It can be all too easy to default to a reactive mode with technology. You only think about your network when connectivity is a problem, and your employees only get a new laptop if they manage to complain the loudest about downtime or slow speeds and your infrastructure is a bit cobbled together because you don’t have time to dedicate to technology lifecycle management.
What you should be asking yourself is how you can afford not to invest in technology lifecycle management. This approach is a proactive strategy for anticipating and strategically timing your technology acquisitions, while effectively managing the maintenance and optimization of your current technology stack.
Many enterprises fail to see how an approach like this could save them time and money, forgetting to calculate the impact of downtime. For instance, think about the employee who regularly needs to wait for a slow computer to the tune of 30 minutes a week. That’s a total of 125 hours in a year. If you multiply that downtime across your organization, the reactive, inefficient technology status quo is costing your company a lot of lost productivity while causing significant frustration.
Space Out Expenses: If you take the approach that you’ll only replace equipment if it’s broken, you’ll always be in reactive mode. Instead, take the technology lifecycle management approach, and you’ll be able to spread out your purchases over several years. You’ll make informed decisions about your investments, rather than scrambling to replace a broken component.
Estimate a five-year lifecycle for computers, switches, servers, and firewalls for normal usage. Remember that if there are aspects of your technology use that fall outside of this normal usage range, you’ll need to accommodate them in your planning. If you work with a business that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, your equipment will have a shorter life.
Keeping your technology life to five years makes sense because most manufacturers will only issue a warranty for that period, and in most cases, you can depreciate the equipment for that period as well.
You’ll want to look at your expenses spaced out over five years, staggering how you purchase servers, switches, and computers, so no given year is overloaded. If you happen to have a particularly rough year in terms of revenue, you’ll be able to put off some purchases without putting your entire IT environment at risk.
Be Proactive: One of the biggest and most costly mistakes you can make is punting your expenses into the future. This reactive approach is expensive because it forces you to make a purchase when your equipment has failed, not when it makes sense for your budget or when prices are at their lowest. You may further compromise your environment by purchasing something cheap just to get by, adding more headaches to your technology mix.
Minding the Details: One of the benefits of technology lifecycle management is that it takes into account the seemingly small details that can have a significant impact on your costs. For instance, this type of strategy will help you prioritize replacing that $5 cable that, if it were to fail, could take out a $25,000 server.
Another area where the attention to detail involved with technology lifecycle management helps you save is monitoring subscription renewals and warranties, so you don’t fall behind and then find out the support you anticipated wasn’t there.
Recruiting Talent: Recruiting the best talent requires you to have the technology to support the dream they want. Millennials, in particular, are accustomed to having apps available at a swipe and will be sensitive to frustrations associated with slow computers and downtime. Supporting your technology equates to supporting your talent and avoiding turnover. When talented candidates see older equipment, they see inefficiency and may assume that either the company is struggling or that it is not the forward-thinking, proactive environment they’re seeking.
Equipment Procurement and Disposal: A proactive approach helps you plan for a new equipment purchase, timing your procurement for securing the best deals or taking advantage of a promotion. Likewise, you won’t be caught off-guard when it’s time to upgrade, and you aren’t sure how to make an environmentally responsible plan for disposing of your old laptop or smartphone.
For many enterprises, it makes sense to outsource technology lifecycle management to specialists who often have relationships with equipment vendors and can also dispose of old equipment without incurring extra costs. They work to make sure your infrastructure and systems are optimized for cost savings and help you take a proactive approach to your equipment maintenance and upgrades.
If you’re living under the shadow of a looming equipment failure, contact us at PAG. We can help you secure measurable cost savings, better understand your IT environment and receive a consistent monthly invoice for IT management. Allow us to handle your IT concerns so you can focus on running your business.