End Of Life: Preparing for the Demise of a Technology

by | Sep 2, 2022 | Managed IT Security Services Providers

IT managers often get stuck in the moment-by-moment demands of the networks they supervise. In their work of putting out daily fires, it is easy to lose sight of the forest because of the trees. One of the “big picture” visuals that can get overlooked is the life track of the company’s hardware and software equipment. From servers to desktop computers to all the products being run on it — software that manages accounting, inventory, and customers — the business’ computer network is at the heart of the business. When the life span expires on any part of it, it can leave the company in a very vulnerable position, especially if there was no upgrading plan already in place.

End of Life Cycle Planning

If hardware and software life cycle planning is not part of your company’s strategic IT plan, it should be.

Some software companies provide ample notice of “End of Life” for its products – the time when sales come to an end and support of the product will be discontinued. Some products have life cycles that are easier to know about than others. CEOs and CFOs alike share the spot where productivity of the business meets the lowest cost possible, so it is rather important to have advanced notice about when the budget will need to include major upgrades of the software products and hardware devices that make the business run right.

So, how does one go about end of life cycle planning?

Policy and Provisions

Life Cycle planning can be pretty straightforward:

  1. For all the hardware and software products used, review the expected end of life and warranty provisions of the product.
  2. Plot out the corresponding need for future purchases, so that they can be added to the budget when the time comes.

Taking a proactive approach to network expenses saves a company a lot of money in the long run. The savings are twofold:

  1. Anticipating costs provides the company the opportunity to ferret out best deals and price options for when the time comes to upgrade.
  2. It also prevents facing downtime and workflow problems when old technology finally fails. It prevents the inconveniences that happen when the workforce has to work around the prolonged confusion caused by a sudden upgrade that was not properly planned.

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Annual Review of Products

An annual review of all technology products being used, and assessing how well it is supporting the business, helps ensure that the company is being well served by it.

  • How are software and hardware products performing for the company?
  • How have the vendors responded with issues as they came up?
  • Are the current products doing a good job of taking care of employee needs and workflow? – are they able to meet all business objectives?
  • Are there new technologies emerging that might better serve the company than the current solution that is being used?

In other words, keeping track of End of Life of products can also mean timing the best, most financially favorable moment to make changes to the network. Also, it means assessing whether a product is not worth sticking with. If there is a better technology available that will improve the company’s bottom line, then it is easier to anticipate a good time to make that move. Which leads to a discussion about new technology adoption

 

Product Lifecycle Management and New Technology Adoption

IT managers to innovate effectively if they are properly supervising the network and the products that make it up. Vigilance naturally promotes staying abreast of new technologies, as they become available, that may better serve the company. Different businesses have different mindsets about new technology adoptions, so there is a tolerance level that CXOs will need to consider. However, what no company should ever allow to happen is to rely on any product that has reached its end of life or its end of usefulness. Allowing this to happen can lead to several serious risks:

  • Non-compliance of industry standards
  • Compromised data security
  • Decreased productivity and higher maintenance costs…

… and many other problems.

Having a Professional Manage Your End of Life Cycle Concerns

Staying abreast of End of Life planning and management is one of the central duties of an MSSP. If your company has one then you probably already have this issue well in hand. Also be aware that most insurance companies that provide cyber security insurance will look to see if life cycle planning is in place before deciding what coverage will be provided and how much it will cost. There are so many good reasons to make sure your business has proper life cycle planning in place. If you do not have it, we encourage you to make it a priority to do so now. Give Secure Networkers a call and we will be glad to help – it is a call that can ultimately benefit your bottom line.

 

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