Thursday, August 9, 2012

Technology Asset Management Tool

Managing your company's technology assets
Inventory and track technology asset management tool efficiently to save your organization time and money will your asset management be this site.Will efficiently of the management tools of the assets.

This article is from a forthcoming IT workbook MaintainIT Project TechSoup that an attempt by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded to collect and distribute created stories around maintaining and supporting public computers adapted.Will be asset management tool refers to any set of processes and procedures that an organization keep track of their IT resources to help. At the simplest level, the asset management is really just inventory control. What hardware and software you have and where is it located? In its more advanced forms of asset management can help to better understand how your employees use technology, with the goal of efficient and standardized in your purchasing and decision making.

Most organizations use to help software to track their assets. A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet will do in a pinch, especially for smaller organizations. However, many programs that are designed specifically for Asset Control. Some of these programs are discussed in more detail in Additional Resources section that follows. Among other things, an asset management system should be able, serial numbers, capture, vendor contact information, warranty information, software license numbers, activation keys, hardware configuration and networking of  data disc recovery.

Note that asset management is a continuous process rather than helping one-time event, your organization with rules and license agreements must be observed. Each time you purchase new software or hardware, it must be entered into the asset management system. Each time you dispose of a computer or you have it, these changes are recorded.

IT managers and software vendors sometimes distinguish between hardware asset management and software asset management (SAM or as a software license management known). The term IT asset management includes both hardware and software. How do you research, you will also see reference to asset management as it relates to finance and investment, which is generally unrelated to the topic of this article.

Why is an asset management system?

The avoidance of duplication purchases. If you are managing 20, 50 or 200 computers, how many times you lose track of what you own? How many times have you over-purchase, purchase of additional licenses or additional copies, you do not really need? The software may be hidden in someone's filing cabinet. Maybe you have an old computer taken out of service and never reclaimed the software licenses. If a colleague needs a new computer, you have an unused PC in the building? Does it have enough power and memory? Do you have the correct software licenses? It is easy to keep track of computers, printers, routers, mobile phones, PDAs, and it's even easier to lose to lose track of software CDs and software licenses. Asset management can help stop you from buying more than you need.
Automating reports and inventories. How many PCs in your nonprofit more than four years old? Which computers need an update, because they have an old version of Adobe Reader or Flash? What machines do not have enough RAM to run Office 2007? You can answer all these questions with good asset management software.
Renegotiation of the license agreements. With asset management software, you will know which machines have been installed copies of a particular program. You might find that you have installed 35 copies of Microsoft Office in your company, but you have paid for 40 licenses. Perhaps you've installed Adobe Photoshop on one's PC in the last year, but the employee moved to another project and does not use the software no longer. In other words, you may be able to remove unused and underutilized copies of a program and then renegotiate that licensing agreement. Or you can reclaim forgotten copies of the software and offer them to other employees. Even if you can not renegotiate the license agreement, you have a better sense of usage patterns so that you do not over-purchase in the future. Some asset management software to track actually, how many times your end users to run different applications (this function is sometimes known as software-metering).
Save time. With all your IT information into a single, centralized location will save you countless hours of frustrated searching. How many times a month do you work on average, to track down a software license number, need an activation key, the phone number of a representative or a tech support department?
Compliance with software license agreements. Once you purchase a copy of Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office, it is easy to install the software anywhere, regardless of how many licenses you actually own. It could be three or four people in the organization that they already have the authority to obtain, install and manage software licenses to consider. Or it could be that no one to do so. Whatever the reason, lack of centralized asset management often leads to violations of software license agreements. In other words, if the Business Software Association (BSA) per audit your organization, you could be faced with substantial fines for mismanagement software.
The standardization of your IT environment. Once you have an up-to-date inventory of your hardware and software, you may find that you have three different image processing programs and four different word processing programs. And you have 12 different hardware configurations. If you try to simplify maintenance and troubleshooting by standardizing your IT environment, an asset management system will help you a baseline. You can also help ensure that the new technology acquisitions comply with the standards that you set.
Responsible Accounting. If you receive funds from government agencies and large foundations, are your actions, no doubt, by a wide range of financial schemes designed to prevent fraud and abuse monitoring. In addition, you probably have to follow your own set of internal rules and guidelines. For example, if you bought new computers in recent years, your lender asking you to find these PCs and customize it to your decision to buy records. Also, if you bought a grant funded computer in order to manage mass mailings to their constituents, should be devoted to that computer to its original mission, for a period of time. Asset management tools can help you in locating and identifying the specific products in this way.
Planning and budgeting. If you are always up-to-date inventory of your current hardware and software, it's much easier to predict your future needs.
Evaluation Criteria

Decide what to haunt you. Make a list of information you just now tracking you and your colleagues and discuss whether you should be tracking anything else. This can help you decide on the asset-management tool.
You need software for that? Many small nonprofit organizations are using a notebook to track their IT assets, and it costs about $ 4 If you are ready to go digital, can create a spreadsheet all you need if you only manage a handful of computers to be. But even for small organizations, there are advantages to using specialized asset management software such TechAtlas or Spiceworks.
How much does it cost? TechAtlas is a free program, asset management, technology planning and help desk management functionality combined. You can use it to the configuration of desktop PCs, servers, printers, local area networks, wide area networks, internet connections and much more document. It is easy to use and offers WebJunction documentation, training and support. Spiceworks is another free program with good asset management functionality.
How automated is it? Some asset management programs are better than others in detecting changes in hardware and software in your network. Some asset management tools, not even an automated scanning utility, and you have to manually enter information about the software and hardware components of any PC. With other programs you sit down at any computer (or remote login) and start scanning a machine at a time. With advanced asset management programs, you can make your machine so they regularly send information about its current hardware and software configuration to a central location, or the program itself queries all computers on the network.
Once you have an asset management tool found

Create a baseline inventory. Once you have selected a tool, do a complete inventory of hardware and software in your company.
Assess your license compliance. Once you have the full list of all your software, you compare it with your current software license agreements and ask yourself if you are in all major areas of under-licensed.
Looking for savings. Do you have multiple copies of a program and more software licenses than you really need? You might be able to renegotiate with the software company to sell some of your unused copies or plan better, so you do not over-buy again next time.
Simplify. After you have completed your inventory, you ask yourself and your employees, "Are there any ways we simplify and standardize our hardware and software, so we're helping less configurations?"
Additional Resources

IT Asset Management

The Wikipedia article on asset management in general and software asset management in particular have useful information.
Systems management software suite included many tools to manage hardware and software assets. Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is one such package available and it is for many nonprofit organizations through TechSoup. In addition, help desk management applications, network monitoring programs and other IT management tools often include asset management functionality. Such are around. They were already an asset management tool.
TechAtlas and Spiceworks are two free products with robust asset management capabilities. If you are looking for an independent, proprietary asset management program, there are dozens to choose from. Examples of this system Hound, computer admin, and Numara Track-It.
Software asset management (also known as software license management)

Microsoft has developed a lot of material on software asset management. You could begin with SAM Step by step. They also created a free tool called the Software Inventory Analyzer that crawls your network and collects information about the installed Microsoft programs.
Keyfiler and License Keeper (Mac only) focus exclusively on software asset management. They seem to be fairly simple tools and could not well in a large non-profit. For a discussion of other low-cost techniques for managing software licenses, check out this post on Lifehacker, especially the comments thread.


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