The Blind Spot in Managing Physical and IT Assets
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If you ask a typical organization how they track their physical and IT assets, they will likely tell you that they use a combination of the Fixed Asset Management software, excel sheets, and Microsoft Access databases. With the combination of all these tools, they believe “they have covered the management of physical and IT assets.”
But often, they are missing a few blind spots. A glaring one is the asset location information.
The lack of updated asset location information presents immediate and potential problems:
- The immediate problem is you can’t locate the equipment when you need it. The existing records across all different systems, excel sheets, or databases are either missing the location information or have the location information so out of date that you know it’s not correct.
- The potential problem is that your insurance carriers will require an annual updated report on where the insured equipment is, and you will have a hard time providing that information.
So how has the asset location information ended up being a blind spot among these tools? That’s because none of these tools are process oriented.
A process oriented tool is a tool used to support business processes. For example, the business processes in managing assets include: receiving, assigning, maintaining, transferring, and disposing assets. A process oriented tool should generate the work orders, email notifications, approval requests supporting these events. In the meantime, the tool will automatically update the location, the condition, and the custody of assets while these tasks are performed. The updating of the asset information is integrated in the business processes changing the asset information.
The Fixed Asset Management system, the excel sheets, the Access databases are not process oriented tools. They are tools used to update the asset record after a life cycle event of the physical and IT asset occurs. The work orders, email notifications, and approval requests supporting these events are generated outside these tools. With these tools, the updating of the asset information is separated from the processes changing the asset information.
Physical and IT assets are used in daily business operations. There are business processes supporting these operations. So if the organization uses tools that are not process oriented, there will be blind spots.