If one feels schadenfreude when reading about the IRS’s problems with missing computers (or rage, for that matter), consider this: there is really no excuse today for laptops simply “going missing” and no one finding out about it for months or years. Any asset management technology worth its salt can scan for laptops and raise all sorts of alarms when they don’t check in.
Thinking about this sort of issue systematically is one of the benefits that process frameworks like ITIL bring. Once one gets beyond the basic service desk processes, and starts thinking seriously about configuration and change management, it becomes apparent that intelligent application of the tools in this market segment is important for so many more reasons than simple fixed asset management. Consider:
- Intellectual property control
- Change auditing
- Sarbanes Oxley compliance
- Software license management
- Hardware/software upgrade planning
- Protecting customer data
…and on, and on. Pretty soon the organizations that have not made the proper investments in configuration management processes and tools are going to get some very public black eyes—not just for embarrassing issues like this but also for their lack of management and foresight.