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How to Keep Track of IT Assets in a Remote World

How to Keep Track of IT Assets in a Remote World

In simple terms, IT assets are the resources of the IT department of a company. These resources include but are not limited to software, hardware, and licensing. It is crucial for every organization, every company, and every IT manager to keep track of all of these IT assets.

Keeping track of IT assets involves auditing the number of software and hardware in use, the ones not in use, licensing, the cost of these assets, the cost of maintenance, and much more. It helps the company decide what to keep, what not to keep, and what to replace.

The recent pandemic caused by Covid-19 has changed the entire work order of the world. Employees from different sectors and fields are now working from home, especially in the IT sector of every company. However, even if the pandemic stops soon, most companies and employees now prefer working remotely.

Working from home has its own challenges and benefits, and one of these challenges is tracking IT assets. Tracking IT assets was already very crucial and hectic. And now, this shift in the work environment makes it even more challenging.

Keeping track of hardware, software, and company assets from an employee working from home is much harder than it sounds. There are risks of a data breach, theft of assets, damage of assets, etc., which increase in remote work environments. But in this article, you will learn how to keep track of IT assets in a remote world and how [Brand Name] can help.

How IT Assets are Managed?

IT asset management involves:

  • Keeping track of the entire hardware and software inventory.
  • Systematically scanning computers and other electronic devices to have up-to-date data of the company and customers.
  • Keeping track and managing software licenses and analytics of different software usage.
  • Overseeing similar functioning software and application licenses and managing them in groups as single units.
  • Keeping track of prohibited software and enabling auto-uninstall for them.
  • Setting up alerts through email for changes in software and hardware.
  • Creating comprehensive and broad reports on hardware and software inventory, along with license compliances.

Challenges of Tracking IT Assets in a Remote World

There is no denying that working from home has a lot of benefits for companies and opens up a lot of new opportunities, but with that comes new challenges that the employees are not prepared to face on their own without proper training. Some of these challenges may seem like minor problems, but these minor problems add up and can eventually cause chaos for tracking IT assets. Some of the most common and significant challenges are:

  • As mentioned before, working from home opens up a lot of new possibilities and opportunities, but it also opens up a lot of new opportunities for hackers and thieves to steal valuable company data and assets. Not only the threat of data breach, but working from home creates a lot more vulnerability for company assets, especially if the company is providing work laptops, computers, or any devices or hardwares to their employees.
  • Deciding what assets to let your employees take home and then keeping track of it is also a difficult challenge. Some companies are using Google Docs as an alternative for IT asset management, but it's only a temporary solution. To manage IT assets effectively, every company needs an IT assets Management (ITAM) tool like [Brand Name].
  • Without using any IT assets Management (ITAM) software, cost management also becomes a huge hurdle for the company. Keeping track of software licensing, payments, providing devices to employees, what to cut off, what not to, all of this becomes extremely difficult to keep track of since the IT team is now distributed and scattered.
  • Explaining the new work process, security measures to take, what is allowed, what’s not, in short, training the employees to get used to the new normal becomes quite a challenging task as well.

Provide Education & Training to Employees

Providing proper education and training to employees is the only way to prepare them for the challenges companies and employees will face in assets management. The training should include several crucial aspects of IT assets management.

First and foremost, explaining the changes in the company's terms and policies to the employees is crucial. Some companies are asking their employees to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect and keep sensitive company data disclosed.

Several other restrictions need to be in place to keep the company's IT assets safe. And these restrictions should be explained to the employees for the safe and effective functioning of the IT team.

Employees should not be allowed to install third-party applications on laptops or computer devices provided by the company. They should also not be allowed to connect to unknown and untrusted WiFi connections.

Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of employees regarding the company's IT assets is also crucial for efficient ITAM. If the company provides computers and laptop devices to their employees, they need to clarify what the employees can or can't do with them. The company should also inform the responsibility of the safety of these devices and how to handle them.

Providing this additional training to employees has many benefits, but mainly the goal is better IT asset management. Training employees will help them understand how to use and manage these IT assets, and it will also help them not get confused since it will be a new setting and new way of doing work for the employees. It will also help them be aware of the various security threats and vulnerabilities they face when working from home. Lastly, it will also help them understand the responsibility of the assets provided to them.

Set-Up Precautions & Security Systems

When providing valuable IT assets to your employees, it is critical to keep them safe and sound, especially the company's software and data. There are various measures that companies are taking to protect sensitive data from being stolen, hacked, or misused.

Some of these measures include installing firewalls and security systems for employees' laptops or the device provided by the company. It ensures that they don't install any risky or untrusted applications or files.

Some companies are using tools that let companies authorize a WiFi network, and anytime the device is connected to some other WiFi network instead of the authorized one, the company software will stop working. This way, companies can make sure that they only allow their employees to use these assets when connected to their own house WiFi network.

Another way of protecting IT assets is by setting up passwords and passcodes to log in to company software and application. Only the employees will have access to these passwords and passcodes.

Along with this, companies are also installing tools and software that will detect and monitor the use of company data by employees and other remote practices. It allows the company to identify unusual use of data ahead of time, which may help them stop any possible threat in the future.

Companies set up firewalls and security measures simply to protect company assets from cyber threats and misuse, but it has other benefits too. Benefits include companies having control over their IT assets, which otherwise would have been in the employees' hands.

Use IT Asset Management Tools

The easiest way to keep track of all IT assets in a remote world is to use an IT asset management tool like [Brand Name]. Although using an ITAM tool will not make other security measures irrelevant. They will still be essential for a functional IT team and the protection of IT assets. However, using an ITAM tool will make it much easier for companies and employees to cooperate and keep track of all IT assets.

One can use an ITAM tool like TrackIt! for keeping track of IT assets in the following way:

  • It allows teamwork so that everyone can collaborate and work together to organize and manage IT assets more efficiently.
  • Everyone can log into the software, create a separate file or folder to submit the list of assets they possess.
  • In a remote world, auditing licenses is a difficult task, but an ITAM tool will allow you to automate all of this.
  • One can also automate it to identify and manage unused IT assets. It allows the best IT inventory practices.