“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” – James Stockdale, a Vietnam veteran who spent seven years as a prisoner of war
We are living through uncertainty during this COVID-19 pandemic. Uncertainty may cause us to lose faith, but I agree with James Stockdale’s quote. We can’t afford to lose faith that we will prevail in the end. We must keep that faith as we face the facts of our current reality, no matter how brutal those facts are.
Business owners should attempt to face those facts by trying to understand where they are right now. From an IT standpoint, this could mean taking the time to inventory all of your technology.
- Understand what you have by creating/maintaining a consolidated asset database. This should be a complete list of all your IT assets to provide accurate information on value, location, capabilities, warranties, passwords, and more. How will it be kept up-to-date?
- Understand how those assets are being used. Who uses it? When and where is it used? How often is it used? Is the equipment meeting your needs? Do you need to move toward a paperless office?
- Understand the well-being of those assets by implementing an inspection and maintenance routine. This should include a way to ensure security and track issues. Are there underlying problems causing recurring issues? Do employees need more training? Do you need to upgrade or replace?
- Utilize your current assets effectively. Do you have equipment gathering dust that can be used in another location, donated or sold?
- Upgrade on your own terms because your asset list and maintenance routines can help you replace items before an emergency happens. Do you have equipment that is more than 5 years old? Are there warranties expiring and can they be renewed? Is it time to replace anything or at least budget to replace over the next couple of years? Can procurement be automated? When purchasing, buy with future needs in mind, not just what you need now.
Businesses will benefit from setting time to really review the above questions and/or make sure their IT service provider is helping them with those items. Keeping control of your IT assets can help you to face facts and keep faith.
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