The IT equipment in your company has a shelf life. Every category has their own best practice or industry standard life cycle, for instance, desktops and laptop should last 3-4 years, ultrabooks or tablets slightly less with about 2-3 years and servers and network equipment life cycle should be set to 5 years. Of course, a number of factors come into play as well, such as maintenance, work environment, and so on. It is only natural that most of the companies try to squeeze all the value out of an equipment before considering replacing it. This is justifiable in today’s economy. However, the flip side is the problems that may arise out of it, such as user complaints, increased maintenance cost, unexpected downtime, and low productivity.
With an efficient hardware lifecycle plan, you will be able to handle your IT budget in the most effective way, and that too with limited resources.
Hardware lifecycle planning should start from the time you decide to purchase the hardware. Understanding the device’s reliability, and its expiration period will help you to budget properly, and take advantage of asset re-marketing. For example, when you purchase a PC, if its expected lifespan is 3 years, then you can budget for purchasing a new system after three years. The storage capacity, the speed of the processors, and so on should also be considered while purchasing hardware.
It includes installation of the devices and their configuration. Proper installation and configuration are required for the optimal functioning of the devices, and to ensure the safety of the hardware, as well as that of the data it will store in the future.
A very important step. Proper maintenance can not only ensure the proper working of the devices until the expiry period or the warranty period but also extend it beyond that period. If the company find that a device is working optimally even after its expected shelf life, they can afford not to replace it and continue using it until the time it becomes obsolete.
This step includes repairs and troubleshooting. Downtime will affect the productivity of a company. So, if a system goes down unexpectedly, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
The last step involves removing an obsolete hardware from the IT infrastructure. The hardware should be donated or recycled responsibly. It is vital that you wipe out all data from the hardware before its disposal.