One of my first blog posts on The ITAM Review back in 2008 referred to inventory accuracy and total number of assets.
An accurate, up-to-date and dynamic view of the total number of IT hardware assets in an organisation is probably the most basic of ITAM metrics to monitor.
“IT Asset count serves as a basic litmus test to assess the IT Asset Management maturity of an organisation. Asking five different IT decision makers in a business how many IT assets exist quickly highlights the degree of control in place.” Source
Audit Red Flag
Poor visibility of total asset count is also a red flag to software auditors. The “SAM Services Baseline Guide” from Microsoft (a guide to help Microsoft partners submit audit data to Microsoft), cites “Round number deployments i.e. 400” as a checklist item to verify the accuracy of a Microsoft ELP submission.
In layman’s terms, 400 sounds like you are estimating, 456 sounds like you have a handle on things (Even if you don’t have a handle on things put your poker face on and don’t submit a rounded number!!).
Over half not measuring inventory accuracy
Our March 12-box training session covered Inventory and how to maintain trustworthy records.
During the module I asked, “Are you measuring the accuracy of your inventory data?” For example, if you claim to own 10,000 assets and your boss asked you to justify and verify the number 10,000 – how would you demonstrate accuracy?
47.2% claimed to be measuring accuracy, 53.7% either were not measuring accuracy or were not sure. So for this basic of metrics, many are leaving themselves open to potential exposure. Our next module will cover How to build a three-year ITAM roadmap. Learn more and register here.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.