Monitors…consumable or not?

I don’t go to the cinema often anymore – I’d rather just pop in a disk and get the biggest monitor you’ve got, and if the quality is superb, I can watch a film, and if I don’t like it I can pop it out. ~Ridley Scott

A question we are often asked is if monitors should be tracked by serial number or just as a consumable.  There are several reasons why this is even a question.  First, monitors don’t store any data, so there is minimal risk.  What risk remains for a monitor is in properly disposing of it.  Second, monitors are easily exchangeable.  Because there is no data to exchange, all that is required to swap a monitor is to move 2 plugs.  Third, monitors are relatively inexpensive when compared to other IT equipment.

So why is this even question again?  Well, monitors usually come with a standard warranty.  It’s helpful to know if the warranty has expired or not if a monitor has failed.  Does this require tracking the serial number of every single monitor?

The advice we usually give is to track any monitors that are “special” or expensive.  If the monitor is unique and should always be assigned to a specific computer or owner, it’s probably worth tracking by serial number.  Usually large screen displays, such as those in a conference room, are worth tracking as well.

Tracking the standard monitors in your environment may not have a good Return on Investment (ROI).  Remember that every time a monitor moves, it should be updated in your asset repository.  This includes creating records for every monitor in your environment to even get started.  Is there enough value in tracking the monitors this way?  Maybe, but most of our customers find that the ROI is not worth the time and effort.

If you’d like us to answer a question for you, send it to us on Twitter @ITS_ITAMTeam with the hashtag #BlogQuestion and we may write a blog post about it!

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