There are many benefits to investing in technology lifecycle management. From anticipating and planning for technology investments to optimizing systems and infrastructure for cost savings and efficiency, this approach takes a strategic look at IT and determines the best path for innovation and cost savings.
You might wonder what technology lifecycle management looks like in a typical IT enterprise setting. It is designed to fulfill many functions, including ensuring that technology is not out of date, determining whether the technology is serving its intended purpose and whether you are getting your expected value out of each aspect of your technology mix.
While specifics may vary, there are a few relatively universal steps that can help you shape your process for any technology:
Evaluate: Examine the product’s function, benefits, and services. Is there anything new that comes with the product? Find out whether there are companies similar to your own in both size and scope that are utilizing the technology. You can also determine whether certain perks make this particular product attractive, such as training resources or specific features. A thorough evaluation of the product will influence how your business utilizes the product.
Complete this process for each product you’re considering.
Make a Decision: It’s time to choose the product that will best serve your business needs. Confirm that the product you select will meet your current and future needs, taking time to consider security and compliance issues. Talk with other users of the product and ask the provider about how the product will change in the future. Will it be able to scale with your company’s future growth? Be careful not to overemphasize price in the factors impacting your decision. A cost-effective product may lack the market advantages that help you outpace competitors.
Deployment: Work closely alongside the product’s deployment assistant program or customer service, accessing step-by-step guides and any visual assistance provided. These tools will offer a roadmap of implementation. Carefully construct a plan for product integration, including deployment and adoption plans. If there are demos available, utilize them. You can also connect with other businesses of your size to find out how they overcame any surprises or difficulties during deployment.
Management: Examine best practices for a successful product launch, as well as tips for configuration, management, and administration. Research ways to keep data secure and ensure you are meeting the requirements of your company policies and compliance regulations. Implement ongoing training resources to help employees successfully utilize the product.
Development: Determine any customization that will allow the product to better integrate with your company and its processes. Develop the features and functionalities that will extend the product’s usefulness and connect it with any line of business applications. Your provider may offer development guidance, as well as best practices or how the product has been modified by other companies to support specific business goals. Dedicate time to align the product with your company’s goals.
Support Needs: Determine how you’ll access support, whether it’s through in-person, phone, or chat, throughout the implementation process. While your provider may readily supply online troubleshooting and guidance, find out what other ways you’ll access the support you need. Is there a broad array of options to help you address any potential issues, and what will the response time be? Find out if there are ways to identify and anticipate issues, as well as how you’ll handle unanticipated problems.
Use: Effective product usage is critical for helping your end users get the greatest possible benefit from technology resources. Invest in a product that provides training to help employees be successful in using the technology, as well as boosting buy-in for the change.
Managing a technology lifecycle can seem simple when broken down into the seven steps detailed above, but in most cases, even a small enterprise will be handling many different technology items. From data servers and software application to mobile devices and infrastructure items like networking and security, technology lifecycle management can be time-consuming and expensive.
Many companies find that outsourcing the management of technology lifecycles offers a variety of benefits, including a structured approach to infrastructure and systems, the anticipation of hardware upgrades or replacement and the potential for cost savings on equipment purchases.
Few enterprises have the in-house resources to work through this seven-step process for each technology item. Outsourcing this aspect of IT frees up your staff to focus on the main business objectives of your enterprise. From securing the best prices for your next technology purchase to managing the removal of expired hardware, a technology lifecycle management provider offers convenience and cost-effectiveness for your IT strategy.
To learn more about how to effectively manage your technology lifecycle, or for information about outsourcing this function to a provider, contact us at PAG. We can help you optimize your infrastructure and get the most value out of your IT equipment with a comprehensive audit and full-service management of your IT environment.