Understanding IT Lifecycles: Is it Time for New Hardware?

Understanding IT Lifecycles: Is it Time for New Hardware?

Every business wants to get the maximum possible return on its investments, and IT is no exception. With that in mind, it might sound counterintuitive that it’s sometimes necessary to replace hardware that isn’t broken. After all, what’s the point in buying new hardware when your current systems still seem to be working properly? Surely, that’s a terrible waste of money.

In reality, matters are a bit more complicated when it comes to the fast-paced world of modern technology. Just like everything else in existence, hardware has a limited lifecycle. In most cases, this is defined by the manufacturer in their product support lifecycle documentation.

The Importance of Manufacturer Support

Once a product lifecycle ends, the original manufacturer will no longer support it, and that’s bad news for you. In some cases, particularly if the system in question remains extremely popular, a third party may support it instead. This also tends to happen if the original manufacturer goes out of business and sells their assets on to another company. Nonetheless, you can hardly rely on this variable for a multitude of other reasons.

When a manufacturer stops officially supporting a product, they’ll stop releasing fixes and updates for it. In other words, if something goes wrong, they will have no obligation to do anything about it. Microsoft, for instance, stopped its extended support for Windows XP in 2012, thus leaving the operating system vulnerable to attackers.

In the case of computer hardware, this means no more firmware updates and in turn no more patches for any security vulnerabilities that might arise in the future.

Third-Party Vendors Phase Out Support

Interoperability is crucial for modern IT systems, and compatibility issues can quickly lead to multiple performance and reliability issues. Third-party manufacturers may provide integration support for some devices, even if they’re past their official support lifecycle, but that’s not something you should rely on.

In most cases, vendors will drop support for old devices, since it will eventually become prohibitively expensive for them. After all, they need to think about making their products compatible with newer systems, which will likely be more popular. For example, software developers are hardly likely to want to invest their resources into building programs for the now long-deprecated Windows XP.

Why You Need to Prioritize Performance and Reliability

Just because a device might be working fine doesn’t mean you should keep it if it’s past its support lifecycle. Technology continues to evolve quickly, which means that a 10-year-old computer is going to struggle to keep up with today’s resource-intensive applications.

Sure, it might still work fine, but it will be operating at a snail’s pace compared with the machines your competitors are probably using. All in all, this translates to reduced business efficiency and performance.

There’s also the problem of reliability to think about. Even if a system is still working as intended, you’ll get a nasty shock if it suddenly fails. Things like repeated hardware failures, system crashes, and other performance issues will make a big dent in productivity and could, potentially, lead to more serious problems. Repairing deprecated hardware tends to be difficult and catastrophic for your company’s bottom line.

How a Product Lifecycle Management System Can Help

As IT projects become more complex and systems become more advanced, it only gets harder to keep track of your ever-increasing lineup of devices and software. That’s why modern businesses need a product lifecycle management system that helps them keep track of their infrastructure. This automated approach helps improve efficiency, reduce costs, and keep your company at the forefront of innovation.

No business should be held back by dated IT. That’s why Refresh Technologies is here to help you stand at the forefront of innovation and make sure you’re always one step ahead of the competition. Call us today to schedule a consultation.