How much technology do you have within your company? When you add up all the pieces of hardware and software, chances are that number gets pretty big. If technology lifecycle management (TLM) is a new concept, or you are feeling overwhelmed trying to manage what you have, use these technology lifecycle management best practices to gain control.
What Is Technology Lifecycle Management?
Technology lifecycle management is a systematic approach to assess current and future needs. It includes:
- Assessing and documenting all the technology within your company. That includes all your assets, operating systems, software, hardware, and everything in between.
- Evaluating your future technology needs and acquiring those things at the right time.
- Assigning someone to own and manage each asset and business process.
- Creating and maintaining a schedule for upgrades and repairs to protect your assets.
- Tracking repair, support, replacement, and disposal timelines.
Best Practices for Technology Lifecycle Management
Without proper TLM, many companies waste money chasing the latest software and hardware trends. Or they avoid upgrades that could benefit their business, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. These technology lifecycle management best practices can help you find the right balance.
1. Think Beyond Today
Many IT teams think about the hardware and software you have, but don’t think about what’s coming in the future. A good TLM plan includes managing and optimizing today’s technology while planning for tomorrow’s needs.
2. Do a Thorough Cost-Benefit Analysis Before You Buy
It’s easy to get sucked into buying the latest and greatest technology, but not every new tool is going to benefit your business. Purchasing the wrong tech can put you at a disadvantage as your competitors innovate and grow while you’re stuck with costly old equipment or software. Evaluate the total cost – purchase price, maintenance, labor, support – and the total benefit to your company to find out if it’s worth the price.
3. Create a Long-Term Technology Plan
The timing of when and how you invest in new technology and hardware is just as important as what you purchase. Replacing old technology at the right time can save you money and hassle by avoiding security breaches and giving you time to evaluate and negotiate for the best price.
4. Protect Your Investments
Cyber security is the biggest threat to your business data, so make sure your plan includes protecting your entire technology ecosystem.
Why TLM matters to Your Business
TLM is one of the most important (and perhaps underappreciated) business processes. As companies build increasingly complex technology environments, they require more precise management. Avoiding or ignoring technology lifecycle management can lead to:
- Security breaches that put your intellectual property and private business data at risk.
- Lost opportunities to grow, adapt, and stay ahead of your competition.
- High costs to repair and replace equipment when you lose it suddenly and have no plan.
- A cumbersome and problematic technology ecosystem patched together over time that costs too much, doesn’t serve you or your customers, and is hard to manage.
- Missed savings with no strategic plan for technology purchases, upgrades, maintenance, and repairs.
- Poor customer experiences.
Implementing best practices saves money, streamlines your IT environment, and creates a better customer experience. Your employees will be more productive and your C-suite will appreciate the transparency and predictability in costs over time.
The Bottom Line
TLM is not easy, even for companies with a lot of experience and a large team of IT people to get it done. Profit Advisory Group can help you understand and implement technology lifecycle management best practices based on your specific needs. Our extensive planning and advisory service help you finance, acquire, protect, and cycle out technology at the right time in the right way. Find out more about how we can help by getting in touch with PAG today.