In-House or Online: Should You Switch to a Digital Asset Tracking Solution?

You already have an asset tracking system, so why switch? Many companies are jumping on the digital bandwagon by outsourcing their tracking system to management companies or by managing it in the cloud. Here’s why you should consider making the switch along with everyone else.

The Advantages

These cloud-based asset tracking software suites use a simplified method of deployment, namely, the cloud, to help you track and control inventory. With hardline systems, you must deploy a dedicated server (or, at the very least, a shared server), and them pay the license fee for the asset tracking software.

You must also pay for compatible system software, like Microsoft Windows Server or a Linux OS. That doesn’t include database software either. Finally, all of that software needs to be protected with Anti-spyware, anti-malware, and other data-protection systems.

Cloud-based systems don’t need any of this because everything is hosted in the cloud, so security is server-side. Plus, if you’re accessing the site via a secure server, you can eliminate miscellaneous licensing issues and special security software for your computer systems and network.

This also has the benefit of reducing your liability for data breeches.

The Cost Of Staying In-House

But what about the cost savings of staying “in-house”? With in-house systems, most businesses look only at the cost of the servers and software, and then conclude that it’s cheaper to maintain on-site control. But, what about IT professionals? You need them to manage your software. And, they cost money – a lot of money.

Staff must also perform regular updates, and these version updates can cost money, not to mention additional outside support costs from the vendor for your in-house support team. Version updates, plus support, can set you back an additional 15 to 25 percent over the cost of the initial OS and software purchase.

You also have to factor in maintenance fees from the vendor, on top of the salary, benefits packages, and time in from your own in-house staff. In almost every case, it’s cheaper to outsource everything.

Automatic Updates and Advanced Approaches

Lifecycle costing, maintenance management, and other advanced approaches to asset tracking are more easily performed through cloud-based systems which can be updated frequently through server-side protocols. These systems also typically have dedicated and sophisticated physical security measures in place, like on-site security guards, biometric locks, and restricted access.

Along with security measures, offsite facilities are usually large enough to allow for redundant power systems, redundant servers, and Internet pipes. Because cloud-based companies are singularly focused, the facilities often go way beyond anything you could accomplish, practically speaking, in-house.

And, it would be cost-prohibitive to replicate the IT infrastructure. The end-result is that cloud-based systems are more secure, more reliable, coast less, and are higher-performing than almost any system that you could design and build in-house.

Ray Tompkins is an inventory manager and avid writer. He likes to share his experiences and insights on the Internet. His articles can be found on many commercial, business and industrial websites and blogs.

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