What skeletons are hiding in your closet (data center)?
In the spirit of the Halloween season, we thought we would talk about facing the scary prospect of conducting a physical IT asset inventory. While many would say its best to just pretend you don't have any "skeletons" hiding in your data center closets, we would say its best to bring them out and bury them.
Many organizations utilize IT asset inventory programs to go out and find all assets on their network. The problem with these programs is that they cannot identify any off-line assets that at times are plugged in and running but can’t be seen on the network. These items may be in a “dormant” state for years due to equipment upgrades/replacements or cloud migrations that leave the equipment running but not providing any benefit to the organization. The result is equipment is left running which uses electricity, takes up space and may be leaving unrealized value of resale potential.
We believe that there is a simple solution: Conduct regular physical inventories of all IT assets. The benefits of these exercises far outweigh the cost in most cases. A regular physical inventory will allow a company to reconcile their depreciation schedule and get assets off the books. It will also allow an audit of any data containing devices which will provide better InfoSec compliance. It will also allow for the reduction of a company’s carbon footprint.
Besides the regulatory requirements of maintaining an up to date and accurate inventory of your IT assets, there are big benefits on both the security side of things as well as the environmental impact that non-production IT assets have on both the financial cost of electricity and the carbon footprint.
So, how does one go about conducting a physical inventory you ask? Welp, it comes down to good old-fashioned boots on the ground. Every asset needs to be scanned, recorded and then matched up against the paper asset inventory. This is usually a multi-division activity that involves a team on the ground (in the data center), IT operations, and accounting. Other groups could also be involved such as Opsec/Infosec and ESG.
In Summary, the point of conducting a physical inventory is to make up for the deficiencies of keeping track off assets over the network. Sometimes the only way to get a true picture of what assets are on hand is to put your hands on them and physically assess what you have.
If staffing or physical location prevents you from doing this, feel free to reach out to someone on our team. We would be happy to discuss how we can help and provide a quote for our inventory services.