The Impact of Remote Work on IT Asset Management

The lasting shift towards remote work has also significantly affected IT asset management. As the physical boundaries of workplace blurs, the lifecycle management of IT devices becomes more complex.

In this blog, we dive deeper into the changes and offer concrete tips for managing the lifecycle of IT devices within remote and hybrid environments.

How does remote work affect IT asset management?

As remote work increases, many companies struggle to keep up with the location and status of their IT assets. A manually updated device list no longer provides up-to-date information about devices and which, in worst case, leads to unnecessary costs and security risks.

Devices have moved outside the office

Nowadays employees seamlessly move their work between their office, home, and even summer cottage. Managing assets that often move location is much more complicated. In addition to computers and laptops, an employee may have a docking station, separate monitor, headset, electric desk and ergonomic work chair.

In the worst case, not even the employee knows where a particular asset is currently located. If ITAM is handled manually with e.g. spreadsheets, a lot of assets will almost certainly be forgotten. The numbers quickly add up: laptop 1000 euros, phone 700 euros, monitor 300 euros, headset 200 euros, dock 200 euros, electric desk 500 euros, work chair 400 euros and so on. 

Employee turnover poses additional challenges

When an employee leaves, it is important to ensure that devices are returned to the company’s possession. Lost IT assets are not just a financial concern but also a potential security risk. The best ITAM solutions can automatically alert your IT team if there are assets that belong to employees that are no longer employed.

Ordering and inventorying new devices

It is quite common for employees who work remotely to need additional IT assets like separate monitors, headsets or docks for their home office. If an employee is allowed to order/purchase these themselves, the device will most likely fall outside the asset management.

Taking inventory of your IT assets should be centralized to ensure that every device is properly recorded in the company’s asset management. This ensures that all purchases are known to the IT department and that they can be planned as part of an overall IT strategy. Online assets can easily be inventoried virtually but offline assets require some sort of way to take inventory e.g. NFC tags can be utilized.

The complexity of managing spare stock

When different devices are spread between home and the workplace, managing spare stock and reorganizing them as needed becomes more complex. It can be difficult to transfer unused devices to the next employee if the device’s status is unknown. This can easily lead to purchasing a new device, while the unused device is forgotten in a storage room or someone’s home. 

Recycling falls on the employee’s shoulders

When a new device is delivered directly to an employee’s home, the urgency to return the old device diminishes, allowing for potential delays in its return. In the worst case, the device is left gathering dust in the employee’s home, on average losing 5% of value each month. An ITAM solution can automatically pick up on unused assets and internal reuse or recycling can be organized.

An easy way to solve asset management

In addition to consistent processes, an easy way to improve IT asset management is a dedicated ITAM software. With a proper ITAM in place, you do not need to look for data from various independent systems. Instead, you have one source of truth, automated processes and a real-time view into all assets despite their location.

If your ITAM software is integrated with IT device resellers, purchasing and registering new assets to your ITAM can be fully automated. A sophisticated ITAM software can also streamline your EOL (End-of-life) processes for recycling and/or returning assets to your leasing company.

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