After over a year of idleness in asset management, many organizations and managers are returning to a disorganized and neglected environment. Many technology assets are in home offices and other assets have been moved or reappropriated while offices were closed. At best, existing systems have not been maintained, audits deferred, and a backlog of transactions need to be entered.
Where to start solving the problem depends on the status of controls when the pandemic hit. If tagging was reliable and the database updated, a quick audit of the assets will get the accuracy of most assets current and identify those needing further scrutiny. If tagging was not reliable or nonexistent or if assets were managed in a spreadsheet, the outlook for a quick fix is bleak but the opportunity to address a permanent solution is extraordinary.
The fact is that many organizations muddle along sporadically making ill fated efforts to address asset tracking but for lack of commitment, budget, priority, or resistance to change, little gets accomplished and what does quickly atrophy for lack of follow through. The scale of the problem in the post Covid world should be obvious to those responsible and the required correction must be seized immediately.
The good news is that the availability of software alternatives and venders, a few who can provide sole-source, turnkey solutions, has never been better. Data can be managed in the cloud without the need for in-house ITY support. One-time tagging services can comprehensively identify and locate targeted assets to quickly build an accurate asset database. Technology can be harnessed to make the maintenance of the data as convenient as a phone call. The obstacles and barriers of the past to effectively manage your assets are simply obsolete.
Even those with sound procedures and clean data are afforded a rare opportunity to recalibrate their process. Which assets should be tracked? What is the preferred tagging policy? Is our audit frequency correct? Is the vender’s security practice acceptable? These are a sample of the questions to consider.
The bottom line is that the forced pause of Covid has provided a unique chance to reassess how we manage assets and better understand the significant RIO that improved controls will provide. We have already seen momentum build to improve controls among all types of organizations.
Do not be left behind.