Many organizations have fairly standard technology refresh policies. Desktops and laptops are replaced every four or five years. Mobile devices are replaced more frequently, generally every three years. This system ensures that the organization is not supporting outdated technology that doesn’t meet security or regulatory compliance standards. However, standardized refresh policies leave out one important factor — the user.
Some users may need their equipment refreshed more frequently. For example, road warriors need reliable devices. Software developers need systems that provide high levels of performance. Product designers using 3-D CAD and analysis systems need the latest technology.
Persona management can help ensure that both the user devices and the associated refresh cycles are meeting users’ needs. It starts by defining the personas that drive the types of devices and associated configurations assigned to each user. You can then develop both performance and device related policies that will drive refresh cycles for each persona. This approach optimizes the operational aspects of the business as well as the technical and financial aspects of IT assets.
How Personas Drive the Refresh Process
Once user personas are defined, KST Data can automate the entire refresh process as part of its lifecycle management offerings. Device analytics tools integrate with the IT asset management system and ticketing systems, automatically triggering the refresh process based on the policies you’ve established.
Let’s say the analytics tool detects that a laptop’s hard drive is about to fail. The asset management system can decide what to do based on the policies you have defined and kick off the appropriate workflow to repair the device or refresh the device.
If the laptop is two years old and belongs to a road warrior, the system might decide it’s time to replace it because it’s almost due for a refresh anyway. If the user’s persona calls for a four-year refresh cycle and the laptop is still under warranty, the system might decide the device should be repaired. Whatever the case, the system automatically opens a ticket.
Automating New Device Deployment
If the device is to be replaced, KST’s integration center team boxes up a new device and sends it to the user. The user turns on the device, logs in to the network, and the device is automatically configured based on the user’s persona. The user puts the old device in the box and returns it to our integration center using the shipping label provided.
The user has spent 15 or 20 minutes getting a new device up and running. The process was simple for the user, and a technician didn’t have to image, configure and deploy the device. And because it was all managed through our ticketing system, the data feeds directly into our asset management tool. We know that the road warrior has received a new laptop, and it’s configured based on the persona for road warriors. And he returned the box with his old device in it.
Capturing the Full Value of Devices
Now we assess what we do with the device that comes back to the integration center. Again, established policies trigger well-defined processes. Let’s say you refresh laptops every three years. The asset we received from the road warrior is just two years old and still under warranty. We can wipe that asset, ensure that any repairs are made, and put it in our inventory of assets available for reuse.
The asset can then be loaned to a user whose device fails. It can be issued to a consultant or sent to a training center that needs additional devices. Whatever the case, we’re enabling the enterprise to capture the full financial value of the asset.
When the device is redeployed, the information is captured in our asset management system. The process continues until the asset reaches end-of-life. In our next post, we’ll discuss the final disposition of assets.