Top 4 KPIs for Hardware IT Asset Management
As an IT asset manager, much of your day-to-day is laser-focused on implementing and following best practices in hardware asset management, possibly at work sites and for teams around the globe. Effectively tracking and managing your organization’s hardware assets from acquisition to decommission requires full focus on the details as well as the diligence to ensure that proper processes are being followed in the field (data centers, sales offices, R&D facilities, etc.).
Depending on your organization’s size and geographic scope, you might have hundreds of thousands of hardware IT assets scattered across multiple locations. With so many IT assets to keep track of, it’s easy to become mired in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Panning your aperture to include monitoring — and ultimately improving — key performance indicators (KPIs) in hardware asset management is an important step that can’t be taken too early.
In an attempt to present you with the most meaningful and impactful metrics for you to track — and ultimately report on to your CIO — we have conducted independent research and had conversations with IT asset managers just like you. As a result of this effort, we outline below the four most important KPIs for hardware asset management.
Accuracy of CMDB / ITAM tool — Data in which you can be confident is one of the most important metrics in IT asset management. Without it, business decisions suffer and IT spend increases. Many of these costs remain hidden until you obtain a respectable degree of accuracy (>90%) in your CMDB or ITAM tracking tool. This KPI is the one that trumps all the others. Fixing this one will have a great impact on your KPIs across the board. See our white paper, Eliminating Hidden ITAM Costs: Self Assessment and Solutions, for more in-depth reading and a way to assess your data accuracy.
Average age of hardware assets — This metric is important because unless you have 100 percent accuracy in your CMDB or ITAM tool, the exact number will be elusive. Firming up this metric with accurate data prevents you from making redundant purchases on hardware you already own. It will also allow you to be proactive in replacing hardware that is nearing the end of its lifecycle. A good way to start is by ensuring that all new hardware IT assets have new records created in the CMDB or ITAM tool immediately on the loading dock. Mobile apps that utilize barcode scanning make a positive impact here.
Percentage of configuration items (CIs) / hardware assets under maintenance contracts — This KPI is one to pay attention to for obvious reasons. If your hardware is no longer covered by warranty or a service contract, you are creating undue risk in your organization. Downtime is the enemy of any IT department and preventing it should be at the top of the list. Arming your techs and asset managers in the field with proper tools and mobile apps will go along way toward improving this metric.
Percentage of hardware assets without lifecycle status — Without a reliable view into this metric, your business decisions are again being hampered. It’s likely that many of your hardware assets that lie beyond a discovery tool do not have an entry for lifecycle status. If so, quarterly full physical inventories are a must. Again, arming your field force with barcode or RFID scanners is a good way to improve this metric over time.
Accurate data on hardware assets is a crucial first step and ultimately determines the cost-effectiveness of your entire ITAM program, including software asset management. If your IT asset management program is not very mature, meaning only pieces of the puzzle are in place while the remaining lie in wait, it is even more critical that you push accurate and timely data into your back-end ITAM system.
For obvious reasons, hardware asset management is the very basis on which IT asset management as a whole is predicated. Improving the four KPIs above will improve your ITAM program across the board.