Overview of Asset Management
Overview of Asset Management Tools
Asset management is the maintenance of tangible and intangible resources of an organization. Thus it has two categories which complete its definition. Tangible assets include buildings, lands, heavy equipment and vehicles. Intangible assets include corporate finances, software compliance, intellectual properties, shares, bonds and copyrights.
There are several asset management tools available in the market that meet the needs of a customer for enterprise and IT asset management services. Techombay provides you with following two types of Asset Management tools :
- Enterprise Asset Management tools — These tools consist of set of modules to manage assets in the enterprise like buildings, plants, machineries, vehicles, ships, moving equipment etc. These asset management tools are designed to manage the life-cycle of all the physical assets that belong to the enterprise.
- IT Asset Management tools — These tools consist of set of business practices for managing the intangible resources owned by the enterprise. IT asset management essentially allows the enterprise to easily control their intellectual landscape.
Features of Asset Management Tool
Asset Management is an essential practice that needs to be done right in all the enterprises. Spreadsheets and other manual-entry tools are not accurate and have manual errors and bygone data. Asset Management Tools have advanced features for delivering best results for an enterprise.
Following are 8 most significant features of Asset Management Tools:-
- Asset Tracking — All the assets of an enterprise can be tracked throughout their life-cycle right from their allotment to their disposal. The tracking data provides information about an asset like location of the asset, who is using the asset, the date and time when the asset was last used/updated. This data is very useful during audits and it makes it easy to discover any asset when it is misplaced or lost. Also there is no limitation on the number of devices that can be tracked using these tools.
- Customized reports — Asset Management tools facilitate you to have pre-designed reports which can be customized according to the requirements of the enterprise. The customization options are simple and easy to implement. It does not require high technical proficiency to customize the reports. The reports can have unlimited fields and the field names can be modified to suit your requirements. The reports provide information such as asset performance, asset KPI records, visibility and reuse of assets in storage.
- Security — Employees can be assigned roles to restrict system access and improve the security. This also enables to limit the access to reports and assets based on the location of the employee and her work location. Other permissions can also be defined such as time of day when access is granted or number of hours the item is allowed to be in use and so on. Asset management tools provide these features so that only authorized users can access stored assets.
- Barcoding — Asset Management tools facilitate enterprises to assign labels to different ass sets. The labels differ from each other based on barcode type, text and label size. RFID tags can be also used and the barcode scanned by the asset management tool to track the assets.
- Notifications — Asset Management Tools facilitate users to set and manage alerts and as per enterprise requirements. Authorised users can set email alerts and in-app notifications on key events such as spare part storage thresholds, disposals, capital acquisitions and decide who can receive these notifications. The notification settings can be changed with change in requirements.
- Online file Uploads — Asset Management Tools allows users to upload documents, photos and other important files such as purchase/loan document, warranty documentation, any kind of reports etc. These documents can be accessed from anywhere and anytime by an authorized user.
- Dashboard — Asset Management Tools provide you a dashboard which can be used to see a quick overview of assets in real-time and monitor up-to-date expenses. The dashboard lets each user see just the functions and processes they need. The dashboard can be configured and organized into different tabs that can contain tables, graphs and other dashboard widgets. The dashboards provide meaningful insights which can be used to make decisions with deeper analysis.
- Software Compliance and License Management — Asset Management tools allow enterprises to be aware about the software they have purchased and its licensing details. The typical functions include software asset identification, centralizing and automating license operations, software bought vs software required understanding and being prepared for surprise software audits.
Latest Trends in Asset Management
Here are the latest trends in asset management tools:-
- Cloud Asset Management — The industry has shifted from traditional software to real-time cloud based applications. However data privacy remains one big concern. According to Jay Bishop, “more encryption services and offerings (have) to come into the market, as well as increased maturity of best practices in creating policies to protect the privacy of your cloud environment.”
Enterprises are also emphasising on using multi-cloud approach. This enables them to reduce the cost of asset management using multiple cloud vendors. John Emmitt, Manager, Enterprise Marketing at Flexera, quotes in one of his article that, “enterprises can cut direct cloud expenditure by up to 74% with a multi-cloud approach.”
Hybrid Cloud is another latest trend in asset management. This enables enterprises to have a balance between on-premises and private and public cloud IT services.
- Artificial Intelligence — AI enables automatic creation of metadata and tags for the assets owned by an enterprise. This allows employees to invest their valuable time for more productive work instead of manual upload of files. These tags can be scanned by the Asset Management Tool to record the details about the assets belonging to the enterprise.
- Mobile Computing — In many enterprises majority of the employees work outside the company premises. In such scenario, mobile computing helps the employees to update asset information at anytime and anywhere. It also ensures that the details captured are correct. According to Paul Trujillo, Channel Account Manager at Wasp Barcode Technologies, “the ability to collaborate and coordinate information across multiple sites and locations improves overall productivity and decreases money your company spends using an employee’s time ineffectively.”
- Big Data — Enterprises are modifying their investment models by leveraging big data and new inputs. Big data is rapidly emerging as a powerful trend for managing the abstract assets of the enterprise. It provides actionable insights to the asset managers which influences their decision about sales & marketing, investment and research.
According to a survey conducted as part of CRISIL GR&A’s recent conference, “Asset managers are exploring applications for big data analytics that go beyond investment management. Sales and marketing teams are looking to examine investor and distribution information to improve customer acquisition, retention and conversion; reduce redemptions; and improve capital raising. Compliance teams are beginning to invest in big data and analytics in areas such as anti-money laundering, fraud management, and insider trading. Risk teams are looking at conducting a more robust scenario analysis than traditional VaR analysis.”
- Blockchain — Blockchain Technology digitally stores blocks, set of records and chains all the blocks together. Each asset can be stored digitally with unique asset ID, thus creating a record. Each record will be linked to previous record, so that they are backlinked. Enterprises can thus trace their every asset efficiently. This will maintain transparency in the asset management system. According to Charles Smith, from EY, “EY believes that blockchain technology can be applied to solve business needs for asset management firms’ middle- and back-office internal processes first, and eventually as a widespread client solution.”
Business Case Studies for Asset Management
Case Study : Asset Management System turns the financial losses of a company into heavy gains by automating asset tracking