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Maximizing Device ROI Through Lifecycle Management

Organizations that take a strategic approach to device lifecycle management get more bang for their IT buck.

Remember all those end-user devices that companies raced to deploy to employees at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to enable remote work? It may seem hard to believe, but those devices are now more than three years old, and some likely already need to be replaced.

For organizations that have historically overlooked device lifecycle management, this is a good time to start taking it more seriously. In addition to simply making life easier for line-of-business employees and IT departments, various stages of device lifecycle management can help improve the ROI of a device rollout.

Mobile Devices Must Be Refreshed on a Regular and Timely Basis

How long should end-user devices last?

At first blush, it seems like the most economical answer would be “as long as possible.” But consider the risks organizations face if they try to stretch the lifecycle of smartphones, tablets and laptops out to four, five or even six years. A top employee’s laptop might go on the fritz right when she’s in the middle of an important project, or a batch of devices might all fail at once, overwhelming IT workers and taking their time and attention away from critical projects.

Issues will always come up, but by being cautious with device refreshes (for instance, aligning them with the expiration of manufacturers’ warranties), organizations will often save money and improve productivity over the long term.

Monitoring Device Usage Can Impact Decision Making

Tracking how devices are used over time can help organizations to better shepherd their resources. I’m not talking about monitoring to check whether employees are staying on task. Instead, organizations should leverage tools that let them see how much capacity is being used.

Through device monitoring, business and IT leaders might discover that certain business groups or user personas can get by without premium devices, for instance, allowing the organization to opt for less expensive alternatives in the future. Conversely, if they find that some users are pushing their devices to the limit, they might upgrade devices for those users to ensure they can stay productive.

Strategic Device Management Can Minimize Downtime

The goal of any device maintenance program should be to minimize device downtime and get users back up and running as quickly as possible. This requires organizations to strike a balance regarding how many backup devices and spare parts they keep on hand. Some organizations strive to be able to replace up to 25 percent of their device fleet all at once, if needed. Other organizations may lack the resources for this sort of readiness posture, but it’s important for business and IT leaders to think through ways to prevent downtime in a cost-effective manner.

How a Device Retirement Strategy Can Save Money

When organizations first roll out new laptops or mobile devices, the retirement of those devices is usually the last thing on people’s minds. However, organizations should have a retirement strategy in place even before they deploy new devices. It’s important to make sure a specific person or group is in charge of the device retirement process.

Without a strategy in place (and someone to execute it), organizations often delay considerations around retirement, leading to missed opportunities. This can mean the difference between reselling old laptops, tablets and smartphones or letting those devices molder in a storeroom somewhere. In other words, it can mean a huge difference in ROI.

Story by Jeremy Mentzell