Using Asset Tracking Spreadsheets for ITAM is a Critical Mistake and Here’s Why

Using Spreadsheets for Asset Management is a Critical Mistake and Here’s Why

Many IT managers are still making the costly mistake of using old tools to manage assets , and at the top of that list is the “asset tracking spreadsheet”.

There comes a time when what used to get the job done just doesn’t work anymore. New technologies become available that are more efficient, less costly and for IT focused companies, it is especially important to keep ahead of the game for business management and operations. If your company has already invested in forming an IT Asset Management (ITAM) team, you’ve only just gotten started. Many IT managers are still making the costly mistake of using old tools to manage assets, and at the top of that list is the spreadsheet.

Asset tracking spreadsheets in and of themselves aren’t bad for simple tasks and monitoring. And they are certainly a step up from simply using a pen and paper to track changes with hardware or software assets. However, with today’s fast paced environments, increased audit threat and potential penalties for not managing assets, there are some big reasons why your company should consider an alternative to spreadsheets to manage your assets.

Spreadsheets are Inefficient

Using spreadsheets adds up to a lot of wasted time when automated software could do the same job faster. There are simply too many aspects of IT Asset Management that need to be accounted for, from the lifecycles of hardware to software license recycling or even mobile device management. Trying to input the vast amount of data needed to manage all types of company assets accurately is nearly impossible for a human. With that in mind, switching to an automated solution for asset management saves time and technician hours that could be utilized elsewhere.

Spreadsheets are Unreliable

Large amounts of data needs to be tracked as part of IT Asset Management and putting that information into spreadsheets is not only daunting, but it greatly increases the likelihood of error as it is difficult to keep track of everything using the spreadsheet format. Compiling all asset data on a spreadsheet can lead to data loss due to hardware failure or malware attack and without a good backup strategy, there is no guarantee the information could be saved.

Spreadsheets are Inaccurate

Utilizing spreadsheets for IT Asset Management incorporates human error into the equation, a potentially fatal mistake for your company. Software providers like Adobe and Microsoft are constantly monitoring how many licenses a client’s company is using in order to check for license violations. Because of this, having inaccurate data is a huge audit risk for your company.

If your company is audited and your software asset data is inaccurate, there will be costly repercussions. In order to save time and improve contractual compliance efforts, abandon your spreadsheets and implement an automated asset management tracking system.

Technology moves fast and ITAM leaders need to have real-time, accurate data. This data cannot be gained from a spreadsheet which has limitations that make it difficult for IT managers to collectively and simultaneously monitor asset data such as only allowing one manager to make changes at a time. Departments may have multiple copies of spreadsheets and this leads to inconsistencies. Important information like inventory tracking data needs to be available at all times, and this is impossible with spreadsheets. Instead, your company should consider investing in a solid automated asset management solution. This will ensure that your data is clear, reliable, and available to all members of your company’s ITAM team.

The time has come to let go of outdated technologies that are dragging down your company’s IT Asset Management team and instead invest in the latest automated technology solutions for your ITAM programs. You’ll save time, money, and rest easy knowing your ITAM data is accurate and secure.

Enterprise Integration, in their partnership with Eracent, provides customers with complete network visibility through the ITMC Discovery™ and Service Delivery Intelligence (SDI)™ solutions. These solutions utilize agentless or agent-based automation for discovery and inventory scanning on your organization’s systems to help you identify and categorize your valuable assets. ITMC Discovery can properly manage data and provide detailed device, configuration and component attributes which leads to normalized asset inventory data. Both SDI and ITMC Discovery acquire data based on dozens of different file types and displays a complete and accurate, real-time view of the IT hardware and software assets that comprise your network.

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