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Device Lifecycle Management is more than procurement and recycling

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses often invest significant resources into acquiring the latest devices to ensure operational efficiency and productivity. However, simply handling the logistics and recycling of these devices doesn’t equate to real device lifecycle management (DLM). The true economic benefits of DLM arise from managing devices at every stage—from initial procurement through to retirement—while addressing all the aspects in between like asset tracking, security status, expense management, and more.

Think of Phones as Teenagers

Children are expensive. But if you only thought about the costs of getting your newborn home from the hospital and then their farewell party when they leave home as adults, you would have overlooked the 95%+ of the expenses you’ll incur in the years between those two events.

When most people think of DLM, they often picture the logistics of getting devices to employees and the eventual recycling of outdated equipment. While these elements are important, they barely scratch the surface of what comprehensive DLM entails. Most of a device’s life is what happens between procurement and recycling, and that’s when DLM helps most. Effective DLM is about a holistic approach that optimises and contains the expenses generated along the way.

Like a teenager’s food bill, these can be substantial.

Let’s look at all those moments between initial procurement, staging and kitting at the start of the device’s lifecycle, and the recycling at the end of the lifecycle.

Asset Tracking for Operational Efficiency

Once devices are deployed, keeping track of them is essential. Asset tracking allows businesses to know the location, user, and status of each device. This information is vital for maintaining operational efficiency and ensuring that resources are allocated appropriately. Advanced tracking systems can even provide insights into usage patterns, helping businesses make informed decisions about upgrades and replacements.

Security Status: A Constant Vigilance

In an era of increasing cyber threats, managing the security status of devices throughout their lifecycle is paramount. This involves ensuring that devices are equipped with the latest security updates, monitoring for vulnerabilities, and enforcing compliance with security policies. Regular audits and automated systems can help maintain a high security standard, protecting sensitive data and maintaining business integrity.

Remember that device security is more than deploying an MDM and hoping for the best. Diverse ecosystems and user behaviours have caused corporate mobile devices to become one of the major attack vectors into corporate information. Mobile security is a unique problem space. Review these handy checklists to understand some key differences.

Expense Management of Connectivity

Connectivity costs can quickly add up, especially for businesses with a large fleet of devices. Effective DLM includes managing the expenses associated with device connectivity, such as mobile data plans, Wi-Fi subscriptions, and roaming charges.

The problem is that telecoms expense management done in isolation doesn’t tell you much about the devices themselves. But just blindly asset-managing the devices is only so helpful too. The real benefit comes in combining these two types of data, to build a comprehensive view of the device and service together. This catches deployment and usage anomalies, and helps catch large areas of waste.

Large areas of waste? Yes, sometimes the hidden wastage can be very large indeed. For some specific examples, check out our previous post on it.

Repair and Replacement Management

Even the most reliable devices will require repairs or replacements at some point. A proactive approach to repair and replacement management ensures minimal downtime and disruption. This involves maintaining an inventory of spare parts (a “pool stock”), establishing relationships with reliable repair vendors, and having clear policies for when devices should be repaired versus replaced. Efficient management in this area can significantly extend the life of devices and reduce unnecessary costs.

Understanding Usage Patterns

Analysing how devices are used can provide valuable insights that drive better decision-making. Usage patterns reveal which devices are heavily utilised and which are under-utilised, allowing businesses to redistribute resources more effectively. Understanding usage also helps in planning for future needs and identifying opportunities for improving productivity.

Depreciation and Device-as-a-Service

From an accounting standpoint, tracking the depreciation of corporate-owned devices is essential for accurate financial reporting. Where devices are leased under a Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) model, DLM then reports on lease impacts when devices are returned or upgraded early or late. Some DaaS models have periodic upgrades built in to the business model too. Understanding how devices depreciate over time, and how DaaS lease dates work, helps businesses plan for replacements and manage budgets more effectively. It also provides insights into the TCO, allowing for more informed financial decisions.

To better understand the trade-offs of corporate-owned versus DaaS, see COPE versus DaaS.

Mapping Service Status to Device Status

A key aspect of effective DLM is mapping the service status to the device status. This means aligning the maintenance and support services with the actual condition and performance of the devices. Regularly updating this information ensures that devices receive timely support and maintenance, preventing potential issues before they become significant problems. This proactive approach maximises device uptime and productivity.

The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive DLM

When businesses manage devices at every stage of their lifecycle, they unlock significant economic benefits. These include reduced TCO, minimised downtime, enhanced productivity, and improved compliance with security standards. Additionally, comprehensive DLM supports better financial planning and resource allocation, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the business.

Device lifecycle management is far more than just logistics and recycling. It encompasses a comprehensive approach that includes initial procurement, asset tracking, security management, expense optimisation, repair and replacement strategies, usage analysis, depreciation tracking, and service alignment. By adopting a holistic view of DLM, businesses can achieve greater economic benefits, operational efficiency, and long-term success.

Telestar manages over half a million devices and services for large organisations. Contact Telestar today to see how your organisation can benefit from comprehensive device lifecycle management.

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