discovery can be painstaking, because of the number of applications running on a range of machines and devices (servers, desktops, laptops, mobile devices), not to mention prone to the risks of human error. Your IT support service should be able to provide the right automated processes and tools to scan your network and identify every IT asset you have, or that is capable of accessing the business network, and store all of this information on a centralised database for ease of access.
Your inventory should give you a good idea of the IT assets you have, but in order to be as efficient as possible and to make informed strategic decisions, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of their usage. After all, knowing that you have a certain number of laptops on-site is good, but monitoring their usage to discover how many of them are actually being used for daily business processes is better, because it helps to pinpoint what assets are delivering value, and where cost savings can be made.
As well as helping with machine management, your IT service provider should also be able to highlight where software is unnecessarily taking up too much of your network, and what apps can be removed to increase efficiency.
Comparing software inventory, usage, and license count
Just as you should discover what machines, devices and software applications are not needed, you should also cross-reference your inventory with the number of licences you hold for your IT assets. If you have more licences than your inventory suggests you should have, it’s a sign that you have over-bought. Similarly, if there are not enough licences to cover every machine or software application, it could mean that some team members are using unlicensed software.
Your IT support service can advise on the licences you can get rid of, and can also offer cost savings when it comes to volume licensing, passing the savings they make on to your business.
Repeating the process
IT asset management is not a one-time activity, it’s an ongoing process (which is why automated tools also have the advantage of enabling you to run inventories on a regular basis to update your database).
Having your outsourced IT support provide the right software and the operational practices to help you plan and oversee this will mean you can optimise the value you derive from your IT systems.
Creating the IT Roadmap
Putting a solid IT asset management plan in place means you can start to build your IT roadmap to devise a strategy of informed investment in the tech support and solutions your business will need to not just meet daily operational requirements, but also future-proof your business with the ability to innovate over time.
Your IT support team can help you map out:
- The goals you want to achieve using IT solutions you have, or would like to have, and what will be needed to maintain systems going forward
- The step by step enhancements needed to support development and innovation in order to provide business continuity and a smooth transition towards upgrades
- The milestones for IT development
- The resources needed to implement upgrades
- The level of training required for team members to adapt to new technology solutions
- The obstacles that could be encountered in implementing upgrades to IT assets, and the solutions to these challenges
Your IT support team should also be able to provide you with frequent status reports on IT asset management and upgrades, so that everybody can be kept in the loop regarding what the company needs now, what changes are likely to happen, and when.
In summary, your IT support team should be able to help you with all aspects of IT asset management, and work with your business to create a plan for the maintenance and upgrades you will need to keep the business running while looking to the future and planning for innovation and growth.
If they are not doing this, you need to ask some questions of your outsourced IT team, and consider finding the right IT service for your needs.
The team at Optimity can provide the IT asset management assistance you need, and can help you create an IT roadmap for future growth that will help your business stay competitive. Find out what we can do for you by getting in touch, and book an IT audit with us below: