LifeCycle: The value and cost of maintaining a lifecycle for your IT infrastructure
The circle of a Lifecycle
A complete circle for your IT infrastructure typically comes in 4 steps or stages. Each stage requires attention towards planning and reporting to ensure you get the most for your investment.
- Procurement — purchasing / replacing
- Deployment — installation and configuration
- Maintenance and Support — updates, patches, security assessments and troubleshooting
- Cycling out — gracefully removing a device from the IT infrastructure, wiping it ‘clean’ and recycling all used hardware.
Properly planning your computer lifecycle management means that you know the stage and next action item for each piece of hardware and software in your infrastructure, and can easily maintain and support your devices for a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better efficiency.
Your systems hardware is dependent on an active “lifestyle” to ensure they are well used, maintained and monitored. A stagnant piece of hardware could potentially cause more harm than good. If they sit on a shelf or worse plugged in but never utilized, stagnant equipment tends to be passed over on maintenance schedules, upgrades (due to cost) and general monitoring. Over time these units can become a security risk to the rest of your infrastructure.
Software should be maintained in much the same way as licenses can expire, operating systems can become obsolete and no longer supported, not to mention you will run into costly compatibility issues (i.e. third party apps, network devices etc.).
Start planning now
The most important thing about a lifecycle plan is to have one.
Planning for your IT lifecycle is about being proactive and planning ahead. When purchasing new IT equipment / software ensure that the expected lifecycle of each is taken into consideration and when cycling out old product, take some time to assess the overall usefulness of the product and if it met your needs and expectations.
Planning also entails budgeting for the future, if you know the new desktop you purchased has a life expectancy of 3 years you can begin budgeting now for the replacement, gaining you some assurance that you will not be taken by surprise at the expense and you are not held hostage by an outdated device or piece of software.
Lifespans will vary
There are no hard and fast rules for the length of a lifecycle for any product, they will vary depending on the manufacturer (and their own expectations of their products) as well as how heavily used the product is. However there are some general guidelines we can use:
General Guidelines for the lifecycle of common IT equipment:
- 2-3 years
- 3 years
- 5 years
VOIP Phone system
- 10 years
- 3-4 years
- 4 years
Don’t forget to recycle!
When computers and related IT hardware is disposed of improperly, the deteriorating components can leak toxins and carcinogens into the environment.
When you are ready to cycle out a piece of hardware ensure you wipe the information from your hardware and recycle the remaining parts.
Would you like some help with planning the lifecycle of your infrastructure? Our team would be happy to help with everything from the initial audit of your current hardware, to the planning and procurement for future hardware/software.
Dyne Day, Glenbriar Technologies Inc. Service Desk Supervisor and Marketing Associate