3 Reasons Equipment Inventories Are an Important Part of IT Operations
by Stephanie Faris on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 11:00
On the long list of duties IT departments handle in a given year, taking inventory may be one of the least popular.
Like many other unpopular items, inventory becomes one of those tasks that gets pushed to a different day, when there aren't so many pressing to-do items.
Unfortunately, inventory management is much more important than many IT departments realize. Procrastination can make that all too clear, eventually revealing that without regular inventory, the IT department can have serious problems. Here are three important reasons to conduct a comprehensive audit of your business's equipment inventory at least once each year.
Every IT department faces the risks associated with aging equipment. First there is the slowdown that comes as equipment begins functioning less efficiently toward its end of life. But even as productivity wanes, the bigger danger comes with a device potentially crashing without warning. If that device is a server, it can lead to mass outages, possibly taking your entire business offline for a period of time. By keeping a consistent watch on your equipment, you can easily pull aging reports that help you know which items need to be replaced first, as you find extra money in your budget.
Businesses today deal with the challenge of workers taking equipment offsite. With so many laptops, smartphones, and tablets assigned to support daily operations, it can be easy for equipment to be either lost or stolen. Fearing retribution, some employees will delay mentioning this loss, especially if nobody is regularly auditing inventory. When workers know that at least once a year someone will be asking to see equipment, they're more likely to report devices as soon as they're lost, which allows businesses to take necessary steps to remotely wipe them, file police reports, and try to recoup the loss on their insurance if applicable. Over time, businesses will likely find that good inventory management helps prevent such losses, since workers will be much more careful with their assigned equipment when they know they're held responsible.
IT teams become all too aware of their need for inventory management when it's time to move to a new location. In order to plan their relocation, they usually find they have to conduct a full-scale audit of all of their equipment, a process that is made much easier if they've tracked those items consistently over the years. Compiling a full report will simply be a matter of pulling the existing inventory audit and updating it. Even before they do that, though, many businesses that regularly conduct such audits often know offhand how much equipment they'll need to relocate.
Equipment inventory auditing can be challenging, especially for teams that don't enjoy the task. However, without regularly monitoring the status of equipment, businesses may find that there are costs. With the right software in place, IT departments will likely find inventory management is made much easier. If your business needs help with data management, recycling, or relocation, contact NCWS to find out how our skilled professionals can help.