Failing to manage IT assets properly can have profound impacts on your content delivery and profitability. In addition to affecting system uptime and data reliability, hardware lifecycle management helps drive down costs.
Gartner research indicates that companies that implement IT asset management typically achieved 30% cost savings in the first year and at least 5% cost savings in the subsequent five years. These savings are substantial when considering the cost of IT infrastructure and the scale at which some organizations need to deploy these resources.
When we talk about the hardware lifecycle, we refer to all the aspects of hardware use, from planning and purchasing to maintenance and decommissioning. Like everything else, computing hardware fails and may need replacing because of component failure, warranty expiration, or its inability to support modern software. By having a plan in place, businesses ensure they don’t lose valuable data due to malfunction and prevent service interruptions to their customers.
Four Stages of the Hardware Lifecycle
The IT industry’s opinion is that server hardware lasts about five years. There are many variables to this timeframe, including routine maintenance and workload. However, this reality forces businesses to figure out what they’ll do during the lifecycle to extend hardware’s life and how they’ll handle other parts of the hardware lifecycle. Below are four key stages around which organizations must make important infrastructure decisions:
1. Planning and purchasing IT hardware.
During this phase, businesses must ascertain their needs and the most efficient hardware solutions. Planning is when companies find deficiencies and opportunities to expand their infrastructure. A solid roadmap will include more than purchasing options and address necessities like backup strategies, upgrade options, deployment, and migration.
When deploying hardware, teams can assess how different hardware will interact with each other and set up for maximum compatibility. Additionally, everything must be well-documented to improve maintenance and upgrades.
Proper care can extend the lifespan of your IT infrastructure. While your hardware lifecycle may have a 5-7 year life cycle, developing a holistic strategy that includes maintenance allows you to be flexible. A well-planned maintenance routine also prevents minor issues from turning into serious problems and keeps systems secure with regular upgrades.
Finally, planning for the hardware’s end of life ensures that parts are replaced before malfunctions take systems offline and impact user performance. In essence, your backup strategies protect against minor failures, and your decommissioning procedure ensures that hardware is replaced at the right time and in the right way.
Tune Your Hardware Lifecycle to Your Organization’s Needs
Planning out your hardware lifecycle protects your business and allows you to forecast more accurately. However, every organization must account for every stage of the hardware lifecycle to create a comprehensive plan. To do this, they must consider which approach and solutions work best for their organization. For example, does a phased approach work better, staggering hardware so that it doesn’t need to be replaced simultaneously? Or is it better to do a complete overhaul periodically?
Intequus understands that most organizations don’t have the resources of a data center. We help our clients design edge and fog computing solutions and manage the hardware throughout its lifecycle. If you’d like to talk about your business’s edge computing needs, talk to a team member today.