Asset management & advanced search: wizard’s guide to label location

You’ve realized that an advanced search capacity is a must have tool to track your devices in multiple locations. Managing devices of different kinds in any institution is a challenge.

 Asset management & advanced search

To keep everything under control, a CIO, CTA or IT proffesional in charge of a company IT asset inventory needs to prepare their asset management with a very redundant three-way job:

  1. Map the company building and its offices or, if it’s an educational institution, the campuses, and classrooms.
  2. Assign and match the assets to a particular area.
  3. Memorize, learn and train their team on what particular area corresponds to each room or location.

It’s just crazy!

As an asset tracking software, Prey can customize labels that you can apply to your devices, and you can create as many as you want. That way you can manage devices by groups in any category you need.

Your department must manage over 500 devices and, with hardware asset management (HAM) it easy to check the features and ids of devices.

But what if you’ve set up your own way of managing your assets?

Just imagine this scene: you’re housesitting Hogwarts on Christmas break (yeah, you wish), you’ve set up a magic alarm, and suddenly, in the middle of the night, the device is triggered.  

You check up the alarm dashboard: there’s a disturbance in sector 7, but to arrive there, you need to run past sector 6, walk down sector 5 and return through sector 4. If you got to sector 3, you’re too late.

But wait. Which one was sector 7 again? The library? The Room of Requirement? Moaning Myrtle?

It was the kitchen. It wasn’t Myrtle or Headless Nick: it was a group of Slytherins borrowing some polyjuice potion. But it’s too late to do something about it.

You’re past the first step: you’ve got one dashboard in to keep track of all your devices.

Mapping your devices correctly can make your management device dashboard as easy to use and interactive as Harry Potter’s Marauder map. It keeps track of an intricate number of assets in an endless maze building.

Asset management & advanced search

Eventually, in the case you need it, it may help you find that lost diadem or Horcrux at the Room of Requirement.

Asset management & advanced search

Well, in real life, someone had to set up the Marauder Map. That’s a piece of cake. Have the map readable is a real wizard’s job.

But how to turn your tracking software into a real-life Marauder map? 

According to The ITAM Review, one of the main stages of a hardware assets lifecycle, after installing it, is deploying it.

As every industry is different and has its own needs, you need to customize it.

Now then, how do you label your devices? 

  1. Map out every single place in your building or campus. Don’t just sit on your desk! Take a tablet or a pen and paper and walk through the premises mapping out places and those corners of your castle that you hadn’t figured out existed before!
  2. Number them accordingly. In my suggestion, good geofencing takes consideration of emergency exits. In the case of an emergency like a computer theft, it’ll be easier for everyone to find their way through and trace the culprit’s steps.
  3. With the team of your company, select the specifics of what you want to label or tag. A college will want to assign faculties. A corporation will need to label departments, and so on.
  4. Set up the most important features of your devices. Is it a company device or a BYOD? Is it a tablet or an iPad? Does it run Windows or is it a Mac?
  5. Label barcodes as well as serial numbers. As IT Asset Management points out


“While the serial number is a key data point for all assets, it should not be used as the standard data point for tracking and reporting purposes in isolation. Barcoding is the preferred route. This allows for a consistent, key identifier for all assets in a standard format. Bar coding also allows for a more controlled inventory. Tags can be tracked and assets visually confirmed as well as being captured within the inventory.”

  1. Cross reference them with a roster of your staff, students, faculty members, etc.
  2. Integrate aspects your staff considers relevant to tell an insurance company, the police and your internal affairs department if any device goes missing, such as the specific software installed, security clearances, warrantees, integrated devices, and everything 
  3. Use standardized labels. If you’re tagging office assets by position, keep it that way: don’t mix them up with a faculty or department.
  4. Review which kind of critical data is present on the device, to trigger a pertinent and responsive data wipe procedure.

How would you label the assets of your company or institution to track your devices?  

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.