7 IT Lifecycle Management Best Practices for Your Enterprise Organization

IT lifecycle management is all about making the most of the life of your enterprise hardware, maximizing lifespan while mitigating issues that naturally come with end of service life (EOSL). What are the best practices to follow for IT lifecycle management? And how can you get started with a strategic overhaul?

What Is IT Lifecycle Management?

IT lifecycle management is all about managing the individual steps necessary to acquire, use, and eventually get rid of the devices and equipment needed in your IT department. Through the careful management of these steps, you can ultimately reduce costs, improve operations, minimize risks, and prevent possible disruptions.

For example, the procurement stage is all about acquiring the right devices and equipment, for a reasonable price. Deployment is focused on integrating that equipment so it can be used properly. Managing and maintaining the equipment keeps it in good condition and mitigates potential issues. Migration may or may not be necessary, and eventually, you’ll need to plan for decommissioning.

How do we make sure that IT lifecycle management is capable of achieving your goals throughout every phase of the process?

IT Lifecycle Management Best Practices

These are some of the most important best practices to follow in IT lifecycle management:

  1. Keep an accurate inventory. One of the best things you can do for better IT lifecycle management is keeping an accurate inventory. How do you know the right time to make a new purchase? How do you know the approximate lifespan of your current equipment? How do you plan for maintenance and management? You can’t address any of these objectives if you don’t know what kind of devices and equipment your company is currently using. At the core of your IT life cycle management should be a thorough, real-time updated inventory, with ample visibility to all decision makers.
  2. Be mindful of EOL dates. Hardware end of life dates tell us when certain pieces of hardware are no longer going to be produced or supported by the original manufacturers. This doesn’t mean you have to completely decommission your equipment at this time; for several years beyond the EOL date, you may still be able to find replacement parts and conduct maintenance yourself. But you need to be aware of these dates so you can plan and manage your equipment accordingly.
  3. Have contingency plans in place. Technology can be unpredictable at times. Planning your IT infrastructure for the next five years is a smart move for your organization, but you can’t guarantee that your plans are going to be perfectly appropriate if they remain unchanged. It’s important to be conscious of possible developments that could undermine your plan or jeopardize the effectiveness of your decisions, so consider creating contingency plans that can cover you in a wide variety of scenarios.
  4. Run lean when possible. Lean philosophy works well in IT lifecycle management. The idea is to maintain minimalistic standards, only procuring and using the devices and equipment your organization truly needs. When your IT infrastructure is simpler, it’s not only less expensive, but it’s also easier to maintain and less prone to disruptions and failures. Operating with this kind of lean mindset can help you at literally every stage of the IT lifecycle.
  5. Prioritize uptime. If you understand the costs and complexities associated with downtime, you know how important it is to maintain uptime. Swapping out new pieces of equipment or conducting certain types of maintenance can be practical necessities for your business, but you have to plan for these strategically if you want to maintain continuity.
  6. Dispose responsibly. Disposing of electronic devices and equipment can present multiple risks to your organization and the environment at large. If you don’t properly destroy the data on your devices, or recycle them properly, malicious actors could easily obtain that data and jeopardize the integrity of your business. And if you don’t recycle or dispose of your electronics properly, it could pose severe environmental hazards. Decommissioning and disposing is a stage of the lifecycle you can’t afford to ignore.
  7. Remain adaptable. Finally, remain as adaptable as possible. As you gain more experience with IT lifecycle management, you may come to appreciate different philosophies, and you may find yourself changing your approach. This is a good thing; stagnant, unchanging mentalities generally don’t work well in IT in the long term.

IT life cycle management, as the name implies, is a recurring cycle. This isn’t a one-time decision that you’re going to make, nor is it possible to solve all potential problems with a single change. If you want to continue maximizing the value of your investments, increasing the lifespan of your technological assets, and maintaining smooth operations throughout, it’s important to remain both vigilant and adaptable.