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Mythblasters
Posted
July 13, 2021

Why Should My MSP Care About Asset Lifecycle Management?

Brad Veregin

“We don’t talk about Asset Lifecycle Management in-house or with clients. Why would I care about it?”

Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the process of optimizing the profit generated by assets throughout their useful lifetime. In other words, ALM is properly managing the useful lifetime of every IT asset, by replacing, retiring, or renewing each asset at the opportune time. Your clients are entrusting the management of their assets to you, so ALM is an essential part of your service. And whether you admit it or not, you are already doing it. Here’s why you need to proactively implement ALM.

4 Reasons Asset Lifecycle Management is Essential for Your MSP

1. Improve the User Experience

Your clients are paying you to keep their environment humming along without issue. As time passes and their equipment ages, they’ll become frustrated as their devices slow down, freeze up, and break down on a regular basis. As an MSP,  it’s your job to manage your clients’ assets and replace obsolete equipment in a timely manner. When you don’t, you’ll dip further and further into a lose-lose relationship with your client. They will be angry (and rightfully so!) that their assets keep breaking down and your team will spend hours and hours putting bandaids on equipment and closing the same tickets over and over. It’s not profitable for you or your client. 

This situation is easily remedied by ensuring that your clients replace old assets before it’s too late. When your clients have better technology, they have a better experience because everything works smoothly. This makes your clients happy since they can focus on doing their jobs instead of waiting around for the IT guy to fix their problems. Actively managing your clients’ assets ensures that they have the best tech available so that they have minimal downtime and don’t lose productivity due to old technology.

Unfortunately, not all of your clients have unlimited IT budgets. While it is ideal to have clients replace old assets, it’s not always possible. For many of these older devices, they will be out of warranty which increases risk to your clients’ business operations if something breaks. The best choice in this situation is to extend the warranty to keep the asset insured against failure. It’s a temporary fix to bridge the gap between now and when replacement is possible. It safeguards your clients from costly downtime and protects your MSP from dealing with difficult fixes on a regular basis.

2. Standardize Your Clients’ Environments

If all of your clients had the same tech, maintaining it would be a breeze. Unfortunately, this is likely the dream but far from reality right now. Implementing ALM helps you standardize your clients’ environments across the board. This is key because it makes your job and your team’s job so much easier. When clients have similar environments, it reduces the number of potential issues arising from different hardware and software. This means it is much simpler and faster for your team to troubleshoot problems and get fixes implemented. There is also less knowledge needed to be shared internally so you free up more time for each employee and eliminate frustration. Each team can now maintain more endpoints at the same time, which decreases the tech to endpoint ratio. Now you can do more with the same staff. This allows your business to scale or invest in new initiatives without hiring new staff. 

3. Reduce Vulnerability and Risk 

ALM is commonly associated with hardware, but it also applies to software. Now with nefarious individuals and organizations exploiting software vulnerabilities for their own personal gain, it is critical to reduce risks from software assets in your clients’ environments to protect them and yourself. These software risks can generally be grouped into three broad categories:

  • What’s installed that shouldn’t be
    Software is constantly evolving and there are titles being retired every day. Unsupported software is a critical security risk that needs to be neutralized. Every endpoint running titles like Windows 7 or Adobe Flash represents a huge risk not only to your clients, but also to your reputation if something goes wrong. Your MSP needs to be vigilant about auditing your clients’ software inventory on a regular basis and taking steps to remove anything that shouldn’t be there to keep your clients safe.
  • What isn’t installed that should be
    It’s not a stretch to say that every endpoint should have anti-virus software installed. It’s not uncommon for end-users to disable or remove software from their systems “because it makes things slow.” As an MSP, you need to regularly confirm that all endpoints in your fleet have correct software installed and operational. It only takes one user removing critical security software to raise the risk. 
  • What’s old and out-of-date
    Software is constantly being patched to remove security risks and deploy new features. Old and unsupported software is a vulnerability that needs to be constantly addressed as it puts not only the device, but the whole organization and your MSP at risk. Your team needs to be monitoring what’s installed on your clients’ endpoints and updating it to keep them (and you) safe and secure.

It is your business to ensure your clients are using the latest, most secure software. It creates a better experience for your clients, as they have the latest and greatest tools, and a safer experience for your team, as they have less risk to deal with. It also helps insulate your MSP potentially fatal cyberattacks that are only increasing.

4. Improve Your Employee Experience

Nobody likes being yelled at by angry clients when something fails. For clients with older equipment and software, this happens more often than not. By simply implementing ALM, you can get your clients using better tech. They have a better experience, but it also makes your employees happier because they will get less tickets. Techs will no longer need to find creative fixes for older devices just to keep them operating and customers satisfied.

But that’s not all. When your clients are using the newest tech, there will be less complaints about your service. Your team will no longer be on the receiving end of scathing complaints from irate customers since their devices don’t break down as often. This means your team doesn’t need to focus on boring break-fix tasks and can instead work on more interesting, creative projects. Ultimately, your staff will be happier and more engaged resulting in less churn and burnout.

Proactively implementing ALM provides benefits for both your MSP and your clients. ScalePad actively supports your ALM by automating tedious tasks and eliminating manual processes. Click here to learn how ScalePad can take your ALM to the next level.

Alltek Services spends a ton of time researching, vetting, and adding new tools to our arsenal. Unfortunately, many do not live up to their hype. That is not the case for ScalePad. ScalePad was instrumental in helping to replace the 1,500+ Windows 7 workstations we had at client sites a couple years ago and now is a core piece of our Technology Business Reviews. Finally, a tool that completely lives up to the hype!

Taher Hamid
Alltek Services

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