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Asset Lifecycle Management – What’s your strategy?

No matter what industry your business serves, Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a crucial part of your organization’s success!  Implementing an ALM policy can maximize productivity, limit unplanned downtime, and reduce overall total cost of ownership (TCO).  ALM can mean different things depending on your organization, but phases of this cycle typically include planning, acquisition, deployment, maintenance, and disposal. 

Planning

Let’s start with planning as this is the cornerstone of any ALM policy.  Whether it’s network infrastructure, servers, end-user computing, software, or peripherals, planning is a strategic decision of any business and careful planning should take place from the start.  Determine the current needs of your business with an eye towards projected growth and include things like the number of end user computing devices, to the scalability of that “next generation” firewall.  Careful consideration will help avoid cost overruns, shortages or surplus in equipment, and unplanned spending between cycles. 

Acquisition of Assets

Acquisition of assets is the purchasing phase of the process which includes selecting a vendor, submitting a purchase order, receiving the assets, and adding them to your inventory management system.  Assets are an investment and tracking them through an inventory management system can ease the burden of your IT Department while ensuring every asset is accounted for.  Asset inventory management systems can also include tools such as patch management or remote wiping for lost or missing device. 

Deployment

The deployment phase of this process is another key step as it ties to the change management cycle.  Proper planning is needed prior to deploying any assets and includes steps like configuration, imaging, or initial setup.   Whether its replacing end-user devices such as laptops or standing up a network, careful planning should take place to minimize downtime.  Perhaps your ALM policy states that major network upgrades are completed overnight or on weekends?  Do you have a back out plan in case your deployment hits a roadblock?

Maintaining Assets

Maintaining assets is often overlooked but important in Asset Lifecycle Management since it allows organizations to achieve the maximum lifespan of a device.   This process can range from physical maintenance of a device, such as cleaning and replacing parts to patching or updating firmware and software.  Conditional monitoring capabilities are often available from the manufacturer and can assist with this process. 

Disposal

Disposal is the last step in the ALM process and includes options such as refurbishing, donating, or disposal of assets.  If assets are still considered viable to your organization, you may consider refurbishing devices for redistribution or hold as spare equipment.  You may consider donating equipment if it’s no longer needed for your business but has life left.  If equipment is no longer usable, the assets should be destroyed and recycled.  Selecting a reputable partner for asset disposal can ensure compliance and integrity in the disposal process and provide your business with a certificate of destruction. 

Do you need help creating an ALM policy for your organization?  Click here to contact Hammer Tech for more information.