Now what do I mean by REALLY knowing?
I mean knowing EVERY device in your estate and/or visiting your network, whom it belongs to, where it is and when was it seen for the last time, and what state it is in. I mean not having to (just) rely on historical procurement information or outdated Excel records telling you that you have about 10,000 devices.
Really knowing would entail your being able to say that you have 10,412 devices and being able to discuss even the finest details about all of them. It would be being able to tell at any moment how things are split among different type of devices, manufacturers, OSs, along with being able to provide help desk support without having to ask the caller what the device is, which OS, SP1, or SP2, etc. Or when it was booted for the last time, which you are always asking in any case…
Now why does that matter? You probably think a few laptops here and there are not going to have any effect on your big picture.
Sorry, but it does have a BIG impact on the big picture if you dig in a bit deeper. Knowing your estate and understanding some of the hidden costs helps not only ensure efficient use of your IT assets, but it can also affect your IT operations and your employees’ productivity BIG time. Now let me ask you a few questions.
Let’s start from security. Wouldn’t it be great if one quality indicator could tell you if all of your devices are secure? This simple indicator would let you know if devices are properly patched and have up-to-date virus definition files, and it would detect whether any devices haven’t been seen for a while or were not returned when someone left the company. Can you afford not to know all of this all the time?
What would the value be of better utilization of your assets? Let’s assume that the cost of a PC is on average $300 per year. If you know your assets, you can ensure that you are not buying new ones if there is an extra one sitting in another part of your company. A meager 4% savings on this cost is just $12 per year per device, but in a company with 10,000 devices, it adds up to $120,000.
What about software assets?
Microsoft and many other companies have become increasingly active with licensing audits. Are you really sure you are compliant and not at risk of incurring big penalties? Are you prepared to go through the audit quickly—minimizing disruption—or would you face a lengthy and thus disruptive and expensive process? And are you really sure you are not paying for licenses that you do not even need?
And finally, what would be the impact, for example, if every employee spent 10 minutes per month less of his or her valuable time handling IT problems together with your service desk? That adds up to two hours per year per employee—not even calculating the savings for the service desk, so when multiplied by your number of employees, that figure could become a relevant one.
Oh, and if you are a managed service provider or an enterprise working with one, would it not be cool to be sure that charging is based upon an accurate numbers? And wouldn’t it be better for you both if you did not have to spend time on futile discussions about charges and could instead both focus on developing the service further?
If you know the answers to all of the above questions already, I would like to congratulate you because from what I have seen, you’re doing much better than the majority is.
And if you cannot answer all of these questions, you should not fall into despair. You are surely not alone with this challenge, and there is an easy way out. We at Miradore make device diversity manageable by really knowing all of this, and we help use this information as the basis for building efficient IT device management processes with good integration with your other systems such as your service desk. And we do this in an easy, fast-to-implement, and affordable way.
So to sum all this up, the real question becomes whether you can REALLY afford not to know.