Easy Risk Management via IT Asset Management
In today’s digital age, everything is housed on networks and hard drives. Tracking and managing the assets in the data center as efficiently as possible is crucial to business operations and maximum return on investment. Asset tagging, or the assignment of certain identifiers to assets to improve tracking systems, is a practice for reconciling ownership, location, and configuration of hardware assets. Knowing what you have, where it is, and who has it is very important for an organization when it comes to handling the hardware and the accessibility of certain information. This process has come a long way in the past several years, going from a sticker with the machine name, user, and location to several options allowing a company to personalize their own asset tracking system.
- Barcoding with RFID: This is an asset tag with both a barcode and a RFID solution. They are secure, quick, and have real (or near to real) time data collection capability. This option requires management of an asset database, new hardware and software, and has a much higher cost. This tracking option is best to be used in a controlled, limited environment.
- Manual asset tags: This tag is made by creating an internal label and naming system. This is a low cost option which is more time consuming than others. Quality of the labels in this system are low and there is more room for error.
- Barcoding Only: This option assigns asset tags with unique barcodes. This method is reasonably secure, can report to inventory and database management systems, and enables a better tracking method than the manual asset tags. This option is relatively low cost, but there is no RFID, is it is less secure and requires hours of scanning of individual assets when they are acquired.
- Serial Numbers: Serial number asset tagging is as it sounds. This methods uses the item serial number to manually enter the information into the database. This system is better than manual asset tags because it allows the use of a unique serial number to be assigned by the vendor. However, serial numbers can rub off, are time consuming to enter manually, are subject to human error, and are prone to duplicates.
The best option in the opinion of most business owners is RFID with barcodes. Serial numbers are often duplicated, damaged, or unavailable during the inventory process. The format of the serial number varies by manufacturer, which is not conducive to the uniformity required within the database system. RFID asset tags are becoming more standard in the data center and server environment. Having a RFID/Barcoded asset tagging solution will bring greater management and security to hardware assets.