Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  15 Nov 2011

ASSET REGISTERS: Asset Tracking: the Holy Grail Of IT Asset Management


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When looking at IT Asset Mangement, keep this question in mind. What if you were able to accurately and instantly draw a report that will be able to tell you exactly what hardware and software is operational within an organisation‘ Right down to the serial number, software licences and financial information‘

I can see a few sceptic eyebrows being raised as the Financial Manager looks up from his excel spreadsheet that he just paid an auditing company thousands of Rands to deliver. A document that details their company’s asset register that became outdated the moment it landed in his inbox.

With Computrace and NetTrace, a revolutionary solution that is available from infoprotect - a personalised business security solutions and services company - this information is available at a click of a button. “The Computrace technology, delivered through our representation of NetTrace in South Africa, resides in the BIOS of the computer and is designed to gather information about the system, in addition to assisting in the recovery of the system should it be stolen,” says Scott Martin, a Director of infoprotect.

The Human Element in Our IT Asset Managment

Blue chip companies traditionally manage their assets on an excel spreadsheet, which means that the asset requires physical inspection. “The asset value of an organisation is translated as a cost that has an effect on the bottom line, making comprehensive asset management a crucial exercise for any organisation. When your organisational assets are scattered across the country, even globally, it complicates the process exponentially. Auditors will traditionally extrapolate the information from a company by physically inspecting an agreed percentage of the assets and mathematically expanding the information to derive a larger view that estimates the company’s asset status,” explains Martin

The process is further complicated through asset cascading, where computer systems change hands down the chain of hierarchy as new hardware becomes available. “Keeping track of asset ownership, software management and corporate compliancy is quite a task. With a touch of a button, NetTrace’s Asset tracking System will allow the user to keep track of hardware configuration and software licences on each of the machines and whether the asset is being depreciated against the correct cost centre and current user. A granular report offers real time information that shows the owner history, location, cost centre and warranty information, among others,” explains Martin.

The business is ultimately responsible for the software that is housed on each asset. Computrace further provides a means for the business to enforce its standard user acceptance policy that every employee should sign before that person is issued with a company-owned computer asset. Having illegal software or programs on a company asset not only holds legal consequences but can also do serious harm to a brand name. The report will highlight company violations, which can then be directed to the HR department for further action, if necessary.

How IT Asset Management System Works

If the asset is stolen, the Computrace software can fulfil a dual role in terms of tracking the physical location and user information of the ‘new user’, explains Martin. “As soon as the machine connects to the internet, communication from the service centre is established and the asset and forensic information is gathered. The client (the asset’s legal owner) then has a choice to terminate sensitive information that might be saved on the device and/or requesting the recovery of the hardware utilising the forensic information that is collected from the machine.”

The recovery rate of stolen property is remarkably effective utilising Computrace and NetTrace. “The call centre will transmit a command that will freeze all further usage of that computer in addition to instructing the ‘new user’ to take the machine to a neutral third party for delivery back to the rightful owner or to face legal consequences. The message is extremely persistent and simply cannot be erased, even if the machine is reformatted several times,” says Martin.

The functionality offered by Computrace, combined with the auto-discovery and real-time reporting of the NetTrace IT Asset Management System, will greatly enhance any organisation’s asset tracking processes and functionality.

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