Research Hub > 6 Tips to Ensure Your Tech Refresh and Deployment Go Off Without a Hitch
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6 Tips to Ensure Your Tech Refresh and Deployment Go Off Without a Hitch

Get all your ducks in a row and reduce the complexities and challenges of updating and rolling out new technology.

Technology is one of the biggest and most critical investments businesses make, and it isn’t cheap. Getting the most out of your technology resources is key to maximizing your ROI, and striking a balance between cost optimization and business growth requires skillful strategy. According to IDC, organizations update their technology every three to six years on average. However, experts recommend a refresh cycle of two to four years and making incremental changes along the way to minimize expense and stay ahead of the technology curve.

To put this into perspective, consider Moore’s Law which holds that the computing power of technology doubles every two years. Technology evolves fast. Add to that the fact that the operational cost of outdated technology increases exponentially every three years. In a study last year, IDC reported that enterprise server operating costs increase from an average of $7,541 per year for the first three years after installation to $22,511 per year thereafter.

Why Refresh Your Technology?

Outdated tech can cause compatibility issues, increase maintenance expenses, slow down workflows and increase security threats. A well-planned technology refresh helps you avoid these pitfalls and can lead to significant improvements in efficiency, security, overall performance and cost savings.

Being forced into a technology refresh due to undesirable circumstances is no walk in the park. Taking a strategic approach and planning for when and how you will handle a refresh gives you the upper hand. However, it's not just about replacing old equipment with new; it's also about aligning your tech needs with your business goals. This involves assessing how your current-state technology environment measures up and identifying areas for improvement.

Here are six tips to help you navigate your next technology refresh and deployment.

  1. Assess Your Existing Technology Resources
    Taking stock of your existing technology landscape is the first step. Conduct a thorough audit of all hardware and software assets in use within your organization. Identify outdated or underperforming systems and determine which ones are due for an upgrade. This assessment should also highlight any gaps or inefficiencies that hinder your operations. Leveraging this information can help you make informed decisions about which technologies need replacing, upgrading or phasing out.

  2. Evaluate the Costs
    Evaluating and assessing the costs associated with a technology refresh and deployment process can allow you to allocate resources effectively, preventing overspending and ensuring a better return on investment. It can also help you identify and address potential hidden costs, such as additional training, maintenance and potential downtime, which can significantly impact the overall budget if you’re not careful. Proper cost evaluation also enables informed decision-making, helping you prioritize necessary upgrades and avoid unnecessary ones.

  3. Align Your Tech Needs with Business Objectives
    Aligning your organization’s technology requirements with your business objectives helps ensure that the technology investments you make directly support your organization's goals and drive growth. By carefully evaluating how new technology can enhance your business operations, improve customer experiences and streamline processes, you can achieve better outcomes. It also helps you prevent unnecessary spending on solutions that do not add measurable value to your business.

  4. Project Management: The Key to Minimizing Disruption
    Effective project management is the backbone to ensuring that your technology refresh and deployment process runs smoothly and without significant disruption to day-to-day operations. A well-structured project roadmap helps coordinate equipment deliveries and various tasks, resources and timelines, enabling a more organized and predictable rollout.

    Clearly defining roles, responsibilities and milestones is critical to your rollout and enhances communication and collaboration across teams. Planning for change management and staff training minimizes downtime and productivity losses for a transition that’s as smooth as possible. Ultimately, the goal of project management is to mitigate risks, manage expectations and ensure that all aspects of the technology upgrade go off without a hitch.

  5.  IT Asset Disposition and Sustainability
    There’s one aspect of refreshing your tech that often gets treated as an afterthought: What do you do with all that retired tech after the new tech is deployed? IT asset disposition (ITAD), including proper data destruction, is a critical and often overlooked step in the refresh process. Sensitive information, including personally identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property, must be securely erased from retired equipment or destroyed to prevent potential data breaches and safeguard your organization against fines, liability, bad publicity and potential litigation.

    Effective IT asset disposition also takes corporate responsibility into consideration. Integrating sustainable practices and forward-thinking strategies can help you reduce your carbon footprint, comply with environmental regulations and promote a positive corporate image. This includes taking the steps necessary to recycle or repurpose retired hardware sustainably.

  6. Partner with Experts for Seamlessness and Simplicity
    Leveraging the expertise and experience of seasoned professionals can significantly reduce the complexities and challenges associated with large-scale tech deployments. Experts bring invaluable insights into best practices, cutting-edge solutions and effective strategies tailored to your specific business needs. No installation is the same. Guidance from professionals who are dedicated to and specialize in technology refresh deployments can help you take a huge load off your team, minimize downtime, avoid common pitfalls and ensure success — ultimately saving you time, reducing costs and maximizing your ROI.

Pro tip: A partner like CDW can help you manage your tech refresh from beginning to end with proven expertise and minimal disruption. CDW employs modern deployment techniques and dedicated project managers together with independent resources across the country, reducing the strain on your internal IT team while ensuring you only pay for the resources you need, when you need them. 

4 Keys to a Successful Technology Refresh

For a seamless technology refresh experience from beginning to end, CDW offers these four key capabilities with resources dedicated to each:

  • Warehousing: Good logistics are paramount to a successful technology refresh. CDW offers staging services for your equipment prior to and during technology deployment, reducing logistical headaches.
  • Integration and configuration services: Pre-configuration of technology for ease of installation, no matter the location, so it is ready for use when it reaches your enterprise. These services take away the requirement for engineers to be onsite, reducing installation costs.
  • Smart Hands Deployment Services: Dedicated project management services ensure that the right resources are onsite in accordance with pre-defined rollout schedules established with your team. We aim to keep your IT staff focused on their day-to-day operations. Smart Hands provides technical services that are priced right for the installation depending on your requirements.
  • IT asset disposition (ITAD): Ensure secure, compliant and sustainable disposal, recycling or repurposing of retired technology. 

Each of these services is also available a la carte.

A technology refresh can feel anything but refreshing if you don’t have all your ducks in a row. By following these tips and partnering with experts like CDW, you can ensure a successful rollout with minimal disruption. Ready to get started?

Scott Gruendler

Head of Integration & Deployment
Scott Gruendler is a CDW expert Head of Integration & Deployment.
Katerina Nikolaides

Katerina Nikolaides

CDW expert
Katerina Nikolaides is a product manager for Amazon Web Services (AWS) on CDW’s Services R&D team. She has been with CDW for more than 6 years and has many years of product management experience prior to this position.