The importance of having an asset register cannot be understated. An asset register represents your entire investment in IT.
So, how to create an asset register…
We have to document all of the computer hardware and accessories (typically above 100 euros’/dollars/pounds), this will exclude keyboards&mice but include higher value items.
We have illustrated suggested headings which are most relevant to keeping track of the assets of your organisation.
- Asset Number
- Serial Number
- Type, i.e.: Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Server, Switch, etc.
- Date purchased
- Status, i.e.: New, In Use, In Stock, End of Life, Scrapped
- License Number
- Number of licenses
- Number of licenses used
- Date purchased
- Status, i.e.: New, In Use, Available, End of Life, Decommissioned
Step 2 – Complete an IT audit. The IT asset register is compiled from new list or exiting information. A proper asset register details every piece of hardware and software you own. Therefore, the audit needs to be completed on every office, location and site you operate.
Step 3 – Label everything. Every piece of hardware you own needs to be labelled. Tag every asset using unique asset labels. Asset labels can be simple plain text. Format examples include ABHW01, AB your compny name, HW hardware, 01 the number corresponding to the line on the asset register. To simplify future auditing, it is recommended to use labels with barcodes.
Step 4 – Record the data. Ideally the audit updates directly to your asset register, simplest way is an spreadsheet. Preferably you have access from a mobile, tablet or laptop. In a worse case scenario the audit can be done with pen and paper. However, a manual audit does lead to mistakes.
Above all, keep your asset register up-to-date. Make it part of your IT policy. Update the register any time new IT is purchased or old IT is destroyed.
Have a yearly review of all IT equipment in your organisation and a half yearly check on those critical items/business requirement items, servers and internet routers/firewalls. A good way to tie all this together is to monitor your monthly/quarterly patch management of upgrades and then do a quick audit of the respective pieces of equipment that the patches are applied to.