IT Asset Management (Part 3 – Maintained)
In our previous IT Asset Management articles Part 1 – Accounted For, Part 2 – Deployed; we will now explore the “Part 3 – Maintained”.
For any asset that has been deployed out in the field for your user to use, we must take into consideration how best we can have them “Maintained” (or supported). A large proportion of your Total Cost of Ownership will fall under the “Maintained” part. So let’s explore what are the key areas of “maintained” and how best we can ensure the assets are being maximized for your user contributing to their usage.
Let’s get started.
- Selecting a reputable brand that provides good quality. So, this one should be easy and straightforward, right? Not really. Why? What are the criteria for a “reputable” brand? If a brand is reputable then surely its products are also of good quality?
Should we check who are the Top 5 equipment manufacturers? Yes and No.
Yes, by googling and checking with third parties research companies, you will come across different equipment manufacturers per se. No, because do note that such placing does change quarter by quarter or year on year itself.
Perhaps I can also google complaints and quality issues on the internet to see if indeed the equipment manufacturers are indeed reputable. However, such a search will require much effort to comb through many pages on the Internet to see if there are any concerns.
So, should I google and check what reviewers are saying about specific equipment manufacturers that are reputable? Only if the reviewers are themselves reputable to start with. Do note that equipment manufacturers are paying some reviewers (on social media) to provide “good” reviews on their equipment. For those reviewers that are not paid equipment manufacturers to provide a review, you need to sort out and decide if their review is complete and their views are valid as well.
In this case, what else can one check to see if the equipment manufacturer is indeed reputation? One easy way to check out you’re in-country consumer report then look up the said equipment manufacturer’s quality index. It usually shows the quality of the company vs complaints by consumers. It will indicate certain models or ranges of products vs the number of defects reported by consumers. Such reports are typically done on a yearly basis and provide a good indication of the equipment manufacturer’s quality.
- Check the equipment’s warranty and utility. What’s the difference between warranty and utility? Typically a warranty is a type of guarantee that a manufacturer makes regarding to the condition of the product to operate and use in an intended manner within a specified period excluding wear and tear. A utility is a form of guarantee from the manufacturer makes that claim that the product was designed for a specific intended purpose/usage per se.
A clear distinction between premium brands will have different warranties and utilities provided to consumers alike. Also depending on the range of products that are specified for different user groups (General Consumers, Gamers, Enterprise) will also have different price points along with different quality.
The fine print of warranty statements like:
- Labour charges (inclusive or exclusive of replacement parts prices)
- Parts warranty (no questions asked or subject to certain terms and conditions)
- Bring in to support centre or On-site support (at your location)
- Call out charges.
- Time and Materials charges (usually for equipment that are out of warranty)
- Warranty period coverage (usually include combinations of 3 years only, 3 + 1 years, 3 + 2 years).
- Hardware and parts only troubleshooting (do not include Operating system – Windows or Applications)
- Accidental damage (no questions asked – stress free type but cost more)
- Next Business Days resolutions (guarantee fixed within next business days, typically within a 48-hour period)
- Online support (via web page and/or remote support or dial-in)
Picking and choosing the warranty items are key to ensuring you get the “right” support services for you and your users.
- In-house ICT Support or On-call ICT Support? Most small and medium enterprises with less than 150 employees may have 1 -3 ICT personnel that does the support services. However, these days users are pretty much on their own due to the lack of ICT personnel and heavy workload. So, should one consider the other option of having On-Call ICT Support? Yes, it works that you have a negotiated price with an external trusted ICT support personnel that has the expertise and experience to get things done.
For small and medium enterprises, if having spare units are cost prohibitive then selecting the “right” support services and warranty would be key to reducing downtime for your users. In fact, having alternative ways of working when your primary equipment is down (or not available) is very real in today’s world.
For large enterprises, ICT support personnel are a given as they help ensure users get seamless support on their equipment and spare units may also be available to support as well.
The above are just some of the considerations one needs to take into account when it comes to IT Assets being maintained so users can operate and continue to do their work without interruptions.
Interested to know more about the best practices of Maintained? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a discussion with our consultants to help you out.
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