What Is IT Lifecycle Management, And Why Is It Relevant?
When purchasing one or more pieces of technology or equipment for your business, there is a time when they will become obsolete, slow, or fail to meet your needs. Maintaining or running ineffective technologies can be financially strenuous, especially when waiting for the system to break down. Hence, it is essential to incorporate the latest technologies to streamline various operations in your IT department, whether outsourcing or running IT in-house.
IT lifecycle management enables businesses to plan, examine and budget for the replacement of outdated technology. But what exactly is IT lifecycle management, and why is it valuable in modern business? Read on to find out.
What Is IT Lifecycle Management?
In a nutshell, the lifecycle of a piece of technology or equipment refers to the provision, through operations, to replace outdated systems. Each IT department’s IT system, workload, and resources have a life cycle. Hence, determining the duration of a reliable, efficient, and productive system is critical. Once this period elapses, it becomes difficult for the technology to provide the required services.
IT lifecycle management involves all the stages of Information Technology hardware, software, or infrastructure from purchasing to disposing of or replacing it. It lets businesses learn when to plan, budget, and buy new systems to phase out outdated technologies. Keeping track of different technologies facilitates infrastructure efficiency, mainly in today’s rapid digital changes. Hence, businesses using IT lifecycle management get proper system timing regarding when to purchase more efficient and the latest systems.
Generally, a sturdy IT lifecycle begins with strategic planning, considering how the new technology will operate, total operating costs, and lifespan. After purchasing and adopting new technology, most of its lifecycle is spent during use. This is the period when you get the most returns, experience the least downtime and minimal operating costs, keeping your IT department efficient and productive.
Some IT resources to consider in your lifecycle management plan are:
- Operating systems
- Mobile devices
- Desktop PCs
- Network hardware like routers and switches
- Business-critical applications
IT Lifecycle Management Stages
- Planning: Before an existing asset reaches the end of its life, it is crucial to plan when to replace it. Waiting until the current system breaks down or becomes obsolete could incur high costs, affect productivity, cause security concerns and expose your IT department to compliance liabilities.
- Procurement: This is the actual stage of financing and purchasing new technologies. In this stage, it is essential to evaluate technology or equipment options before procuring and deploying them into your existing infrastructure.
- Deployment: Once you have received new technology or equipment, the next stage involves scheduling, testing, and configuring your infrastructure.
- Management: It is vital to monitor and maintain new technologies to avoid overrunning other assets in your infrastructure. This involves compliance, maintenance, financial and backup management, ensuring the equipment is efficient and operates as required.
- Decommissioning: When the system reaches the end of its life, decommissioning helps acquire new systems and resources to replace inefficient and outdated technologies.
Benefits of IT Lifecycle Management
With ever-evolving technology, your hardware and systems require regular updates, but it should be done correctly. IT lifecycle management ensures you get the right timing for decommissioning and deploying new technologies. Below are the critical benefits of IT lifecycle management:
Any successful business requires future expenditure planning to keep up with the competition and remain productive. And with IT being part of millions of modern businesses, hardware and software upgrades are necessary to streamline the IT department. IT lifecycle management provides practical ways to forecast technology needs in any IT infrastructure, crucial for budgeting and financial management. This ensures businesses save costs associated with upgrading systems, especially when decommissioning outdated hardware and software systems.
Minimize Unforeseen Downtime
Keeping track of technologies in your infrastructure allows you to gain insights into when to purchase and replace outdated hardware and software applications. This reduces unexpected infrastructure fails that would otherwise result in downtimes. IT lifecycle management ensures you replace your IT infrastructure before it fails, allowing employees to stay productive and generate more revenue.
Promote Infrastructure Security
Outdated systems are a significant target for malicious actors since they create vulnerabilities in your IT department. With sophisticated attacks used by hackers today, outdated technologies are unlikely to defend against these threats, making it easier for attackers to breach networks or access critical company data. IT lifecycle management lets businesses know the appropriate time to decommission outdated systems and replace them with secure, more efficient, and the latest technologies.
Informed Purchase Decision
Unplanned IT infrastructure fails can result in a business making swift decisions to replace or upgrade systems with the intent of mitigating downtime. Most businesses replace outdated systems with the same software or hardware type, although there are better alternatives on the market. IT lifecycle management ensures you have adequate time to research and consider highly efficient and cost-effective infrastructure. This enables you to make versed decisions and purchase the right technology ideal for your IT department.
Prevent Delays Associated with Outdated Software and Hardware
Slow networks, crashing software, and arduous workarounds are infrastructure challenges associated with outdated technologies that lead to lost productivity. Besides, it can cost you more money, especially when the underlying problem leads to additional problems. IT lifecycle management helps avoid working with outdated IT systems and networks, which can be slow and affect your productivity. This ensures employees have the right software and hardware necessary to accomplish core company objectives.
Lacking an IT lifecycle management plan can be dangerous for modern businesses embracing the digital environment. Security breaches, affected productivity, and high operating costs are some challenges you may experience without monitoring the life cycle of your infrastructure. Although it is daunting to replace hardware and software applications, it is an effective way to remain competitive and achieve your business goals much faster.
At 4it Inc., we understand the value of upgrading and replacing outdated technologies in your infrastructure. Our IT experts can help you stay ahead and avoid issues associated with old and inefficient systems. To learn more about IT lifecycle management or to schedule an appointment with us, contact us today!