Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date IT inventory has long been a challenge for data center managers. Many IT teams attempt to track assets manually using spreadsheets, an immense effort that can quickly become an exercise in futility given the dynamic nature of today’s IT environment.
It’s also highly error-prone. According to the International Association of IT Asset Managers, typographical errors and transcription mistakes alone result in an error rate of 10 percent.
Decentralized purchasing and siloed management processes can further fragment the inventory process — a problem exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to work-from-home models. Over the past year, IT personnel made many emergency decisions so their organizations could continue doing business remotely. There has been little time to maintain IT inventories amid sudden operational change.
A detailed site survey is needed to get the IT inventory back on track. SirviS provides this service as a value-add with many data center projects.
A complete physical inventory of assets in the data center can provide deep insight into the IT environment. It enables IT managers to identify devices that are not covered by a warranty or maintenance agreement, or that are end-of-life and need to be refreshed or decommissioned. Removing devices that are no longer in use can save space, power and cooling and reduce the overall data center footprint.
Physical inventory data can be imported into an IT asset management platform, configuration management database or data center infrastructure management solution, providing centralized visibility and a “single version of the truth.” This helps optimize IT operations, facilitate change management and reduce risk by identifying critical dependencies. Decision-makers can better understand how the organization spends money on IT resources so they can determine whether it is getting maximum value out of its investments.
An up-to-date IT inventory can also have a direct impact on the bottom line by reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the IT infrastructure. Gartner estimates that an effective IT asset management program can save between 20 percent and 40 percent per seat per year. Organizations can save money by uncovering invoice errors, canceling maintenance renewals for unused equipment and avoiding duplicate product purchases. IT asset management can also save on soft costs such as administration and support.
In some cases, IT managers are able to identify hardware and software assets that can be repurposed to support new initiatives. A better understanding of the IT environment can also reveal opportunities to consolidate systems and migrate some on-premises services to the public cloud.
How SirviS Can Help
Despite these benefits, overstretched IT teams seldom have the time and resources to execute a data center inventory. A better approach is to bring in a specialized team that can handle the process accurately and efficiently.
SirviS has completed many data center site surveys and IT inventories, typically as part of a relocation project, equipment upgrade or new implementation. We have found that many customers simply don’t have accurate inventory information, so we incorporate that process into our professional services agreements. Customers come away with highly valuable information at no additional charge.
Maintaining an up-to-date IT inventory can be difficult, but can pay big dividends by reducing the cost of the IT infrastructure, increasing IT operational efficiency, mitigating risk and freeing up budget for new initiatives. If you’re ready to discover what in your IT environment, let’s discuss the approach that’s best for your organization.