According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 965,000 people in the professional and business services industry left their jobs in December 2014. In an age of massive data breaches, strict compliance requirements, and constrained IT budgets, the inevitable questions come up: Have these organizations shut down their ex-employees’ accounts, logins, and corporate information access? Have they reclaimed their corporate hardware and software assets?
The answers may surprise you. According to a survey of ex-employees by Osterman Research and Intermedia, an astonishing 89 percent of survey respondents retained access to at least one application from a former employer and 45 percent still had access to confidential data. An astonishing 49 percent admitted they had logged into an account after leaving the company.
How is it possible that so many organizations haven’t taken sensible, straightforward precautions with exiting employees? In many cases the reason comes down to poor, inefficient employee onboarding and offboarding processes and tools. In many organizations, these processes and workflows are not only manual and haphazard, but dependent on a large number of disparate players who rarely interact. It’s not uncommon for a new employee to go to one person to get a phone, another to get a laptop, and another to get an email account and network access. When employees leave the organization, it’s often unclear who is responsible—the employee’s manager or any of these other players—for reclaiming all that hardware and software. Without a single person or tool tracking assets and processes, gaps are inevitable, with resulting lost or untracked IT hardware and software assets.
Poor onboarding, offboarding, and asset management tools and processes are detrimental for many reasons including:
The best way to address poor asset management, onboarding, and offboarding is through process consolidation and automation.
Start by consolidating all the disparate processes involved in onboarding and offboarding employees to as few as possible. When a new employee starts work, a single process should provide him or her with all the assets—including hardware, software, and access to email, applications, and other accounts—required to get up and running. IT or HR should generate a single list of assets assigned based on the new employee’s role in the organization.
All onboarding and offboarding processes should be automated as much as possible, as disparate manual processes and workflows often lead to errors, omissions and intentional or unintentional process deviations.
A robust asset lifecycle management tool can help by automating process workflows that accelerate all the notifications, steps, and approvals required to complete the onboarding and offboarding processes successfully. By tracking all hardware and software assets from procurement through assignment, reassignment, and disposal, asset lifecycle tools can quickly determine asset availability and assignment to job roles and individuals. They can also reclaim and reassign assets when employees change roles or leave the organization and speed up the procurement of new assets when they’re not available. This ensures that assets and access neither leave the organization nor sit unused.
Asset management and employee onboarding and offboarding processes are fraught with risk, error, and overspending. Knowing what assets you have, where they are, and how they are preforming will accelerate employee productivity and ensure organizations don’t open themselves up to security breaches, asset overspending, and compliance fines.