Are your company-owned devices walking out the door, never to return? Would you even know if they were and who was responsible for them? This is a primer on the critical importance of asset management and the costs of not having a solution in your organization.
What is IT Asset Management?
In the modern workplace, you need technology to be successful. This usually includes things like employee workstations, phones and phone systems, servers, network hardware, and other physical devices that are crucial for your business function. IT Asset Management is, in its simplest form, a list of these assets with information about them and who is responsible for them. Many businesses and organizations tend to start utilizing spreadsheets for this purpose but quickly realize that there is a LOT of upkeep and constant tending to keep them updated. More sophisticated asset management tools, such as SeamlessDesk.com, help ease that burden and are integrated into your daily operations to help tie real-world activity to your asset tracking, making it much easier to audit your assets and not just your list.
Why Do You Need IT Asset Management?
Asset management is the key to ensuring that your important hardware investments are traceable, auditable, and more secure. Knowing to whom a laptop is assigned makes it much easier to find later or at least gives you a great starting place in your investigations.
Here are some pretty shocking statistics about workplace theft that should be enough to get you started on the path to a more robust asset management strategy and tool.
Did you know?
- In 2020, asset misappropriation was the most common method used by employees to defraud their employers and appeared in 86% of the cases examined globally. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)
- 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employer at least once. While 37.5% of employees have stolen at least twice from their employer. (Statistic Brain)
- It usually takes on average about 2 years to discover workplace theft and fraud. (Statistic Brain)
- Workplace theft involving non-cash assets accounted for 18% of cases in 2020. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)
- Asset misappropriation schemes are the most common (86% of cases) type of occupational fraud. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)
- How is fraud usually detected (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners):
- 40% of cases are based on employee tips
- 15% of cases are based on asset audits
- 13% of cases are based on management review
- 7% of cases are discovered accidentally
Scary, right? We believe that the numbers for fraud discovery from audits would be much higher if all organizations had the policies, procedures, and tools to better track and audit their assets.
You Can’t Audit What You Don’t Track
As mentioned above, only 15% of employee fraud cases are discovered via audit. What this statistic doesn’t highlight is that many organizations fail to properly catalog expensive physical assets making the discovery of asset theft nearly impossible. Without proper asset tracking, your asset auditing is simply not an option. A recently interviewed IT manager said, “a few months ago we rehired a former employee. We asked him what kind of computer he wanted, to which he replied, ‘I still have my computer from when I was here before.’ We had no idea that the computer was missing all that time. The way we see it, preventing even a couple of cases like this pays for our software license.”
Discipline Drives Documentation
As mentioned above, many organizations, especially SMB and non-profit organizations such as schools, districts, and foundations, lack even basic asset tracking methods, while some use ad-hoc spreadsheets. A recent study showed that smaller organizations tend to lose the most to employee theft. The report states, “a business with an employee count of less than 100 has a median loss of $200,000 (annually) while those with over 100 employees only report a median loss of $104,000 (annually).”
Of course, all of the best intentions with spreadsheets or even specialized asset tracking tools yield little results with the commitment to full documentation and an audit process not only of assets, but of the process. As an organization, you must establish policies and procedures around asset tracking. This should also include a governance model and a required schedule for audits, as well as a plan for several random audits throughout the year. Important decisions include:
- What criteria will be used to determine when assets are documented? This could be based on price or strategic value.
- Which data elements will you track for your assets? (see our list below for items we think are important).
- Who is responsible for actually documenting the assets?
- Who is responsible for auditing your assets?
- How often will you perform standard audits?
- How often will you perform random audits?
- Do we have strong policies and penalties for asset theft?
- Do you have policies in place for recovering assets when employees leave?
For ideas on how to get started with an IT asset management policy click here.
What To Look For In An IT Asset Management Tool
We here at SeamlessDesk are biased about what makes an outstanding IT Asset Management tool. Here is a list of features of SeamlessDesk, but these should definitely be a part of any solution you pick. Your IT Asset Management tool should include the following:
- Robust ability to track hardware asset details such as asset type, manufacturer, date of acquisition, serial number, custodian, among a number of other important items.
- Track warranty details and service information for each device.
- Ability to set service schedules for each asset.
- Reduce your maintenance costs by ensuring that you keep things updated and serviced, helping to avoid expensive interruptions and interventions.
- Ability to associate service desk tickets with hardware assets. This, in turn, improves your customer service giving you better insight into the details and history of your devices.
- Support for performing audits easily and efficiently.
- For more information about our IT Asset Management solution, click here.
Make SeamlessDesk Your IT Asset Management Solution
SeamlessDesk ties asset management and ticketing together to help organizations like yours quickly identify problem devices and prevent the costly downtime that comes from a complete failure of hardware. In addition to hardware tracking, SeamlessDesk includes tools for tracking contracts, subscriptions, and software, and vendors. Such robust tracking is extremely beneficial to IT teams and helps them stay on top of their budgets, and helps reduce losses from untracked physical asset loss.
Check out some of our related knowledge base content here.