How to Prevent Your Workplace from Being Haunted by Ghost Assets

May 9, 2019

You might not think you know what a ghost asset is, but your North Dakota business has no doubt encountered the phenomena. If you keep an inventory of IT assets, including computers, laptops, cell phones, and so on that constitute business property, you might end up in a situation where you’re running inventory and realize you have more equipment and devices on the books than you can actually account for physically.

The missing items from your inventory may or may not be in your possession, but you don’t know because you can’t locate them and match them up to your listed inventory. They are ghost assets – potentially present, but unseen. The term is also used to account for IT assets you no longer use, even though you’ve kept them on the books, such as a room full of outdated computers following an infrastructure upgrade.

If you have them and you can’t find them, you’re wasting resources. If they’re left to gather dust on-site, or if employees or outsiders have stolen them, you’re not only losing money, but risking serious legal concerns if the devices in question contain confidential company or consumer data.

How can you prevent the occurrence of ghost assets and protect your North Dakota business from potential risks? Here are a few ways to eliminate such errors in your inventory.

Perform Regular Inventory Audits
Your North Dakota business may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of IT assets. A proper tracking system will have accounts of every item, and the easiest way to do this is with a bar code scanner.

When you assign technologies to employees, you can scan them out under the employee name, so if devices go missing, you know who’s to blame. Then, when employees return devices, you can scan them back into company custody so that they can be reassigned, stored, or destroyed.

With this information in hand, you should have no trouble performing regular audits to ensure that IT inventory is all present and accounted for. Frequent audits will help you to identify ghost assets so they can be tracked down or dealt with before they pose a threat to your organization.

Assess Usable Assets
Tracking and managing assets is about more than just knowing where they are at any given time. You also need to know if they’re still adequately serving the needs of your organization. Regular asset assessments will help you to determine if assets are still usable or if they need to be taken out of circulation.

Get Your ITAD Strategy in Order
Security and finance are two important parts of the IT asset life cycle, and ghost assets can cost your North Dakota business on both scores. A proper IT asset disposition (ITAD) strategy can help you to avoid the potential risks and losses associated with ghost assets, whether you destroy outdated assets on a schedule or you opt to wipe, refurbish, and remarket usable assets in order to see some ROI when you upgrade.

The experts at SEAM can help your North Dakota business eliminate some of the threats associated with ghost assets. Contact us today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to get a quote and learn more.