Your Guide to Technology Lifecycle Management
Learn everything you need to know about technology lifecycle management and why your business needs it
What Is Technology Lifecycle Management?
With digital transformation pushing enterprise IT to the cloud, many services are now supplied by third-party providers. The Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile technology are also multiplying the number of devices enterprises are tracking and maintaining, so there’s a growing need for technology lifecycle management. With technology lifecycle management, businesses partner with a consultant that manages every aspect of their telecommunications technology, whether you need assistance with anything from SIP to SD-WAN or cable to the cloud.
Here are the basic elements involved in a lifecycle management plan:
A detailed register of every technology asset, which includes operating systems, applications, hardware, middleware, and dependencies between elements in the environment.
The Risks of Unmanaged Technology
Managing technology is becoming more complicated for enterprises. Monitoring and maintaining equipment and keeping it up-to-date for patches or software updates can be daunting. The process of developing a technology lifecycle management strategy may seem overwhelming, but there are a number of risks associated with a failure to develop this type of strategy:
Loss of Potential Opportunities:
When you have items that haven’t been updated, security gaps in your middleware, or applications that are missing the latest features, you may lose your flexibility and adaptability. When you’re locked in with certain systems and dependencies, opportunities can be lost.
Failure of Business Processes:
When your technology isn’t functioning or you suffer a security breach, it affects both your reputation and your revenue. It also takes your company hostage as it distracts everyone and forces them to focus on recovery.
When a failure occurs, addressing the situation can be costly and time-consuming. When you are operating in crisis mode, you’ll incur costs that wouldn’t impact you if they were planned for or if you had avoided the crisis with a lifecycle management strategy.
Loss of Customers and Revenue:
If you experience a system failure, or if a valuable feature is no longer available to your customers because the provider no longer supports it, what level of inconvenience will your customers tolerate? If your system is down for a few hours, or a full day, what’s the impact on your revenue?
Missed Cost Savings Opportunities:
From negotiating with providers through long-term business relationships to securing special pricing by buying devices in a bundle, there are cost savings that come with outsourcing lifecycle management to a service agent. They can negotiate better pricing and help you anticipate upcoming costs that will impact your IT budget.
Complexity in the Environment:
Investing in lifecycle management comes with some distinct perks that ease the complexity of enterprise IT. From receiving one simple invoice each month to only having a single contact and phone call to make when there’s a problem, technology lifecycle management can ease the stress of a system issue.
Streamlined IT Environment:
You can save upward of 20% on your service and subscription costs by bundling them with one provider. In addition, items like upgrades are planned ahead, so you’re never surprised by a new invoice item.
By having all items on a single invoice, you have better control over your IT spending. When some aspect of your budget needs adjusting, you won’t be sifting through hundreds of line items on multiple invoices trying to find an opportunity to make a change.
From higher uptime rates to up-to-date infrastructure, you’ll experience fewer interruptions and better productivity. With ample support services, if you do experience an issue, you’ll be back to work quickly.
How Does Technology Lifecycle Management
Benefit Different Industries?
Technology lifecycle management isn’t just for for-profit businesses. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are embracing technology to help drive down costs, improve productivity, and support objectives aimed at improving experiences for the end user. There are technology lifecycle management benefits that can help government offices and nonprofit organizations minimize their spending and proactively pursue optimized IT infrastructure and services:
Technology lifecycle management minimizes costs in a number of ways. The outsourced service provider has close relationships with technology providers, allowing them to negotiate for the best possible price. It also becomes possible to plan ahead, secure the best pricing, and not experience unplanned expenses.
Streamlined and Simplified Invoicing and Support
As governments and nonprofits migrate to the cloud, incorporate IoT technology, and support remote team members, a system glitch or downtime can lead to a rush of questions. These questions are easily solved when there’s a technology lifecycle management provider and a contact person available to assist.
Asset disposal is generally a standard offering for technology lifecycle management. With technology quickly becoming obsolete, nonprofits and government organizations looking for a way to dispose of devices often just hand it down to another nonprofit with an even smaller IT budget. A technology lifecycle management provider will handle e-recycling and other aspects of asset disposal, including management of the data security that’s related to devices being retired.
Technology lifecycle management allows organizations across industries to develop strategies that anticipate future systems requirements and focus on their goals and performance objectives while leveraging technology resources.
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Streamlined IT Environment:
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 produces a comprehensive report. 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.
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:
How Does Technology Lifecycle ManagementHelp You Strategize
Technology lifecycle management 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 understanding whether you are getting your expected value out of each aspect of your technology mix.
There are a few relatively universal steps that can help you shape your process and strategize for any technology:
Make a Decision:
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, 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.
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.
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.
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. Dedicate time to align the product with your company’s goals.
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 succeed 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 steps detailed above, but in most cases, even a small enterprise will be handling many different technology items. 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.
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What Are the Cost Savings ofTechnology Lifecycle Management?
Technology lifecycle management is a proactive strategy for anticipating and strategically timing your technology acquisitions, while effectively managing the maintenance and optimization of your current technology stack. Outsourcing technology lifecycle management creates cost savings in a number of ways:
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. With the technology lifecycle management approach, 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. 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.
One of the biggest and most costly mistakes you can make is postponing 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.
Mind 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.
Recruiting the best talent requires you to have the technology to support the career they want. 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. Technology lifecycle management partners often have relationships with equipment vendors and can also dispose of old equipment without incurring extra costs.
At PAG, we provide telecom consulting and the best business solutions at the greatest value. For more information about technology lifecycle management and how the benefits of a strategy like this could provide advantages to your enterprise, contact us at PAG. We are committed to helping our clients save money, get more control over IT spending and their monthly invoices, and gain a clear understanding of their telecom services.