One of the best ways to reduce overall costs while improving the overall level of service in your technology, infrastructure, or IT department is through effective asset lifecycle management. Understanding the asset lifecycle is the first step in increasing your organization’s efficiency and controlling costs… all while making sure the organization has the assets and infrastructure that it needs in the locations where it most needs them.
The technology, infrastructure, or IT asset lifestyle includes several phases:
The very first step in the hardware asset lifecycle is planning. Obviously you want to maximize Capex optimization through efficient purchasing paradigms that only purchase what is needed, and doesn’t over purchase… which could cause waste.
The first actionable step in the IT asset lifecycle is procurement. An organization procures an asset, and it enters into the organization’s asset management system. At this point, the asset is being managed. In an ideal environment, the process of procurement itself will feed directly into an organization’s asset management system. In other words, once the purchase order is complete and the vendor confirms the order, the procurement system should notify the asset management system. In addition, the asset management system should notify the purchasing system once receipt of the asset actually occurs, allowing payment on the asset.
Once an organization procures an asset, the next step in the IT asset lifecycle is to deploy it. When the IT asset is deployed, the asset management system should receive updates that include things like physical location of the asset, who in the company is responsible for the asset, configuration information, warranty information and any other data that may be useful to the organization.
Once an IT asset is deployed, an organization can begin to use it. An asset that is in the usage phase is providing value to the organization, and serving a function. Depending on the nature of the asset, the deployment and usage phases may overlap. For example, some systems may be deployed in a staged fashion, where certain portions of the system are actually being utilized before the rest of the system has been fully deployed. An effective IT asset management system will be updated regularly to determine what assets are not being used, and are candidates for repurposing or redeployment.
Especially in the IT world, assets may need to receive an upgrade. Whether it’s a new version of application software or even just the addition of a hard drive, equipment will be changed. When that happens, the new configuration information should be recorded in the asset management system, as well.
When an IT asset isn’t being used anymore, it should be decommissioned. In some cases, a decommissioned asset can be redeployed or repurposed to serve elsewhere in the organization.
If an IT asset is not being used and has been decommissioned, yet it cannot be redeployed or repurposed, it may still have some salvage value. If that’s the case, the asset management system should be able to track the asset until the salvage process is complete.