What You’ll Learn
In this article about IT management for device fleets, you’ll learn:
- There are several challenges that present themselves when trying to maintain large fleets of devices.
- Depending on a company’s ability to overcome these challenges, it may put the business at a disadvantage.
- In many cases, a company can lower risk and reduce expenses at the same time by leveraging professional IT services for device management.
What Are the Challenges of Fleet Management?
Even small businesses often deploy hundreds of devices for their employees, while larger organizations likely require thousands. Between computers, tablets, phones, and other devices, this represents a significant investment. The cost of purchasing the devices and setting them up isn’t the end of it, as many business leaders are overwhelmed by how expensive it is to keep everything working continuously.
When we analyze device deployment at various organizations, we see multiple common problems, including all of the following.
1 – Problems With Compatibility or Availability
Almost every organization views growth as a good thing, but there are usually some growing pains involved. This seems to be especially true when it comes to the IT department. While adding more devices for additional users or simply upgrading devices for various user groups over time, some companies find it difficult to get access to the same types of devices. Since technology is refreshed so often, there are always new devices rolling out. This can make it difficult to keep everything consistent and compatible.
2 – Device Repairs
As remote work became more common, many organizations were forced to recognize some serious holes in their IT workflows. When the workforce is dispersed, an employee can’t simply sit at a different workstation while waiting days or even weeks for their devices to be repaired. Whether a simple battery replacement is all that’s required or a device needs more serious repairs, it’s critical to have a streamlined workflow in place, so employees know what to do and what to expect. Failure to rely on established processes leads to downtime and other inefficiencies that damage productivity and hurt the bottom line.
3 – Mobile Device Fleet Deployment
Whether you’re in the office or not, it’s hard to deploy sizable changes to the device fleet. Internal IT teams generally don’t have the bandwidth to source, prepare, and deliver assets for the entire company all at once. This becomes frustrating for employees, leading to rushed installations and a lack of appropriate support for new users.
4 – Undefined Service Schedules
When managing a device fleet internally, small teams are generally forced to take a “firefighting” mentality. In other words, they have to assess which service tickets are the most critical and address those first. If the team is always busy making emergency repairs, they may not find time to provide preventative maintenance during an annual refresh.
What Are the Problems in the Manual Process of Fleet Management?
The biggest problem with managing devices internally is that the process isn’t very well automated. There isn’t a defined workflow for deploying, protecting, and servicing the equipment. Even at the end of the device timeline, it’s difficult to return or recycle devices on a case-by-case basis. When there isn’t a device workflow for every device, they eventually become outdated, which leads to problems with performance, security, and more.
How Can Fleet Management Be Improved?
Here at Staymobile, we subscribe to a defined timeline for every device. We find the best way to protect the health of an entire fleet is by keeping up with every individual device so that nothing can fall through the cracks. An efficient device timeline can generally be broken down into four stages:
- Deployment – A new or used device must be removed from its packaging and booted for the first time. The device often needs to be configured, enrolled, and have all of the necessary software installed. Then it’s ready to be tagged, have its protective case installed, and be delivered.
- Protection – Protect a device against damage, replace the battery, and perform other services as needed.
- Service – Working to get the most from the OEM warranty, repair a device when needed, and perform annual maintenance to maximize performance and life expectancy.
- End-of-Life – When a device becomes too old or outdated to be useful to an employee, it’s time to manage the buy-back and recycling process as a device is retired.
Choose Staymobile for Professional Fleet Management
Our team at Staymobile has our device fleet management process down to a science. No matter an organization’s current situation, we’re prepared to take control of the IT process, remove the burden from the internal team, and provide excellent service for every single device. Contact us today!