Though recent studies show healthy IT budgets across the globe, increased reliance on technology in the digital age means there are more places to spend, which has only made it more essential for companies to make smart decisions in IT spending. Today’s IT department needs that IT budget for new projects and tools that drive business goals, and it’s easier than ever to lose track and overspend without a solid IT asset management (ITAM) strategy.
One common area for overspending is on the devices employees use every day. The larger an organization, the more difficult it is to track and predict purchasing and maintenance costs for all of the devices employees use. That’s why lifecycle and warranty tracking are more vital than ever to an IT asset management strategy.
If you think about some of the basic technology that your budget accounts for, there are some static or predictable costs. You’ll never have to worry about replacing an employee’s Microsoft Office or Salesforce accounts. You pay for the license and they’ll have access for as long as you pay. The only pop-up costs will be for renewals (very predictable) or new employees.
Their laptops, on the other hand, can present some planning challenges. Some organizations like to operate with every device under warranty, so they extend warranties or simply replace devices when the original warranty is up. Some organizations will allow employees to use laptops with expired warranties, and simply replace the laptop when it suffers a major breakdown. If you aren’t tracking these warranties automatically, spending becomes unpredictable very quickly.
Though policies are different for respective organizations, one common goal is to try to plan for these warranty extensions or replacement devices. It’s very difficult to build an IT budget or delegate spending to new projects if you have no idea when you might need to spend on basic upkeep for employees’ devices.
Automated Reporting on Warranties
With a modern IT asset management and service management platform, you can track and forecast laptop lifecycles and budgeting for all kinds of devices. Whether an employee uses a Dell, HP, or Lenovo laptop, your solution should be able to pull and store any bio and warranty information that might impact IT spending or services.
If you aren’t tracking these warranties automatically, spending becomes unpredictable very quickly.”
With that information automatically updating, you can sort your laptop database by devices with expired warranties or by date/year of upcoming expiration. We recommend creating “renewal reminders” (pictured) for time periods that will help you plan.
Of course, this won’t stop your IT department from spending money on employees’ laptops, but it will help you determine exactly how much you should expect to budget toward these assets in a given month, quarter, or year.
Tracking Device Lifecycles
Purchasing decisions for IT assets often come down to two factors: price and effectiveness. The latter might be a matter of preference for employees, but sometimes effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) is measurable. In fact, your IT asset management strategy should include a way to track incidents, owners, and all sorts of history on particular devices.
With the right asset management solution, you might notice patterns of recurring incidents with certain devices. You might notice major incidents that occur shortly after the warranty expires, and you can track the cost and timing of all different categories. If it’s happening over and over again, maybe it’s time for a different model of laptop. Devices that routinely outlive their warranties can help save money in purchasing decisions, especially if you’re able to quantify that time period.
Combining IT asset management and service management with one solution can help you make the best decisions in purchasing. You should track every owner, incident, problem, and change to your assets. In addition, it’s well worth your while to know any costs and warranty information that come with those assets. While it might seem like more work, a modern ITSM platform can automate much of this oversight, helping you predict upcoming costs and account for them in your budgets.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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