Strategies for Technology Lifecycle Management
Don’t you hate using old or outdated technology? We do too. Up to date technology is not only required to remain competitive in the marketplace, it’s essential to attract and retain quality staff. Because of this, we put together a list of some typical computing equipment and its life expectancy to help you with technology lifecycle management.
If you purchase and manage smartphones for your staff, you should have a corporate account at your cell phone carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) to manage your phones. Additionally, if you have tablets with cellular data enabled, we also recommend having your carrier manage them for you. Many carriers offer low-cost replacements every two to three years.
If you don’t have a corporate cell phone plan that provides replacements, we find that users tend to need new phones every two to three years depending on how hard they are on the devices.
Laptops tend to get beat up, so the recommended replacement period for them is every two to three years. For power users and staff frequently on the road, two years is the standard. For other staff who are less hard on their equipment, three years is the recommended time. Typically the warranty period for business class laptops are three years and as they go off warranty, we recommend replacing them.
For most users, three years is the recommended technology lifecycle for a desktop. For those users who are highly billable, you might want to consider a two-year life cycle and rotate their desktop to another, less technologically demanding user for the third year.
We find monitors that are used daily start to fade after about five years. Plus, monitor technology advances fairly quickly with the panels getting sharper and clearer each year. We recommend replacing monitors every five years to make sure your staff can see their monitor clearly.
Firewalls are generally replaced once the manufacturer no longer supports them or once the hardware reaches five years in age. Why the five-year limit? While the hardware service contract can be extended beyond the fifth year, we don’t recommend this as the age of the electronics in the unit are over five years old and failure rates start going up around the five-year mark.
Over the past seven years, network switching technology was stable with many companies moving to 1gb Ethernet. Lately, networking technology is moving along quickly again, and a five-year life cycle is recommended. 2.5gb and 5gb Ethernet is here, and much of the cabling infrastructure already installed supports these new, faster standards.
Cabling infrastructure lasts quite a while, sometimes up to 15 years. We recommend replacing when technology standards have advanced beyond the cabling standard, new offices are built out, or the existing cabling starts to have problems such as moisture and weak copper connections.
Servers and Storage Devices
Still have these? You might not have servers, but if you have a graphic or video artist on staff, you might have local storage devices on your network. These should be replaced every five years (similar to desktop systems) to keep the electronics fresh.
Wireless access points age quickly as the technology advances rapidly and new wireless standards emerge nearly every year. We recommend replacing access points and their controllers every three to five years or when the manufacturer no longer supports them.
Need help figuring out what technology equipment to replace when? One of the included services in our managed IT services is hardware technology lifecycle management. Let us know what you are working on, and we can help.
This week’s post is by Tim Malzahn, Principal Consultant at Malzahn Strategic
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