3 Asset Questions Every IT Leader Should Answer (but usually can’t…): What? Where? How Much?

In today’s world where businesses require a multitude of technologies to effectively operate, managing your technology assets efficiently while being cost effective can be a large and overwhelming job. Many companies of all sizes look for outside experts to assist in the job, and with the nature of IT today, it’s no wonder why. The bigger mystery is why any organization would want to manage all of that crucial technology without professional support?

In my 5 years as a software trainer for an IT technology management tool and almost 10 years in the IT and telecom industries, I can tally on one hand how many IT managers or VPs of Technology knew with absolute certainty what technology assets they had, where they resided, and how much it was costing them. It’s just not that easy to know.

The most common thing I hear from clients is that their number one goal is to have an organized, accurate, and complete picture of their business technology without spending significant amounts of time having to figure it out themselves. The organizations that can produce this information either have significant manpower on their IT teams or have been actively evaluating all of their assets for months if not years. The conclusion is not that the majority of IT managers are ineffective, rather that the siloed nature of the IT industry (so many technologies from so many vendors) makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get a holistic view of what you have let alone provide clarity into what might need or the time to proactively analyze engagement and cost savings opportunities. Vendors win when you don’t know what you have and how much you are spending.

If you don’t have an accurate and efficient picture of your technology assets and you aren’t working with a technology management partner or platform, how much time do you spend on non-business critical tasks? Think about the process a single technology asset goes through. Suppose you have a new location to get up and running. You reach out to at least 2-3 different telecom carriers to see who provides service in the area and to gather pricing. You manage the communication back and forth and ask any relevant questions.

Once you pick your final option you go through the order process which—if you are familiar with the telecom industry—you know could unearth all sorts of obstacles and delays depending on the location, carrier, and technology type. Don’t forget you also need to negotiate and sign a contract and make sure you have decent terms and conditions. Keep it handy so that you can identify and reference it when you next need it. After you go through the order process you need to organize and store the order details so that you can troubleshoot against it when the need arises. You need some way to keep track of the asset—what it is, where it is, any hardware associated, etc. Even if you manage to get through all of those processes relatively unscathed, you now have to deal with billing and invoices, hope that they are accurate, or even more unlikely, that you can actually understand the charges well enough to determine their accuracy. As if all of that isn’t enough, just wait until you need to pull the data on your assets. Did you take care to track and organize your asset attributes so that when you need to produce reporting around it easily and on demand you can?

This is only the basic outline of some of the tasks required to effectively manage a single asset—and that’s assuming all is running smoothly. Multiply that by the many assets and varying technologies required to run your business and all of the ways the process can be derailed and you have a hurricane of activity seemingly designed to set you up for failure.

Again, I ask, Why would you want to do this on your own? This is where companies like vCom Solutions come into play.

Let’s reimagine the same scenario for a adding a new location: Imagine starting the process and only needing to go to one contact at one company to get pricing from as many carriers as you want. Imagine the value of having a team that handles the contract and order process with the carrier and provides visibility and communication every step of the way. You don’t have to handle the interactions to get what you need. Once the operations processes are taken care of, you benefit from having the asset data, invoices, and even reporting all in one place, populated alongside all your other technology assets no matter who the vendor is…all in one place…eliminating the need for multiple portal logins.

Partnering with vCom and being able to utilize a tool like vManager gives you everything you need to actually be one of those VPs or IT managers mentioned earlier…the ones that know, with just a few short clicks, what technology they have, where they have it, and how much it costs. You can answer these questions efficiently while eliminating the need for multiple portals, applications and even excess staffing to help you manage all of your various technology assets.