Proper Insight Into An IT Equipments’ Life Cycle

Megan Cadena Blog, IT Logistics

While people are the most important asset within any enterprise, without proper equipment, employees cannot operate at full capacity. This problem tends to be exacerbated as companies grow. If you have worked for a large enterprise, you have likely endured the complexity of getting a new laptop or smartphone. Many times employees who are well paid for their expertise are hamstrung by their own organization’s IT procedures for provisioning equipment. 

No less complicated is the process of deciding when equipment has reached its end of life. Reverse logistics require that equipment undergo an evaluation to determine if it should be refurbished, recycled, or sold off.  Without proper insight into your IT equipments’ life cycle, you may be sending it into a landfill when it could be refurbished and redeployed instead. Likewise, you may be purchasing lots of new equipment when you already have appropriate equipment on hand. This can happen when you do not know where your equipment is located, what condition it is in, and if anyone is currently using it.  

Despite all the approvals and checkpoints large companies put into place, getting IT assets into (and out of) the hands of the people who need them is often slow and inefficient. The process involves multiple parties, including the vendors manufacturing the equipment, the IT team imaging machines and preparing and distributing equipment to end-users, and the reverse logistics partners who either refurbish, recycle, or sell off equipment as it reaches its end of life. This division of labor often leads to informational silos, leaving enterprises in the dark when it comes to answering basic questions like, “How much equipment do we need as our business scales?” and, “How do we know when it is time to refurbish, recycle, or dispose of equipment?” 

At Astreya we meet (and often exceed) stringent IT asset management SLAs for our clients, but we are always looking to become more efficient through a process of continuous improvement. As part of our drive toward efficiency, we envision capturing an ever-increasing amount of data at every stage of the IT asset life cycle to provide a singular 360-degree view of each device from end to end. This data will help us with:

  • Inventory planning: By knowing how much equipment you have, where it resides, how it is being used, and how long it has left before it is likely to fail.
  • Inventory reporting: When undergoing equipment audits, you can quickly identify which equipment is on the books and account for its location and condition.
  • Order management: Identity which teams are consuming the most equipment and better understand why and where equipment is being purchased. 
  • Management of material on hand: Manage company-wide upgrades or installations required to meet compliance with the assurance that you have addressed all relevant equipment.
  • Imaging of machines and supporting devices: Easily access the full-service history of each device, including what maintenance has been performed and who performed it.
  • Deploying machines: Ability to see whether a machine was delivered, picked up, or deployed to a smart dispenser, along with a list of the people who were involved at each stage of the process. 
  • Reverse logistics: Predict if equipment needs to be refurbished, recycled, or sold based on past data from similar equipment. 

While having this level of granular data allows for far better IT asset management, it is necessary to have the proper tools and processes in place to make sense of that data and act on it. It’s not enough just to store the data or to dump it into dashboards that often go neglected or unused. Ideally, you would have a way to detect significant changes in the data, prescribe the proper action to take, and notify the people who can take them. This is where Astreya’s recent acquisition of RelayiQ comes in.

Once we have granular data from each of the life cycle stages, RelayiQ can be configured to automatically detect and notify the proper people with prescribed actions when important changes occur in these life cycle stages. For example, you can use RelayiQ’s machine learning-driven thresholds to automatically:

  • Detect new employees that have gone past a certain number of days without receiving their laptop, smartphone, and other IT equipment, and alert all the necessary people up the chain to expedite the deployment of the equipment
  • Identify new equipment that has been purchased but not imaged or deployed
  • Send alerts when equipment has been unaccounted for beyond a set time period
  • Highlight occasions where abnormally large volumes of equipment have been ordered and send notifications with appropriate actions
  • Identify occasions where abnormally large amounts of equipment are reaching end of life and automatically alert reverse logistics partners to prepare
  • Automate messages to vendors when failures for equipment purchased from them spikes or when large volumes of their equipment falls short of expected life span 
  • Forecast near-term demand that consider employee on-boarding, aging equipment and current inventory levels

Once we have collected granular data on the life cycle of all your equipment, we can set thresholds in RelayiQ that catch these and any other theoretical scenarios that would be important to better manage IT assets. In the event that any of these thresholds are triggered, you can easily customize the prescribed notification that is sent as well as who it is sent to. We believe this coupling of data, along with detection and action, is the future of IT asset management. 

If you are a large enterprise struggling with IT asset management or just want to learn more about Astreya’s RelayiQ solution for BI automation, schedule a discovery call or sign up for a free trial. We are here to make you successful—let us show you how.

Anthony Chamberas 
Vice President of Products

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