There was a time that most of our clients were small enough that we could roughly remember who had which PC. And, when we needed to confirm that, we could refer to our remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools to make the association.
However, as we onboarded larger clients, it became clear that being able to report on who is using which PC wasn't enough; our clients wanted us to know not only who was using which computer, what we call user-device affinity, but where the devices are.
Now, the question of a device's location is really two questions:
Although there are GPS tracking services for laptops, our clients want us to track more than just laptops. They want to know whether they have sufficient and appropriate monitors and docks, too, and at which desk they live. We draw the line at keyboards and mice; those are consumables as far as I'm concerned 🤪
To be able to tell a client if they have on-hand what they need for a new hire, we use what is essentially a multi-tenant, cloud-hosted spreadsheet that's fed by our RMM. Of course, it's only as accurate as what our clients report to us, which is why our agreement stipulate that staff may move inventoried devices (computers, monitors, and docks) only once they've let us know.
Today, IT asset management is an essential deliverable for Qore. Not only is it great for our client, but it's great for us; now we can triangulate common denominators when troubleshooting problems.
For example, two people's monitors were periodically flickering. We tried all of the usual things - updated firmware on the docks, swapped docks and then monitors between the desks. Exasperated, I turned to our inventory where I noticed that they two problematic workstations had the same model laptop, and only those two workstations, which led us to focus on the laptop.
Miraculously, one of our techs, found this support thread in which a Lenovo rep identified a faulty WWAN driver, of all things, as the cause of the monitor flickering!
Here are some key benefits of IT asset management for small businesses:
In conclusion, IT asset management is an essential aspect of small business operations. By tracking and managing all hardware and software assets, small businesses can optimize their IT infrastructure and operations, leading to improved efficiency, cost savings, compliance, security, and simplified audits. If you are a small business owner or IT manager, ask your MSP if they can report on - or better yet, give you real-time access to - an IT asset management system.
Or call Qore 😀