Geo-location is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a way to know where things are at any given time. Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you’ve probably wished you had some sort of geo-location device when you can’t find your keys or your toddler’s favorite teddy bear.
In business, geo-location maps can be used in countless ways. Some businesses even use geo-location maps of customer activity so they can plan deliveries more accurately.
“If only I could locate my missing dry cleaning ticket so I could pick up my blouses with collars…”
Geo-location devices are often used by businesses that require working in the field or delivery, so that vehicles can be located quickly. Suppose you own a business for installing entertainment systems in homes. When the dispatcher gets a call from a customer who wants an installation, she can quickly determine if any technicians in the field are close by and make scheduling changes if warranted.
Geo-Location and IT Asset Management
IT asset management lets your IT professionals know precisely which pieces of hardware belong to your organization, how they’re configured, what software is installed on them, and where they’re located. Is an employee leaving or receiving an upgraded workstation? Your IT asset management system locates the hardware, informs you of the software on it, and tells you where to go to pick it up.
How Geo-Location Works
Geo-location uses geo-coding tools that make it possible to visualize the location of just about anything. Tracking computer hardware is a natural for geo-location, because it can be performed by associating a geographic location with an IP address, MAC address, a RFID chip, embedded software number, GPS coordinates, or Wireless network positioning. When geo-location is part of your organization’s IT asset management program, you can know at any time exactly what computers you have, where they’re physically located, and how they’re configured.
Geo-Location Makes IT Asset Management That Much Smarter
Sure, you can have an IT asset management system without geo-location, but there is a greater possibility of errors with this setup. Just because your IT asset system says that the laptop assigned to Jim in Marketing is located in cubicle H202 doesn’t mean that it actually is located there. But if your asset management system has geo-location maps, you can instantly look up the current location of the device in real time.
Geo-Location Scenarios in IT Asset Management
“Oh, hi. I’m that missing external hard drive with all the engineering schematics on it. I’m in Annex A in cubicle A46 if anyone wants to come get me.”
You can probably think of countless ways to use geo-location as part of your asset management program. After all, asset management can be used to track things other than computer hardware and software. It can be used to manage information about anything from toolkits your maintenance staff uses to company vehicles. A few examples of how geo-location can make your asset management system better include
- Helping mobile workers find the nearest branch office to print out a set of specs for their work
- Finding a missing field toolbox (and perhaps the person who took it without authorization)
- Locating a computer running a particular software package in the event of a software audit
- Finding the laptop that’s due for a video card upgrade so a technician can install it
The more spread out your organization is, the more geo-location can help with your asset management system.
Samanage, leading provider of SaaS IT service management software, includes geo-location capability. Along with Samanage’s powerful asset management features, geo-location helps you track over 200 different hardware properties like CPU, BIOS, and sound cards. You can easily view physical locations of each of your hardware assets (or other assets you track), even if those assets move around a lot.
Asset management is critical to your organization’s efficiency, and can save significant sums of money each year. Geo-location takes your asset management system to a new level of convenience and accuracy.
About Karen Small
Read more articles by Karen