Device Lifecycle Management: End of Life

Published Sep 3, 2019 8:40:35 AM in Tech News

FileWave helps you close the loop on your device lifecycle by safely overseeing your end-of-life processes.


End-of-life (EOL) equipment, from switches and servers to laptops and mobile phones, are a significant source of risk in most organizations. While leaving legacy equipment running is a risk, properly decommissioning and revoking access for EOL devices can seem daunting, particularly if those devices are managed manually.

The continued access to EOL equipment introduces significant risk. Devices with network access and unpatched systems pose a risk to network security, just as storing unused devices could lead to a data breach if those devices are stolen.

Nearly half of firms do not upgrade or remove end-of-life assets within a reasonable timeframe - FCA Cyber and Technology Resilience Report, 2017 / 2018

FileWave’s unified asset monitoring will help you discover which devices are coming to their end-of-life (EOL), from a single unified dashboard, making it easy to plan for a replacement. You can streamline and automate your EOL tasks with FileWave to prepare for the onboarding of new devices. 

Device Refresh Cycle

While many security risks are associated with devices that are no longer supported by manufacturers, your EOL plans will likely not wait until your laptops, tablets, or mobile phones become unsupported. Instead, EOL plans will typically revolve around specific timeframes dictated by warranties, leases, or a desire to refresh devices regularly for optimal performance.

To reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with devices, most organizations work around a planned device replacement strategy every 2-4 years. This cycle length minimizes the IT time, security risks, and productivity challenges associated with older devices while also building in greater employee satisfaction and efficiency gains associated with newer technology.

Where device lifecycle is not predetermined, keeping an accurate inventory holds greater importance. FileWave’s asset monitoring can track critical details about devices (warranty information, serial number, manufacturer, location, model, RAM, processor) that can be used to run periodic risk and cost assessments on deployed systems and applications to determine when EOL actions are necessary. These robust monitoring tools can also help prove that you have adequate controls in place to be compliant with governance and oversight rules such as ISO/IEC 2700:2013. 

End-of-Life Management 

Decommissioning and recommissioning devices must be simple. Manual processes eat up IT time and have a huge impact on end user productivity. Just as FileWave automates the onboarding of new devices, we can simplify the off-boarding processes as well. 

FileWave will help maintain an accurate list of devices and their EOL information, whether that’s based on a device refresh cycle or warranty information. Through the use of these and Smart Group fields, it is easy for IT teams to quickly locate EOL devices. 

EOL management will look different for every organization but is typically synced with device recommissioning to reduce disruption to end users. A typical end of life process will include:

  • Double-check the backup of data, user configurations, and software to transfer to new devices
  • Revoke licenses to be reassigned to others or to new devices
  • Revoke network access
  • Wipe device (data wipe) or mark device for on-site drive destruction
  • Dispose of physical devices, through buy-back or a recycling program

FileWave can help you assign an EOL date, individually and in bulk, to your deployed devices that enable you to automate many of your EOL processes. 

Lease Management and Buyback Programs

For many school districts, businesses, and organizations, combining the visibility and automation provided by FileWave with a strong strategy for managing device refresh cycles and leasing can net positive financial results. Brian Sossamon, Director of Technology for Austin Trinity Episcopal School advocates for utilizing a dollar buyback program to recapture a portion of device leasing costs.

“You have an opportunity to recoup a percentage of the total amount, which is not much, but when it comes to being able to have some extra money at the beginning of the school year or during summer when you’re doing your major projects that’s an offset that you really could not plan for unless you had a program like this,” Sossamon said. 

Working off a 3-year refresh cycle for the school’s iPads and MacBooks, Sossamon is able to utilize the buyback funds as discretionary spending to reinvest in the school’s technology infrastructure. The most recent cycle presented the opportunity to update digital signage and broadcast screens, sound equipment, and two design labs that needed to be updated with new iMacs to continue operating at peak capacity for maximized educational outcomes. 

Combining FileWave’s naming conventions and smart groups, Sossamon optimizes workflows to save time and ensure devices are unenrolled from Apple’s DEP. The staff time savings created by outsourcing the device buyback is significant; previous approaches took roughly one month of work to wipe, repair, pack and ship devices.

“We’re a very progressive school,” Sossamon said. “We’re entrepreneurial, so anything we can use to enhance that spirit this money will go towards it.”

For organizations looking for ways to maximize the financial impact of lease buyback programs, partnering with a business like Total Technology Results can net positive results. “Supporting devices that have outlived their ability to run current software and security programs is a drag on management workflows,” said Jason Lewandowski,Vice President of Business Development at Total TR. “They become the most taxing devices for any IT staff; especially those that are shorthanded.”

By combining FileWave’s automation and deep reporting with Total TR’s lease buyout program, you can offset budgetary challenges or create new opportunities with the discretionary funds created by a lease buyout program. 

Jason Lewandowski, Vice President of Business Development at Total TR, sees lease buyout management as a natural extension of the lifecycle management capabilities provided by FileWave. “At TotalTR, we’re helping organizations make the smartest financial decisions possible with devices that are at or nearing their end of life,” Lewandowski said. “This is helping them take advantage of peak device residual values, and bring in newer devices at lower entry costs. It’s a win-win-win situation, and everyone should be looking into this option.”

Ultimately, device lifecycle management goes hand-in-hand with managing the total cost of ownership. The right plan and program coupled with management tools to increase visibility and automation can net very real positive impacts to your organization’s bottom line. From onboarding new devices to end of life management, FileWave enables success every step of the way. 

Want to see how FileWave can help you close the loop on your device lifecycle? Click below to attend a free demo of our software

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