Why IT Needs to Track Chromebook Costs

In an article from early last year, it was revealed that there are over 80 million students and educators using Chromebooks worldwide. This includes apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as Calendar, Jamboard, and Hangouts.

There is no doubt that the popularity of Chromebooks is increasing. Schools are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve curriculums and prepare students for the real world. In previous blogs, we discussed how to prepare for Chromebooks and why you NEED to track Chromebooks. In this blog, we are discussing why IT needs to Track Chromebook costs.

Why track Chromebook costs?

One best practice for Chromebook management is tracking costs. You must be thinking, well why do I need to track costs if they’re already in an accounting system? Although that is true, accounting systems don’t store IT information along with the costs. Let me explain why that is important.

The accounting system stores the initial investment; the cost of the Chromebooks and maybe any accessories you got with that initial purchase. Over time, the accounting system will also include any ongoing costs.


However, they ONLY track the numbers. On a daily basis, IT will need these numbers to make decisions. They can absolutely ask accounting for the numbers but again, they ONLY have the number.  There are too many factors to consider when making a decision.

What are the factors?

The initial costs of a Chromebook investment are set in stone. Schools know that acquiring Chromebooks cost them, for example, $500,000. It cost $200 per Chromebook. These are basic values that are important to IT.


To make decisions about the ongoing costs.

Ongoing costs include repair costs, device replacements, inventory costs, warranties, and insurance. If you don’t have the ongoing costs of a Chromebook in front of you, how will you know how to repair it? How will you know your warranty costs and when they expire?

All this IT information that accounting cannot provide for you. IT needs this information to make decisions every single day. You need to know the cost of the initial investment and the ongoing costs. It helps choose repair vendors, prepare for inventory, know how much a parent owes for a broken laptop.

Let’s look at some numbers

According to our research, for a school of 1000 students, you will have to repair 25 Chromebooks per week. That’s a minimum of 5 decisions per day. Therefore, another reason you need to track the costs in an IT system. How can you make 5 decisions per day without those numbers?

Tracking Chromebook costs help you forecast

As the school year unfolds it’s important to keep track of ongoing Chromebook costs as they come up. At the end of the year, you don’t want to be scrambling looking for receipts, trying to gather all the vendors you worked with.

Even if accounting has this information, it doesn’t have notes on which vendor you like the most. It doesn’t tell you how much you should set aside for repairs for the upcoming years. Knowing these numbers within your department help you forecast what is to come – not only in costs but who to work with, materials you like, etc. You are likely to notice irregularities and trends early on in the school year and make adjustments accordingly.

For example, if you notice repairs are costing the school TOO much money. You can look into better insurance policies or partner with a repair vendor for bulk discounts.

The cost of a Chromebook investment is too large not to keep an eye on it. It would simply be irresponsible. If you are making five repair decisions per day, at up to $200 per repair, that is $5000 per week on repairs. Wouldn’t you want to know that before a full school year goes by?


By tracking costs in IT, you have easy access to them to make informed decisions. They are also being tracked with your other IT information. Having everything in one place is much easier for the department.

We created a spreadsheet for you to help you get started with tracking costs.

If you want a tool that considers automation and processes, look into VIZOR for Chromebooks.

How to simplify student device management in your school.

Need a Student Device Management Tool?

  • Google Admin Sync
  • Simplify 1:1 Initiatives
  • Track Device Repairs
  • Barcode Check-In/Check-Out

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