Take Stock of Your IT Assets9 Jan, 2013 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Inventory the tools that your users currently work with so that you can reliably forecast future requirements.
Do you know exactly how many computers you support? Or how many licenses of software you have around the enterprise? If not, make it a New Year's resolution to take stock of what you have.
You may think your IT department has all this information already, but I've been very surprised over the years to learn just how little many IT departments know about the CAD licenses, processors, RAM, and graphics cards in use at users' desks. And if you don't know and the IT department doesn't know, how will anyone know how to budget for updates, upgrades, and subscriptions this year, or next?
At minimum, consider taking inventory of the following computer/CAD resources at each user's desk:
- Processor architecture (dual, quad, etc.) and clock speed
- RAM and disk resources
- Graphics card type and RAM
- Monitor size(s) and resolution(s)
- Software licenses and versions.
It also pays to have a rough idea of network storage space, plus any particular assets within your network that directly affect CAD, such as plotters and high-volume printers.
Armed with this information, you'll know which machines, peripherals, and software tools need to be replaced, upgraded, and supported this year. You'll also get a much better picture of your needs in the upcoming three years — the crucial time period that IT budgets tend to focus on.
The tip here is not to rely on the IT department to set your budget and understand your needs, but to understand your own needs by knowing the resources you already have. Only by taking stock of the tools that your users currently work with can you reliably forecast future requirements. You may be surprised how much you learn when you perform a simple inventory.
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