Technology lifecycle management is a growing focus of enterprises, government organizations, and nonprofits. The diversification of technology solutions, from contained, in-house systems to a varied environment with cloud applications and infrastructure, fleets of mobile devices and a broadened security plane have created a much more complex technology landscape.
Chief information officers are more likely to be sitting in the conference room, directing business strategy, and evaluating how technology will support growth and opportunities, rather than monitoring the updates necessary on the company’s servers. IT professionals are increasingly focused on cyber security and finding strategic approaches to data storage, analysis, and insights. The focus on operations and maintenance has often been deprioritized due to the demands on IT for more attention to the customer experience and data security.
As a result, organizations are looking for solutions in the area of technology lifecycle management. There are a few reasons why investing in this area is beneficial to enterprises and nonprofit organizations:
- It streamlines the entire IT experience, with benefits like a single monthly invoice and only having to call one number when a system component is down.
- It allows the enterprise to benefit from the provider’s extensive relationships in the technology industry, gaining cost savings from bundling devices or services.
- Regular reviews and monitoring of devices, systems, and update or replacement schedules mean that systems are always running in peak performance levels.
- Oversight of the entire technology lifecycle — from assessing needs to the final disposal or e-cycling of the component.
While this is just a sampling of the extensive advantages of technology lifecycle management, the likelihood of realizing these and other benefits of this approach rests on an effectively executed process.
Each component of technology lifecycle management provides standalone value to the organization. For instance, any enterprise would benefit from a provider that guides them through their assessment process, or who provides the service of monitoring updates and security patches or the disposal of their devices. In order to achieve the most value from a technology lifecycle management plan, the following steps should be included:
Assess business needs and identify solutions/devices: This critical first step examines current business needs, as well as future growth plans and accommodates phases of the technology lifecycle. It includes business and technical stakeholders and generally produces a comprehensive report with key elements:
- Acquisition plan
- Financing plans in alignment with budget availability
- Support plan
- Implementation plans
- Asset tracking guidelines
- Asset retirement plan
The assessment stage is proactive, looking at expansion plans and goals for how technology can support business objectives. It weighs in-house IT services versus outsourcing to as-a-service options and determines metrics for evaluating whether technology lifecycle management has been effective for the organization.
Acquisition: The acquisition stage executes the objectives laid out in the assessment phase. It involves the procurement of technology assets and the logistics of each purchase, as well as finalizing the financing of the acquisition.
Implementation and management: This step will look different in each organization, but it includes the deployment and integration of the solution or device into the IT environment. It also includes the tracking of the technology elements, with an identification of what purpose each serves and who has ownership of the element. This step has become increasingly challenging because of the added complexity of remote workers and cloud solutions broadening the scope of the types of assets being utilized as well as their locations.
Support: Technology lifecycle management involves comprehensive support for the optimized performance of the IT environment. From the proactive monitoring of incidents, phone support, and configuration management to evaluating the extension of product warranties and conducting periodic reviews of system performance metrics, this step is a valuable element of this approach to the IT environment.
Refresh: This critical step ensures that funds are set aside for the future technology requirements of the organization. Refresh objectives are driven business strategies and tend to run in cycles of two to five years to optimize the devices and system components supporting the goals of the organization.
Asset disposal: Full-service technology lifecycle management includes a plan for asset disposal that is set forth in the initial report developed in the assessment phase. Most organizations don’t have a plan for asset disposal, nor do they benefit from the resale of retired devices. This part of the process turns this responsibility over to the lifecycle management provider and relieves the organization of the concerns surrounding the environmental impact of retiring technology. A lifecycle management provider will have e-recycling capabilities that support the values of the organization.
Enterprises and nonprofit organizations that most effectively harness technology to support business objectives are guided by strategic plans for technology lifecycle management. A plan for the optimization of technology resources ensures minimal downtime, removes unexpected expenses and proactively anticipates the role technology can play in improving productivity, elevating the end-user experience, and driving innovation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how technology lifecycle management could offer measurable benefits to your organization, contact us at PAG. We have extensive expertise in enterprise IT and expense management, helping you achieve your business objectives while we support your technology.