Episode IX: Prioritizing Asset Replacements
Hi! I'm Kevin and I'm an IT Support Technician at PTA Plastics. I've been working at our ESOP for over 5 years now wearing many hats, doing anything from replacing graphics cards to coming up with and implementing changes to our infrastructure and IT strategies. So I need a tool that will help me setting the priority of certain asset purchases
In a small business like ours, what new assets to buy and when is very different from large organizations. Since we've been around a while, we have a mixture of all kinds of models of devices, deployed at different times, and our budget doesn't really work with the idea of "replace every single workstation every 3 years". It just doesn't make sense for us.
I needed a list of the oldest purchased workstations and devices so we could prioritize where it matters most. An employee who complains that their computer is slow is not the best way to determine where resources are needed most. Lansweeper was my savior in coming to an objective determination.
There was currently no Asset Purchase Priority report built into Lansweeper. Being still somewhat green in IT, I had zero experience with SQL. I've messed around with computers since I was about 4 years old, but never delved deep into scripting or coding. I took it upon myself to figure out how to configure this report to give the result I wanted.
I found that someone else had made something similar, but not quite what I wanted completely, so I would have to customize a report found in a Lansweeper forum post. This was difficult at first since I knew nothing about SQL going into it. But after a few hours, I made it work.
I wanted to add certain variables to sort by and remove others. The hardest one for me to dig up from scratch was CPU, Memory, and IP Location (as we have 2 sites, one in Colorado, the other in Connecticut, and different subnetting for each). That way, I could quickly remove the ones that I am not immediately responsible for, list the workstations with the weakest CPU, and get a better overall picture. I wanted to include memory as we use some intense memory-guzzling applications. Employees whose purchase date is older might not need an upgrade as badly as someone doing a lot of 3D CAD modeling.
This gave me an Asset Purchase Priority Report that I could export to Excel and delete irrelevant rows, remove the columns I don't require, and show my boss what our priorities should be for the next systems we order most convincingly. This cut down on all the time it used to take, all the guesswork and made me more confident I was providing the optimum value to the business with my recommendations.
In the screenshot below, you can see how this provides me with a quick and powerful report from our database that gives me the proper perspective to make good objective choices.