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Lifecycle Management: The Key to Sustainable IT Infrastructure

Imagine this: Your business is a finely tuned machine. Every gear, every cog, plays an important role in your business running smoothly. Like any machine, parts become worn or outdated. What happens to the parts then? This is where IT infrastructure comes in, and why lifecycle management is essential for every business, no matter how big or small. 

Lifecycle management is involved with every piece of software and hardware in your business, from researching a new product to retiring it when the product has run its course. This strategy streamlines your IT infrastructure. 

The Challenge: Depreciating IT Assets

IT assets consist of your company’s hardware, software and network components. Unfortunately, your IT assets are constantly depreciating. Technology changes quickly and becomes outdated. There are frequent updates and constant repairs. At a certain point, assets just become more trouble than they are worth. Without a proper lifecycle management plan in place there are consequences. 

When you keep old assets running, it can become more expensive to use and maintain them than it would be to replace them with newer models. The extra cost can include fixes, energy costs associated with running the assets and even your team member’s efficiency. If they are constantly without the asset they need or the asset is laggy, it’s hard for team members to maintain their responsibilities. 

There is also a security risk in trying to use outdated assets. Especially in software that has not received any security updates. This is a chink in the armor that an IT team desperately tries to avoid. When software companies release new editions of their product, older versions eventually become obsolete. When this happens, it is best to switch to the newer model. 

The Solution: Lifecycle Management 

Enter a hero to all IT professionals: lifecycle management! This strategic approach manages IT assets throughout their lifetime, from purchasing to disposal. How could your organization benefit from this approach?  

To start, lifecycle management helps your IT department become more proactive rather than reactive. With this method, you can ensure you have the right technology at the right time to support your business’s goals. Lifecycle management also ensures you have time to make the right choice in new assets, so you can determine if assets are the right fit for your company’s needs. No more “crunch time” decisions!

Lifecycle management helps you stay ahead of the curve. With this approach you will know when to replace assets before they become a burden. This helps minimize disruptions to staff and maximize productivity throughout the company. The end result is a more efficient, reliable IT department.

Another benefit of lifecycle management is reducing the cybersecurity risk. Outdated assets make it much easier for cybercriminals to get into your network. It is not just outdated software that can be a risk, outdated hardware can also be an important factor. 

The Five Stages of Lifecycle Management

There are five different stages of lifecycle management to take into account in your strategy. 

The first stage is procurement, when you buy the asset your business needs. When this stage is well thought out, you get the right asset at a price that works within your budget. This stage can include research, budgets, approvals and eventual purchase of the asset. 

Before you hand out the exciting new asset, you must go through the deployment stage. In this lifecycle management stage, you need to properly configure and integrate the asset into your environment. Whether that means installing all the security software to the laptop for the new employee or installing the software to the appropriate devices. 

The utilization stage is the longest stage in the lifecycle management approach. This stage involves team members actually using the shiny new asset. During this stage there are few things that need to happen, like patch management, regular backups and license tracking. 

During the utilization stage, a temporary stage of maintenance can occur. If the asset can be repaired or maintained, it goes back to stage three. If not, then it moves on to the last stage in the lifecycle management approach. The maintenance stage involves software updates, hardware upgrades and any other repair or maintenance task needed. 

The last stage is disposal and decommissioning of assets. Every lifecycle management strategy should include strategies for safely disposing of any assets. It is important to make sure all sensitive data is removed from the software or hardware. IT staff typically take apart any hardware to ensure sensitive data is protected. The strategy should also mention any environmental guidelines that need to be followed. 

IT Infrastructure Does Not Have to Be a Burden

Not having a well thought out lifecycle management strategy can disrupt your business. Outdated assets cause major slowdowns in the workflow. When you proactively manage your IT assets through lifecycle management, it ensures a sustainable and secure IT environment. 

If you’re ready to take control of your IT infrastructure, we’re ready to help you. Contact us today to implement a lifecycle management strategy in your IT environment.

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