Why IT Asset Management Is a Critical Component of Sustainability

IT leaders have mandates to reduce costs and help meet their organizations’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Often, they focus their efforts on procuring IT products that have been manufactured in a sustainable way. However, many organizations handle the disposition of IT assets inefficiently, particularly when it comes time to transition them out of the IT environment. A full-lifecycle IT asset management program can help these organizations achieve their sustainability objectives. 

An integrated lifecycle model not only can ensure you are being good steward for the environment, but it can be a significant contributor to:

  • IT operational performance. By tracking the location and status of IT assets, you’re better able to establish processes for refreshing and retiring those assets.
  • Sound financial practices. Effective IT asset management enables you to maximize the value of equipment across its lifecycle and capture any residual value upon retirement.
  • Improved security and regulatory compliance. IT asset management incorporates processes to ensure that every decommissioned asset is wiped of data and identifying markings and disposed of properly.

Granular Tracking and Device Analytics

A full-lifecycle IT asset management program starts with a solid set of tools and processes for tracking where assets are within the enterprise. The next step is to monitor those assets from the time they’re procured until they’re disposed of. Closed loop asset management tracks every “touch,” whether physical or virtual, so there’s a record of where that asset is and what has happened to it over time. It’s not busy work — that information becomes critical later in the disposition process.

The next piece is to establish policies that leverage device analytics so that you can manage assets proactively. Traditionally, organizations place a service call when a device fails, and a technician comes in and tries to repair that device. Device analytics allow you to detect problems that point to a potential failure so that you can take action to prevent disruption for the user.

Proactive Management

The device analytics toolset should integrate with your ticketing and asset control systems and suggest actions for managing that device. Depending on the device’s age and warranty status, it may make sense to keep it in circulation but repair it so that it doesn’t fail. Conversely, if the device is out of warranty and nearing the end of its lifecycle, it might make sense to go ahead and replace it. 

This takes IT asset management beyond traditional IT asset lifecycle programs that refresh various types of devices on fixed intervals. You can still have a policy that calls for replacing all laptops every x years and all desktops every y years. However, you can establish an underlying model for asset replacement based on device analytics. For example, you could set a policy that calls for replacing an asset that’s had three service calls. Maybe it’s a dud that shouldn’t continue to circulate within the enterprise because it keeps failing and users are getting frustrated.

The Warranty Factor

The final thing to consider is the warranty. If you buy a three- or four-year warranty on a device, you know that you can place a service call to have the device repaired without any cost to the organization. You still have the impact on the user, but at least it’s not driving an additional expense. 

However, many organizations lose track of their warranty end dates, and place service calls for devices that are out of warranty. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a service call for an out-of-warranty asset, which may not make economic sense. 

KST offers a comprehensive suite of services around full-lifecycle asset management. We help customers ensure they have the tools and processes in place to capture the appropriate data for each asset to drive their asset management programs. Let us help you meet your sustainability objectives by properly tracking and managing your IT assets across their lifecycle.