Whether your organization has returned to work in-office full time, or like your UniVista team, are taking a hybrid approach with both from-home and from-office work, IT Asset Management requirements continue to be an increasing issue which will require an organizational strategy, tracking protocols and employee policies.

Essentially, IT Asset Management is the process of ensuring an organizations technology assets are not only properly accounted for, but also appropriately deployed, maintained, and ultimately disposed of.  They include both tangible and intangible valuable items within an organization that are being tracked and used including both hardware and software.  However, not only should an organizations computers and software licensed be tracked, but also items like tablets, cell phones, monitors, docks, etc. should be included, as well.

Prior to the work-from-home phenomenon, most organizations were able to track their assets within their own environment as a limited number of their employees were working from home.  However, those organizations with an extensive number of employees in the field, for example police officers, or outside sale representatives, have always had a broader requirement for managing their assets and keeping them secure.  Having strong Asset Management policies helps an organization determine what is available, what condition it’s in and what they may need to budget for in the future.  Good Asset Management protocols help maintain order, eliminates potential wasted productivity, and keeps the individual end-users accountable.

A tremendous benefit to good Asset Management is its ability to save an organization money.  It helps avoid unnecessary purchases, including unnecessary software licensing and support costs.  Additionally, better control enforces compliance with security and legal policies and reduces an organization’s risks.

IT Asset Management can be a challenge even for the smallest of organizations.  Keeping track of laptops and other mobile devices can quickly become overwhelming, particularly if items are lost, stolen or simply “disappear”.  Many companies employ Asset Management Software to help manage their ever changing amount of hardware and software, and there are a variety of types on the market (See PC Magazine’s List of Top Asset Management Programs: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-it-asset-management-software) .  However, Asset Management is only half the battle, the other issue is the need to keep those items up-to-date and, most importantly, secure.

It’s important to not only track your assets, but also protect their contents.


As company assets like laptops, tablets, cell phones and the like go out in the field or home with employees, there is always a chance for those items to be lost or stolen.  All too often those items contain sensitive information which needs to be kept private and secure. Fortunately, there are security programs to help in this scenario in the form of Mobile Device Managers.

A Mobile Device Manager is a type of security software used to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices.  In most cases a Mobile Device Manager can be deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across the multiple mobile operating systems used with an organization.  Mobile Device Management can be a last line of cybersecurity defense for an organization.

One of the most helpful aspects of a Mobile Device Manager is that it can help an employer not only track an asset in the field, but also, if necessary, send a signal to wipe it clean.  Additionally, a Mobile Device Manager can restrict what a user can install on a phone, tablet, or laptop and most importantly, it can protect sensitive information with encryption, along with password and multi-factor authentication requirements.  As an added feature, it can also monitor an employee’s productivity and location, should that be required.

If you’re unsure if you’re using the most up-to-date and secure solutions to manage your technology, our UniVista team is happy to discuss your asset and mobile device management requirements.  If you have any questions or concerns about the safety and security of your organization’s devices, please don’t hesitate to contact your account representative.

In this final reflection on what we’ve learned during the COVID pandemic we’ll review the transition to working from home and how it has changed both organizational and workforce expectations. 

According to a Quarterly Economics Briefing posted last year (https://www.ncci.com/SecureDocuments/QEB/QEB_Q4_2020_RemoteWork.html), prior to the pandemic only 6% of workers primarily worked from home and three-fourths of all workers had never worked from home.  By as early as May of 2020 over one-third of employees were now working from home.  As expected, the individuals working from home were typically from office-based businesses, along with professionals. 

How we work has changed.
Work from office, vs. work from home vs. a hybrid approach.

As we return to normal operations post-pandemic, in many sectors employers and workers expect to “more permanently implement a flexible remote working environment”.  However, some businesses are doing the opposite and requiring all employees return to the office as before.  Recently, a widely publicized email from Elon Musk put all Tesla management on notice that they were to return to work in their offices no less than 40 hours per week, or find other employment. It remains to be seen how these different variations will play out in the next few years with regard to employee management, as well as employee retention.  At least at UniVista, a hybrid approach seems best. We allow our staff to work remotely but we do have regular office days because we’ve found that if you don’t see your coworkers in person, team synergy is hard to build. What has worked for you?

What issues does this new employer/employee relationship present for everyone in the workforce?  Now that most employees have had a taste of not having a long commute to work, along with the ability to balance their work life with their home life, are thinking long and hard about the merits of remaining with an employer who requires 100% full time in the office. 

Additionally, from an IT perspective, organizations having staff both at home and in the office have a larger requirement in keeping their employees connected while also keeping organizational data secure. Then employees themselves have a larger responsibility in maintaining security while accessing company servers remotely.  Despite many good intentions, security is only as good as the individuals who are using it, and as they say “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray”, it’s imperative that organizations review and enforce their cybersecurity protocols regularly with their staff, as not doing can have severe and very expensive consequences.

Because bad actors and cyberscams have become more sophisticated, some key cybersecurity practices to review with employees working from home should include things as simple as:

  • Enforcing the use of better protected Business Devices over the use of lesser protected Personal Devices.
  • Home wifi networks are easier to attack, so passwords need to be stronger and a VPN (virtual Private Network) is preferred.
  • Manage Human error by minimizing distractions at home. Counsel employee’s on strategic methods on not allowing themselves to get careless.

For organizations, they should continue to be vigilant in their practices and:

  • Include periodic reviews of their safety protocols and cybersecurity risks. New forms of cyberattacks should be considered during these reviews.
  • Review ongoing risks or vulnerabilities in their Business Continuity Plans and keep them updated factoring the same new forms of cyberattacks.
  • Consider and review new technologies and safety protocols.
  • Acquire Cyber Insurance

Undoubtedly, the coming years will continue to see a lot of changes in how organizations do business, how they manage employees and how they handle both on-site and off-site security.  If you have any questions on how to manage both in-office and remote worker security, please don’t hesitate to contact you UniVista vCIO.