Modern companies are almost entirely reliant on their technical solutions, from sales companies having vast swathes of data to designers and manufacturers needing hardware that is good enough for complex 3D modelling. All of this is reliant on having the correct devices with the right employees, which is where device lifecycle management comes in. Learn more about what device lifecycle management is, how this process works and some of the major benefits of implementing lifecycle management in the workplace.
What is Device Lifecycle Management?
Device lifecycle management refers to the process of tracking devices that an organisation owns, including the members of staff that are using them, the time that they have been in use and when they are scheduled for replacement. This covers everything from the desktop computers that are in use to mobile devices that members of staff take to conferences or use when they work remotely. In the majority of cases, these devices are tracked by using asset numbers, with the device’s history stored on a database containing all of the technical products that the company owns.
The Phases of Device Lifecycle Management
There are several phases in the device lifecycle management process, the first of which is the planning stage. The company starts by going through a planning process, understanding the products that the organisation needs to function. This is followed by acquisition, in which the company looks to get all of the items that it needs at an affordable price point, with deployment being the next stage, as the company allocates devices.
After deploying the products, a company completes maintenance on them to extend their lives wherever possible, followed by retiring devices at the end of their lifecycle. Ideally, the lifecycle has something of an overlap, with the deployment of the next generation of products coming at the same time as the retirement of the initial product line.
The Benefits of Device Lifecycle Management
There are plenty of benefits of implementing device lifecycle management in your business, with some of the main positives of lifecycle management including:
Effective management means that members of staff always have access to the devices that they need to do their work. When a device is retired it has an immediate replacement so there is no interruption in the workflow, and when a company uses cloud technology in the workplace files and applications are also loaded onto the new devices. There is little to no transition time, with staff productivity going uninterrupted.
Companies better manage their technical infrastructure budgets when they use device lifecycle management processes. They have a complete understanding of what products they have and the products that they are being replaced with, with clear costings. Financial staff are able to plan for any technology spending, which reduces waste and keeps the organisation working as effectively as possible.
A business that plans in advance has long-term flexibility. Based on growth forecasts and plans for company development, an organisation can look to buy and sell different products with different requirements after the next product retirement. This is especially useful for businesses operating in high-growth sectors and looking to expand their size and reach.
Challenges of Device Lifecycle Management
There are several challenges of device lifecycle management that companies face on a consistent basis. Knowing about these gives you the opportunity to prepare for them, limiting the damage that they can do to a company’s prospects and productivity. Some of these major issues include:
Markets can undergo constant changes thanks to a variety of factors, from a slump in the supply of a product to a huge spike in demand that prompts more people to buy products. One of the most significant examples of this was the rise in GPU prices throughout the pandemic, as more people looked to buy products to use in crypto mining at the same time as a collapse in supply. For those with lifecycle plans in place, this caused a significant increase in pricing. This is unavoidable and can lead to even the best planners spending much more than they expect.
As products vary, the lifespans of each of these products do too. Hard drives are rated to work for a specific amount of time, with a set number of rewrites causing them to go out of commission. On the other hand, a data cable can theoretically last forever, or until it receives too much physical damage to keep working. The differences in longevity between these items mean that some systems need to be improved one piece at a time, which is more time-intensive than completing total overhauls of systems at set periods.
In some rare cases, device lifecycle management can actually lead to an increase in cost. If you rigidly replace a product after a certain amount of time, even if it still works to a good standard, you effectively spend more than you need to without any tangible benefit. Try to be flexible in your device lifecycle management, as this offers many opportunities to save the company time and money whilst retaining all of the productivity that you look for in a lifecycle plan.
Why is Device Lifecycle Management Important?
Device lifecycle management is one of the most important parts of the way a company’s technical side works, firstly because it ensures that everyone has the necessary tools at their disposal. With a good understanding of everyone’s job and the technical requirements to do those jobs, companies make sure that nobody’s speed at work is compromised by having products that are below their expectations.
It is also important as it provides a greater degree of certainty, with management staff knowing the expected spending and being able to plan for the rest of the business without worrying about having products to buy that they didn’t expect to need. The more stability a business has, the better, and device lifecycle management gives a strong technical foundation that everyone else can work around.
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