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Asset management white paper available

Avocent : 16 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
White paper from LANdesk focuses on explaining best practice in IT asset management
Avocent has announced the availability of a new LANDesk white paper: "KOALA in Depth: Key Costs - Foundation for Value Analytics and Planning." This white paper is the first installment of a comprehensive five-part series that will explore in detail each of the five key elements of asset management — key costs, ownership, accountability, lifecycle status, and assignment — offering advice to IT managers who are implementing the practice. The series uses a "cradle to grave" model to provide a thorough and practical framework to demonstrate to both IT organisations and their businesses the immediate and significant value of managing assets throughout their useable lifecycle.

LANDesk developed the five-part KOALA white paper series as a result of unprecedented demand for its introductory KOALA white paper, "A Pragmatist's Guide to Structuring IT Asset Data." The first installment, focusing on key costs, examines the most efficient method to roll out a cost tracking and analysis initiative. While the value of asset cost tracking is clear, notes the author, implementation can be daunting at first glance. The white paper goes on to detail best practices and reveals strategies that alleviate the pains of executing effective asset cost tracking.

"Implementing asset cost tracking and analysis is not as difficult as it appears, but there is no 'solution-in-a-box'; you need to create your own," said Steve Daly, executive vice president and general manager of LANDesk. "The benefits are significant and allow businesses to attain more accurate budget planning and resource allocation, and greater cost controls, which are tied to business-level analytics. Starting with a blank slate, IT managers can begin capturing costs immediately and within a year have a solid foundation for value analytics."

The white paper also addresses the three fundamental issues in cost tracking and analysis:

Fixed Hard Costs: Costs aligned with an invoice, purchase order, receipt, or other tangible direct transaction. Examples include initial purchases for a defined SKU, the pro rata share of an initial service contract or warranty, warranty renewals, and disposal costs.
Additive and Maintenance Costs: Costs that are generally predictable but whose rates and frequencies may not be predictable. Examples include subscriptions and memberships, repair or maintenance, service desk incidents, internal resources, and registrations.

Operational Support Data: Costs that are generally static, occur periodically, and can be captured at a quarter-end or year-end. Examples include tax rates, depreciated asset values, replacement costs, and the pro rata share of software license fees.

"The key to cost tracking is defining processes for attaining data and staying regimented in maintaining updates in a structured way," said Daly. "Designing and defining processes around your specific business needs allows you to uniquely identify the quality and value of the data captured to ensure the greatest business Impact."
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