If asked, someone might describe your job as “working with computers.” There’s so much more, though. Depending on your title, this could include everything from fielding odd technology requests to managing the entire product lifecycle from a technology solutions purchase through its “end of life,” and all that falls in between.
The job of IT director is like the jack of all things technology in the workplace. If it gets plugged in, it’s probably under your wing of care. And that reality can be daunting as organizations become even more dependent on technology.
Insight knows technology is not just supporting the business; it’s becoming the business. And let’s be real, almost every company these days is a tech company.
Supporting the IT lifecycle
At the end of the day, you are responsible for keeping the lights on, as well as transforming your IT infrastructure to meet the needs of the future. So IT lifecycle management can be a lot to juggle.
A good product lifecycle is not a hot topic at cocktail parties, but if you nail this process, or work with a managed services provider that does, it will earn you all kinds of accolades. As shown in Figure 1, Insight’s core pillars of a product lifecycle include the following stages:
- IT procurement: Ideally buyers are able to complete IT purchasing through an intuitive e-procurement platform, and receive products quickly from a partner with flexible warehousing solutions, as well as finance and leasing options. If the process isn’t exactly seamless, buyers may find themselves frequenting online consumer resellers for convenience. Although this is a quick option, it may create chaotic downstream support inefficiencies and doesn’t offer the benefit of other lifecycle support considerations as outlined below.
- Building and integrating: After making a hardware purchase, the product needs to be configured to meet the specific needs of your infrastructure and end users. Either this is done in-house by your IT team or by a managed service provider with the right capabilities to understand and deliver for your environment. Insight offers data center and end-user device configuration; asset tagging, kitting and staging; image creation and management; and basic and custom imaging.
- Deployment: This stage is the actual product rollout that will either fall under the category of an initial install or an IT refresh. You or your managed services provider will need to handle all of the logistics involved as well as coordinate shipping and delivery. In addition to those services, Insight offers flexible project scheduling and reporting. It’s also our best practice to develop standardized processes and governance for each party’s role in the project to ensure measured delivery and accountability across the board.
- Maintenance: We all know once the products are installed, they will inevitably need support. Maintenance usually makes people think of fixing something that’s broken, but it also includes IT asset management and inventory control. If it does need repair, Insight will determine whether it should be exchanged and handle details pertaining to the repair or replacement, if applicable. We offer a number of flexible warranty repair and asset centralization options that fit most needs. Afterward, we determine whether to redeploy the assets or mark them for end of life, based on the needs of the business.
- End of life: This may be the most overlooked area of the product lifecycle. After assets have been retired, they should be moved out of an organization’s valuable workspace and off the books. Assets can be remarketed for maximum financial return, or they will need to be properly disposed of and recycled, with guarantees that meet data security and environmental requirements. In the case of a lease, lease-end processing is an important consideration that can create unnecessary costs if not managed correctly.
Juggling the IT lifecycle with disruption
Following all of the above lifecycle steps and best practices can be challenging for internal IT directors, buyers and project managers. Both end users and upper management expect procurement and IT to provide modern devices, applications and connectivity to employees with seamless ordering, inventory and updates — all with cost-effective pricing.
The benefits of using a managed services provider
Working with a partner to provide support with the hardware and software IT lifecycle has its advantages. Using a single vendor to source and manage the entire IT lifecycle can create efficiencies that will free up your team to accomplish other management and transformation goals.
Insight offers enhanced single dashboard reporting, a centralized control center, and security that exceeds industry standards. With these benefits, an organization can see efficiencies in procurement, improved employee productivity and year-over-year savings.
With Insight’s vast, global capabilities, we can provide that single vendor source for your entire product lifecycle. Our lifecycle services create efficiencies and provide manageability across your organization’s hardware lifecycle. Hardware refreshes create order out of chaos and provide real-time updates as each device is upgraded.
If you’re curious about how you can improve your IT asset lifecycle, we’ve created a free assessment to help you identify missed opportunities. Answer a few short questions on our lifecycle services selector to learn whether you’re procuring, configuring and maintaining your technology as efficiently as possible.