Digital transformation is pushing enterprise IT to the cloud, with many services supplied by third-party providers. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile technology are multiplying the number of devices enterprises are tracking and maintaining (as well as the disparate cloud solutions they are utilizing), so there’s a growing need for technology lifecycle management.
The approach to IT from the end-user perspective is also changing. Whereas a business unit might previously go through a project process with IT to secure a new technology, the new reality is that anyone who can follow instructions can access a cloud solution. IT may not oversee the procurement of every software application, except in how it impacts security and the budget.
As millennials gain more traction and leadership in business organizations, this trend is only growing. Raised in the era when smartphones emerged and at a time when there’s an app for everything, they are inclined to download a new application without much fanfare. It’s no surprise they want more control over the tools they use in their daily work, and enterprises are increasingly granting it.
What was once considered “shadow” or “rogue” IT is becoming the norm in some organizations, and with the full support of IT. Line-of-business managers research solutions then experiment with their technology budget to see if an application fits their needs with little or no involvement from IT professionals.
Even so, with technology procurement occurring with numerous providers and rarely following a systematic process, there’s a growing need for someone to tie it all together with a bow. That’s where technology lifecycle management comes in.
The value of technology lifecycle management is rooted in oversight of the entire IT environment. While the IT department is likely to take that role in a larger enterprise, there are many companies that don’t have the in-house resources to guide technology decisions that have a big impact on smaller business budgets.
Technology providers are growing in their recognition of the opportunities available for offering support in an IT environment that’s changing rapidly. From assessing business needs to procurement and security training (as well as e-cycling at the end of the lifecycle), providers see that enterprises need this essential set of services.
It comes down to a services model rather than a portfolio offering. While providers generally can’t offer every service, device, and application a given enterprise needs, they can manage all of the parts for an enterprise. They may work closely with telco, direct suppliers and channel partners to offer a comprehensive solution to an enterprise that meets all their needs.
Moving the technology lifecycle management model to larger enterprises is becoming more common as more, larger organizations embrace software as a service (SaaS) and adjust the tasks of their in-house IT departments that traditionally monitored and maintained servers located on-site.
These IT professionals are still working at large enterprises, but the CIO’s role is changing, and they may be directing the vision for how technology solutions support business objectives. Their teams are often focused on data security and compliance concerns. This results in a gap in the oversight of managing a variety of solutions, devices and service level agreements (SLAs) that can spiral out of an IT department’s control quickly.
The ultimate goal of technology lifecycle management is to provide a complete technology support solution that includes not just the procurement and management side, but also items like meeting compliance regulations and training employees how to recognize a phishing email.
The benefits of technology lifecycle management are similar for both small businesses and larger enterprises:
Streamlined IT environment: From the ability to bundle a set of assets, including laptops, smartphones servers, etc., to managing only one contract and one monthly invoice, this structure for handling IT simplifies the process. You can also accommodate situations where different segments of the business have different preferences, or even at the employee level, where half of the employees prefer Android while the others want iPhones.
Cost savings: 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.
Budget transparency: 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.
Better productivity: From higher uptime rates to up-to-date infrastructure, you’ll experience fewer interruptions to productivity. With ample support services, if you do experience an issue, you’ll be back to work quickly.
Overall, technology lifecycle management simplifies enterprise IT. From performance issues to device procurement, management only has one contact point and one phone call to make to resolve whatever challenge or need arises. IT budget planning is easier, and you’ll run your business more efficiently with up-to-date infrastructure and the latest software solutions.
To learn more about what technology lifecycle management would look like in your organization, contact us at PAG. We have relationships with the industry’s top providers, and our expertise in the areas of technology and expense management helps you pursue your business growth objectives.