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The Importance of Auditing and Monitoring Technology Assets in Your Business

Auditing technology within your business is key to managing and understanding your estate. With the use of modern technology, it is now common for users to have a bespoke set of devices and applications that they can use for work, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs. In addition to the users’ devices, IT teams also need to know what technology they have in their Data Centres, which is usually a mix of servers, networks, storage and telecommunications in and out. Ultimately, these devices drive the business applications which are necessary to deliver services to end customers and internal users.

Data Centres are at the heart of modern business, but for them to operate efficiently it’s vital to have an in-depth picture of the hardware and software that is being utilised, and how it all connects on the network inside and outside of the business.

Although that may sound like a simple process to some, user departments and Data Centres are dynamic places that change rapidly and have specific governance requirements on how they are managed, used and protected. Asset information needs to stay up to date and relevant to reflect the current estate at a specific point in time. Systems or devices can be changed, replaced, patched and upgraded on a regular basis, and all too often these changes are made in an ad hoc manner, perhaps to solve a short-term problem, subsequently leaving your records out of date.

Regular Auditing

Conducting a regular user or Data Centre audit is, therefore, a great way to ensure that the information you hold about your technology is comprehensive and up to date. Technimove can provide an end-to-end auditing solution for our customers from the user’s desk to the Data Centre, from delivery to decommissioning.

First of all, there is the physical aspect, which involves more than a simple headcount of the number of servers or devices present; information may also be required regarding the manufacturer, model, serial number, building, desk, room, rack U position in the rack, its network connections within the rack and where those connections go to. Most technology will have a sticker placed on the front that is easily viewable with a simple numbering scheme, for instance (00032).

The next step would be to input that information into an asset spreadsheet or software database if the customer has that capability; if not, Technimove can assist. From this point you can then add high-level information per server or device, for example, install date, end of warranty date, current maintainer, line of business owner, hostname, network config, application name and software installed (including any licencing milestones and expiration dates if applicable).

Increasingly, businesses are relying on virtualised systems and these need to be audited in just the same fashion, not only looking at the capacity of the systems, but also at how they are being used and the technology being used to access them. Virtual machines are easy to expand, and that can lead to licencing costs spiralling out of control if you don’t keep tabs on their use.

 

Audit Benefits

Once an audit of all your technology has been completed, you will have an indispensable record of information that will detail what assets your users have and what technology you have in your Data Centres, plus a base platform to manage equipment from purchasing and delivery right through its life cycle, until it’s decommissioned or recycled. This information is key for businesses in the modern world, helping customers streamline for efficiency, be competent for regulative assessments and aid compliance by governing bodies that require strict controls to protect the public, users and businesses.

Performing audits on a regular basis allows you to track changes steadily and to plan to avoid bottlenecks and future problems. Decisions will no longer be based on guesswork, but on accurate information about your systems and their utilisation.

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