4 IT Asset Management Automation Processes that Save you Money
Spoiler alert, in our use case, the company saves $99,425 per year by using an IT Asset Management solution and automating the four tasks we discuss below.
Often, we are so busy we don’t take the time to set up the proper processes and automation. However, in the long run, setting them up will save you time and money. In this blog, we explore four IT Asset Management (ITAM) tasks that can be automated to save you money. They include automating your inventory check, setting up an asset request portal, setting up notifications, and automating employee onboarding. ITAM tools help automate a lot more than these four processes, so this blog will only cover a portion of your potential savings.
To help demonstrate the potential savings, consider an organization of 1000 employees where the Support Technician earns $54,000 a year for working 1856 hours. For simplicity, let’s assume the company only owns one asset per employee, so 1000 assets. It takes an average of 20 minutes to fulfill an asset request and they get about two asset requests per year, per employee. Let’s also assume that 5% of computers being used in the company are over four years old. On average, an employee loses 45 minutes per week due to old hardware. Let’s also assume that the company audits its inventory twice per year and each asset takes about 15 minutes to capture basic audit information. This includes manufacture, model, serial numbers, owner, and location.
You can plug in your numbers into this ITAM ROI Calculator to see how much money your organization saves with an ITAM tool. Keep reading to understand where these assumptions come from as well as how much time can be saved.
1. Automate Inventory Checks
Gartner states that 70% of organizations have a 30% discrepancy between planned inventory and actual inventory.1 This discrepancy highlights the unreliability of data collected by manual audits. In addition, such audits are a single snapshot of IT assets at the time the audit was performed. Automating this task ensures your information is always updated and accurate. Therefore, reducing any discrepancy to almost zero. Plus, this eliminates the need for anyone to execute any audit manually, saving thousands of hours.
Let’s go back to the used case. There are two audits per year that verify 1000 assets at a time. It takes 15 minutes to manually capture basic audit information per asset. And finally, remember the IT Support Technician salary is $54,000 with 1856 annual working hours.3 As presented below, 15 minutes multiplied by 1000 assets at 2 audits per year is 500 hours spent on manual inventory checks. At about $29 per hour to pay the IT Technician, it costs the company $14,547 to perform two manual inventory checks per year.
[15 minutes per asset X 1000 assets X 2 audits per year]/60 minutes = 500 hours saved
500 hours X [$54,000 IT Technician Salary/1856 annual working hours] = $14,547 saved
Automating inventory checks relieves the company from spending almost $15,000 on this task and allows the technician to focus on higher-priority activities. Several ITAM tools have a feature called, “network discovery,” that updates your information automatically. Therefore, when looking for a tool, look for this feature.
2. Use an Asset Request Portal
An asset request portal is a digital storefront of the assets (physical or digital) that employees can request to use. The organization spends time approving the assets in the storefront. In an IT Asset Management tool, you can pass each request through additional approvals. It is also possible to set appropriate forms for each asset type. For example, one for laptops and another form for getting access to Salesforce. Further, some ITAM tools have this portal connected to their ticketing system. Therefore, as soon as a request is submitted, a chain of tickets and notifications are automatically sent out to get the process started. Without such automated processes in place, IT would be pulling your hair for trying to do this via email.
IT spends an average of 20 minutes per asset request. This includes replying to emails, chasing approvals, and coordinating provisioning actions. With an average of 2 requests per employee per year, an organization of 1000 employees would process 2000 requests per year, totaling 667 hours. Based on an average IT Support Technician salary of $54,000 and 1856 annual working hours, $19,406 in staffing costs can be saved or relocated to other projects by utilizing an asset request portal 3.
[20 minutes per request X (2 requests per employee X 1000 employees)]/ 60 minutes = 667 hours saved
667 hours X [$54,000 IT Technician Salary/1856 annual working hours] = $19, 406 saved
Request forms are easy for employees to find and to fill out. They set off a chain of approvals and notifications. As a result, using an asset request portal minimizes workload while improving request fulfillment. To be more specific, it saves and IT technician 667 hours per year and it saves the company $19,406 on this task. When searching for an ITAM tool, include the asset request portal (with forms, approvals, and notifications) as part of your criteria.
3. Set up Notifications of hardware warranty expiry/end-of-life
The cost to repair a computer that is more than 4 years old exceeds the cost of purchasing a new device. 2 In addition, an average employee loses 9 minutes a day or 45 minutes per week in productivity due to slow or faulty old hardware. So, what is the solution? We recommend setting up the appropriate notifications including notification for when a warranty is about to expire and another for when the end-of-life of an asset is approaching. VIZOR helps organizations plan hardware refreshes by tracking the expected life and warranty expiry of each asset.
Let’s look at the numbers. There is an average repair cost of $427 to $521 per machine older than four years.2 For an organization of 1000 employees, we can assume that 5% of computers 4 years or older. Therefore, 50 computers would need to be repaired at $521 is repair costs of $26,050 per year to maintain older computers. That is why we recommend tracking the older devices. By preparing for the end-of-life of a device, the company can budget and purchase the devices beforehand. Thus, not wasting money on repair costs. Further, warranty notifications help monitor faulty devices that can be replaced for a significantly lower cost, if any at all.
$521 repair cost X 5% of 1000 employees using old hardware = $26,050 cost to repair old hardware
[45 minutes lost per week X 5% of 1000 employees using old hardware]/ 60 minutes = 37.5 hours of lost employee productivity per year
Look for an ITAM tool that keeps your hardware plan up to date. The features to keep an eye on are notifications for warranties and end-of-life. A useful feature is tracking the expected life of your hardware to look out for as well.
4. Automating Employee Onboarding
A Forrester study found that new employees wait for an average of 3.5 days for all the resources required to start the tasks of their job.8 Not many ITAM tools have employee onboarding but it is a feature in VIZOR. VIZOR’s onboarding and role-based provisioning functionality ensure new employees have the IT hardware, software, and privileges they need from day one. Without this feature, employees lose about 30% of productivity during those 3.5 days of waiting even when they can work during this period. As a result, investing in an ITAM solution saves 47 weeks of lost productivity for an organization of 1000 employees.
In order to calculate the loss of time of money, consider the following statistics. Mercer states that the average employee turnover rate in the US is 22%.5 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),6 the median wage for workers in the United States during Q3 2018 was $857 per week. Therefore, for 1000 employees at a turnover rate of 22% and a loss of productivity of 30% for 3.5 days is 231 working days lost. When you multiply this by $857, the company loses $40,279 in productivity.
3.5 days (1000 employees x 22% turnover rate X 30% productivity loss) = 231 working days of lost productivity
$857 per week X 46 weeks (231 working days) of lost productivity = $39,422 of salary saved
When looking for an ITAM tool, onboarding employees is ideal, especially if your turnover rate is higher. Find out VIZOR’s pricing here to benefit from all the features listed in this blog.
IT Asset Management projects are pushed to the side because they can be time-consuming. However, the organizations that put the time and effort into setting up automation reap major benefits. In this blog, we only discussed 4 tasks to automate but ITAM tools automate several more. Our recommendation is to focus on the tasks you know consume most time for your organization. It’s not necessary to get them all set up at once but look into a solution and get started. You can thank us later!
1 – Gartner, “Life Cycle Management Underpins IT Asset Management”. 2 – Techaisle white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study”. 3 – Glassdoor, “US IT Support Technician Salary”. 4 – Gartner “IT Budget”. 5 – Mercer, “North American Employee Turnover: Trends And Effects”. 6 – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Usual Weekly Earnings Of Wage And Salary Workers Third Quarter 2018”. 7 – Forrester “Total Economic Impact™ Study”