What is Hardware Lifecycle Management?
Hardware lifecycle management is an approach used to manage the life of IT hardware to maximize the return on investment and usefulness of that hardware. Hardware accumulates, new PC's for offices, laptops for remote workers, servers for managing and hosting sensitive company data tend to pile up as older hardware nears its end-of-life.
What are the benefits?
By considering the complete useful lifetime of a server, router, printer, or laptop, implementing Hardware Lifecycle Management practices will facilitate lower hardware and maintenance prices, increase flexibility, extend the IT hardware's life, and maximize the value of servers and networking equipment.
In addition to lowering the overall cost, there are a myriad other advantages. If the hardware that you are using is managed and maintained, you'll experience fewer technologically based emergencies which of course means fewer headaches and therefore fewer breakdowns in workflow. For IT administrators and managers, it will also add a sense of predictive control throughout the hardware's lifecycle.
Phase 1 - Planning
There are a few steps to the planning phase. To begin with, perform a full evaluation of the current IT infrastructure. This would involve but wouldn't be limited to:
- Age of hardware
- Network performance and security
- Hard drive Capacity/storage
- Hard drive technology (IDE, SATA, or SSD)
- Bandwidth usage
- Number of networks or servers that are being actively used
Take note of any issues that you come across as well as opportunities to extend the infrastructure and address them. Create both short and long-term plans to maximize the budget and leverage the current infrastructure. Estimate the cost of all assets you'll be replacing at this stage and make note of that as well.
Phase 2 - Purchase / Acquisition
So, you or your team have made notes on any issues or opportunities for advancement. You've an idea for the hardware that you need to either replace or upgrade. What now? The end goal of this stage is to make the acquisition as cost-effective as possible. Take note of the initial cost of all new equipment and save it as a part of your long term plan. You'll want to compare the cost to the return we'll see in a later phase. For servers, be sure to include additional hard drives for use in RAID technology
Phase 3 - Operation / Maintenance
The operation and maintenance stage is commonly the longest as it's the stage you are using the technology itself. All electronics eventually reach the end of their useful life and are discarded. Our responsibility then is to provide financially and environmentally sound ways of disposing of these items. In this phase, utilization, errors and performance are tracked. IT management will concentrate efforts on maintaining the asset while working to ensure performance and efficiency. Some of the many ways to accomplish this are with software analytics, maintenance programs, and regular inspection. Have a plan in place for when an asset fails.
Phase 4 - Asset Disposition / Recycling
Once a device becomes obsolete or needs replacing, you have to think about the best way to remove it. You can’t just throw it in the trash and call it a day. To help the environment, and your local community, make sure you properly recycle the e waste. There are toxic chemicals in electronic waste that can get into the groundwater.
At Scott Recycling, we are experts when it comes to responsibly and reliably recycling electronic waste. Take a look at our Services section and see what all we can do to serve you. Something to keep in mind are hard drives and the sensitive data that they hold even reaching their end of life. At Scott Recycling we properly sanitize or destroy all data to protect you and are trusted by schools, hospitals, organizations and businesses large and small because we do our due diligence when it comes to safeguarding all data of our clients.