The Future of Asset Management
Every company has assets, or resources, of both the physical and digital variety. And every company ought to be actively keeping track of or managing those assets. If there’s a system in place to document asset purchases, maintenance, updates, and even disposal, it’s less likely those items will be lost or stolen, and more likely that they can be used to their full potential.
Assets can be tangible, like a company vehicle or a digital device. They can also be intangible, like employees’ intellectual property or financial information. They can be highly valuable, like computers, or relatively inexpensive, like office supplies. The one thing that assets have in common is that they’re all owned by the same business. They all play a part in the success of a business to some extent, so it’s important to keep track of them.
Asset management can be used to make tax time easier by accounting for all of a business’s write-offs over the fiscal year. It can keep track of resources so they don’t need to be replaced as often, a costly and time-consuming endeavor. And as assets increasingly take a digital form, management can play a major role in a company’s digital defense. According to the Gartner report “Maturing the IT Asset Management Discipline Primer for 2017,” keeping track of technology assets in particular effects not just the bottom line, but data security.
There’s nothing new about asset management. Businesses have been keeping an inventory of their supplies since the dawn of civilization. Keeping a ledger, not only of a company’s products and services but its property, has always been considered an essential part of doing business. In the 21st century, asset management has transitioned from a primarily pen-and-paper endeavor to one accomplished with the assistance of digital spreadsheets or even custom software designed specifically for the task of asset management. But even this digitalization can bring about its own set of problems, especially in the age of interconnected devices, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Why Asset Management Is More Important Than Ever
The corporate world looks very different than it did even ten years ago. Thanks to widespread adoption of connected devices and the internet, companies have had their limiters for growth removed and can employ more people to do more things in more places. Essentially, businesses now have the ability to work seamlessly on a global level.
But as they become ever larger and more interconnected, they’ve become reliant on technological and digital items which are integral to their work. It’s more vital than ever to keep track of those resources because if these companies don’t, cybercriminals might get to them first. When everyone is connected to the IoT, it’s important to track exactly who has access to a company’s assets.
Jody Westby, the CEO of Global Cyber Risk, a company that advises the government on cybercrime, estimates that for the average company, 85-90 percent of business assets are now digital. In short, every business is now in the technology business. They each have their own digital infrastructure, relying on computers and smartphones to get work done. That means every organization needs to have a full picture of their digital footprint — which devices it has, which software they run, who has access to it, and whether it’s up to date.
The Internet of Things means that many of the devices businesses and consumers use daily are connected to the internet, allowing them to send and receive data. This has revolutionized business practices but has also supplied the potential for sensitive data to be intercepted and made vulnerable. In 2018, Juniper Research predicted that the number of Internet of Things connected devices will climb to 46 billion within the next three years. That’s why a cutting-edge asset management system, one that allows companies to track not only tangible assets like computers but intangible ones like software, needs to come in.
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