Upon deployment of new business technology solutions, the clock begins to run on that asset’s life. Technology has a shelf-life, and if it is not maintained, it can lead to a short lifecycle for that asset. It can be costly to repair it back to complete working order if not maintained, or even costlier to replace outright if it is beyond repair. In the IT services and telecom industries, with many kinds of technological assets and equipment, asset management is critical.
Resource firm Gartner defines IT Asset Management as: “providing an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”
Business technology solutions need to have exceptional uptimes, simply because your customers are most likely running their business on those solutions. VoIP systems are replacing phone lines, and any downtime can lead to missed sales opportunities or the ability to connect with their customers. Cloud systems housed in data centers are how businesses stay connected and collaborate on projects together. And new smart technology is how we are opening doors, setting heating levels and solving security problems.
Let’s look at some of the key goals of asset management and why mastering service lifecycles can be beneficial to your business.
Start lifecycle management from deployment
From the moment you deploy any business IT solution, those assets should be logged into your field service management system to start tracking the lifecycle of them. Over the coming years, repairs and maintenance will happen to those pieces of equipment and those repairs need to be recorded. With multiple assets on-site, including data centers, IT infrastructure, telecom systems, computers, phone systems and smart technology, it’s a lot of information to track for each and every one of your customers.
From the moment of deployment, you should be tracking each service call, each maintenance report and checklist that comes from that machine. Many companies are using barcodes to scan equipment, which brings up the history and attaches any work orders to that piece of equipment in their field service software.
What is IT Asset Management?
“Providing an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”
Planning maintenance around these assets
One of the key areas of mastering service lifecycle management is using it for service. It is in the title for a reason. From deployment to the time you decommission the equipment or asset, there is a service schedule that will need to be maintained. By tracking assets, you can build the preventative maintenance schedule needed to maintain the uptimes your customers desire from those important systems.
With uptime being so critical when it comes to telecom, IT services and data centers, having a proper maintenance schedule in your field service software will allow you to automate the work order creation and ensure appointments are never missed for those critical systems. Deployment is only a part of the lifecycle, and many IT services companies build their entire business around providing contractual service to maintain and repair those systems.
To keep pace with the demand for IT services, and to ensure business technology solutions are maintained, an automated schedule will increase your effectiveness in scheduling these maintenance visits. This ensures a high first-time fix rate, less downtime, and most importantly, that you do not outright forget the service call.
Greater insight into service
As repairs continue to happen throughout the lifecycle of these assets, managed IT services companies need to have insight into every repair that has occurred. It could be for compliance, corporate security, and regulatory requirements, but it can also help in the diagnosis of system failures. With field service software and equipment tracking, every service call, report and checklist are linked back to that piece of equipment. Technicians, either through the software of a mobile field service app, can look up the history of that asset to help diagnose a problem.
Greater insight into each piece of equipment can make your technicians faster in the field when doing repairs. They can look through service history to find common problems and what solutions came out of those repairs. It enables you to identify trends in service history that could be costing your customer significantly financially in both repairs and their own productivity loss. This may lead to decommissioning business technologies and telecom resources faster than expected and deploying more modern solutions.
An end-to-end view of an asset
Where you can master asset lifecycle management is when you can start to see the entire lifecycle in your own system. As older systems are about to be retired, the planning and acquiring of the new system begins. That requires planning out the deployment project, ordering in new parts or the new asset, scheduling technicians to implement the new system, training, testing and finally, launching the solution.
If you are still providing maintenance on the old system, it can be tough to be looking at the maintenance schedule of the new system that has not even been deployed yet. Using a field service software, manage all the moving parts of assets. It is literal end-to-end asset lifecycle management, from the planning stage straight to retirement. As we have expressed, getting insight into assets is critical to providing exceptional service. It is also important when thinking forward towards the next deployment to ensure the most modern technology is available.
What to use for asset lifecycle management?
Field service software such as Fieldpoint has built-in asset management and equipment tracking. With a system already designed to provide tracking for equipment, you gain the ability to track assets and perform all the other tasks in the asset lifecycle, in one system. Plan your development project, acquire the equipment and parts you need, and build out weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. inspections and preventative maintenance call to ensure all the business technologies you are tracing are staying online.
With Fieldpoint, gain greater visibility into each asset, where it is in its lifecycle, and all the maintenance and repairs it has done. For telecom systems, VoIP, and IT infrastructure that is vital to the success of your customers, having a managed IT services solution with lifecycle management for service will win you more customers and provide a better customer experience.