• Inok Systems

When it makes sense to implement an automated asset management solution?

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When your IT deployment extends to only hundreds of end points and around 500 users, an asset management solution may rank as a nice-to-have. But once you extend beyond that threshold, automated inventory asset management becomes a must-have, as maintaining control over so many varied devices and software titles becomes much more difficult.

The adoption threshold also varies based upon what an organization may be trying to do

• Is a corporate merger part of your recent past or planned for the near future? How many additional end points will IT be expected to manage?

• What about application deployment considerations? Are you considering an upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7 or Microsoft Office for all users, a department, or even on a one-off basis?

• What about ensuring your software is properly patched? Patching multiple systems without automation can be difficult and extremely time consuming.

• And, of course, what effort are you willing to expend if your organization is audited? How do you currently account for deployed software and versions?

When the employee base is large and distributed, walking from PC to PC is no longer a viable alternative. Smaller IT departments are also strong candidates for an automated asset management solution, as it simplifies the management of large numbers of devices without requiring additional staff.

While many associate asset management solutions with hardware inventory, asset management is now being leveraged more for controlling and managing software assets. Today’s Windows applications running on Internet-connected PCs require continuous patch management as another level of security against viruses and hacker threats. Having an asset management solution in place helps minimize negative impacts to employee productivity due to security breaches — another positive point to emphasize when making your business case to management. An upfront investment in an asset management solution is another way to ensure continuous business operations.

Take, for example, the recent Microsoft Internet Explorer vulnerability (September 2012), allowing hackers to unassumingly deploy a virus to a client device. An asset management solution could identify every device on the network running an impacted version of Internet Explorer and allow IT to quickly and automatically take action to mitigate the potential risks.

Therefore, the next time the user logs into the network, the automated asset management solution can then push updates and patches to his or her PC, regardless of the device location, ensuring network security. In addition, wake-on-LAN and power management capabilities allow IT to also push updates to devices on the network after hours, not always waiting for users to log in on Monday morning.

Automated Asset Management Solution—Key Implementation best practices

·         Align the automated asset inventory management solution with your network architecture.

·         Determine the number of nodes (laptops, workstations, and servers) that the asset management solution needs to manage.

·         Determine which workstations are static or roaming.

·         Determine the number of users the asset inventory management solution needs to support.

·         Complete an upfront analysis of network bandwidth requirements.

·         Factor in any special head or remote office requirements and connectivity.

·         Integrate the asset management solution into Microsoft Active Directory for setting up roles and access for Asset Management staff and corporate end users.

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