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Why Should You Conduct a Hardware Audit?
What exactly is a hardware audit? It is a planned activity of locating and identifying hardware equipment to examine or investigate adequacy and compliance with the procedures and implementation effectiveness established by the business performing the audit. Performed by qualified personnel, the audit culminates in the tagging of all hardware equipment and serial numbers, and a record of this data in Excel documents. The information can also go into a master asset database for reference and future auditing activity.
A hardware audit is an essential component of any company’s asset management, which needs to be performed correctly and on a scheduled basis to maximize value from assets and deliver the best returns to stakeholders. For instance, by replacing slow or end-of-support equipment, you can save time and hassle early on.
Hardware audits offer operational and economic benefits
On the operational side, an inventory audit offers an informed and nuanced view into whether or how new projects can be executed. An assessment of your existing IT infrastructure is necessary to plan new initiatives and understand how everything is connected, when it was put into service and when it is due for retirement. Asset lifecycle management and change management can start by inventorying hardware and setting a periodic audit to determine if the inventory needs adjustment. With this process in place, change management can occur every three to four years. After all, you cannot manage what you don’t know you have in your hardware inventory! An IT Support London provider can assist if required.
The financial value of a hardware audit can be summarized into the following:
Control over cost and ownership
- Take stock of how IT investment is distributed within your organisation
- Avoid purchasing what you already own
- Identify which of the existing equipment can be repurposed
- Calculate the total value of your hardware assets
- Get an immediate view into how owns what asset in your organisation
Impact on tax and insurance
As tax must be paid on all company assets, it is paramount to maintain an updated inventory so you can optimise costs by not paying for items that don’t exist. Depreciation is another factor, and it can be calculated in two ways.
One is straight line depreciation, where you divide the original cost of the asset by the number of years you believe the asset will be useful to your business. For instance, if you purchased a printer costing £1,000 at the beginning of the financial year and think it will last you a good five years, you get a depreciation of £200 a year.
Another involves lowering balance depreciation when the depreciation of an asset is higher during the early years of its life, and that amount starts reducing as the asset’s life progresses.
It is critical for businesses to be adequately insured against the loss of hardware and essential data, Determining the accurate value of hardware equipment is also important to calculate the correct insurance replacement costs.
Maintenance, security and compliance
A hardware audit puts preventive maintenance plans into action. By enabling quick identification of any item, it also aids quick resolution of IT issues.
On the security front, an audit can alert you to security vulnerabilities and data leaks so you can mitigate serious risks in a time-bound banner. This security compliance is essential to your overall accountability goals, positioning you as a responsible organisation in the minds of all stakeholders.
If you have leased some of your equipment, audits are an opportunity to monitor supplier performance against service level agreements to check if there have been any failures in contractual delivery.
An audit is worth the time and energy investment, assuring that you’re always empowered by high-quality systems and industry best practices.