Companies losing track of IT assets

Rather than carrying out one-off audits, companies might be better off with a rolling process to keep track of what they have, says analyst

Businesses worldwide are grappling with figuring out what IT assets their organisations hold. Carl Greiner, senior VP at industry analyst META Group, believes that it's a worldwide problem as companies have a knee-jerk reaction to try and control costs the best they can. Greiner said that an enterprise may know what 80 percent of its IT inventory is. However, he suggests that rather than carrying out a one-off audit to increase this percentage businesses should take a more holistic approach -- putting processes and tools in place so that the data being collected is accurate. He sees IT asset inventory as a task IT departments need to drive, so that they can understand their cost structure. "If management say they want to outsource functions they have to understand the cost structure (so they know) if they can save money or do it more efficiently inhouse," Greiner said. "What we're saying is you've got to bring financial discipline to the IT community," he argued. "And this works for hardware, software,'ve got to understand all these different cost elements." According to Greiner, companies of all sizes are grappling with analysing inventory, although he admits that it's easier to control for smaller businesses because there is less equipment to manage. "(Enterprises) may have servers in closets and they don't know who owns them," he said. The benefits Greiner predicts are being able to make any budget cuts more effectively, in addition to improving the cost as well as quality of services the IT department is providing to the business.

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