Forecasting can help companies prepare for economic downturns, however there are times when economic troubles can hit businesses harder than expected. It’s through these times that agile IT asset management (ITAM) can help to weather the storm.
In recent times, factors such as the refugee crisis, Britain’s EU status, plunging oil prices and unstable government lending in the US and Japan have caused reason for concern around the global economic climate. Even China’s forecasted growth for 2016 was downgraded from an unprecedented level to 6.3%, according to the International Monetary Fund. There’s no doubt that the state of global economic affairs has a substantial effect on certain industries, so it serves well to be prepared, certainly in terms of asset management.
Gartner predicted in 2015 that despite current global issues, businesses’ IT spend will rise by .6% with software and IT services leading the way. More recently, The Wall Street Journal suggested that IT spend had in fact declined in 2015, but whichever way you look at it, it’s ever-changing. Even when a business is in the position to spend more, it needs to consider the efficiency of its ITAM programs in order to get the best out of its assets. Building agility into their IT management will mean that when hard times arise, the impact is minimised.
Considering the lifespan of IT products, there are measures that can be taken. Asset disposal, license agreement negotiations and even leased IT packages can help work towards an adaptable situation that can be built upon or utilised according to the current conditions. Hardware in particular can have a clear life cycle whereby its value and warranty depreciates greatly between 2 and 5 years.
Businesses need to consider their strategy in times of trouble, as holding onto assets in the hope of general economic revival can lead to them missing out on current value. There is no use in harbouring scores of devices that only have a year or so of full service left in them.
Additionally, these assets may be consuming costly real estate space that would end up adding to the cost to store them. To prepare for when the recovery occurs an organization might consider leasing new assets for on annual basis, if the interest rates are favorable or they might consider using a bring your own device (BYOD) model to help employees get new assets quickly.
Each situation will require a level of individual evaluation. But it’s pivotal that agility and the ability to adapt is considered within the IT asset strategy. Whether that’s through leasing agreements, flexible contracts or simply regular, well-researched audits.
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