Top 5 Considerations for Cost-Effective Computer Lifecycle Management


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Top 5 Considerations for Cost-Effective Computer Lifecycle Management

  1. 1. Top 5 considerations forcost-effective computerlifecycle managementMany mid-sized businesses are locked into refresh cycles for their desktop andlaptop computers that are more a reflection of past experience than currentopportunities. The new reality is that hardware prices have come down,maintenance costs have gone up and technology is improving dramatically—to the point where savvy organizations are recognizing they can bolsterproductivity, save money and reduce risks by accelerating the refresh cycle fordesktops and laptops rather than attempting to extend their lifecycles.The business argument for shorteningthe refresh cycle rather than tryingto hold on to hardware until it diesis a compelling one, touching uponall the major themes that are closeto the hearts of today’s businessmanagers and IT professionals:• cost containment and improvedTCO• better business agility• reduced risk of security threatsand downtime• improved worker productivity• reduced IT complexity andsimplified migrations• lower energy consumption• deployment of technologysolutions better equipped toaddress today’s megatrends ofmobility, increased virtualizationand cloud computingSo how do you go about developinga cost-effective strategy for managingcomputer lifecycles that willmaximize investment and enhancebusiness agility? And once you havedecided on the strategy, how do youbuild the business case so corporatemanagement will understand andmaximize the benefits? Here aresome of the key considerations.Understand all of your costs.These days, hardware amounts to a fraction of the costs of personalcomputers. According to research from Gartner, initial PC hardware costaccounts for 13 to 16 percent of the total lifetime cost of a personal computer, with therest going to associated software and ongoing management.1As your PCs age, the cost of maintaining them goes up: Basedon the cost of repair, ongoing maintenance and the number ofissues/problems, the cost of owning and maintaining a three-year-old PC can be as high as 1.3 times that of a PC less than three yearsold, according to research from Techaisle. PC maintenance costsalone are 2.5 times higher for PCs three years or older, accordingto the same research.2With a refresh you will also be able to save on energy costs. PCleaders such as Dell, along with the leading chip manufacturerssuch as Intel, have been consistently innovative in improving energy efficiency in theirdevices: Today’s Dell PCs will consume far less energy than PCs that are three yearsor older. For example, Dell Latitude E6430 business laptop with Intel’s latest coreprocessors offers as much as 33 hours of battery life along with additional energy-saving features such as the ability to shut down idle cores.Take measure of productivity gains.With newer PCs IT will be able to deliver increased productivity throughoutthe organization—for IT management, IT personnel and end users throughoutthe IT organization. Through constant innovation by vendors such as Dell, newer PCsdeliver dramatic performance over PCs that are three years and older. If workers areable to use higher performing PCs to cut down on the time it takesto complete various tasks, the whole organization benefits.PC failures also eat into worker productivity: When PC failuresprevent workers from doing their work, 48 percent end up workingthe same hours and producing less, while 23 percent bookovertime and 29 percent simply work more hours, according toresearch from Wipro Consulting Services.3The other important productivity gain through a hardwarerefresh is in the IT department, where IT staff will be able totake advantage of new technologies to automate many processes that traditionallyhave been time consuming and disrupting. By deploying new desktops and laptops,organizations can use automated services, simplified tools and custom-factory imagingto reduce deployment, maintenance and migration costs by as much as 80 percent,according to research from Principled Technologies.12Maintenancecosts are 2.5xhigher for PCs3 or moreyears oldDeployment,maintenance &migration costslowered bynearly 80%
  2. 2. Incorporate the value of reliability and uptime.In addition to cost savings associated with maintenance and energyconsumption, new PCs and laptops will be less susceptible to failures anddowntime. PCs three years and older are twice as likely to have software crashesand more than four times as likely to have a power supply failure, according toTechaisle: Overall, small and mid-size businesses reported anaverage of five hours downtime with desktops older than threeyears, compared with 3.5 hours for desktops less than threeyears old.4The other important consideration in addressing higheravailability is in security. Newer PCs are less susceptible tovirus and malware attacks and are protected with importantsecurity features such as hardware-based data encryption,intrusion protection and factory-installed anti-virus protection.Desktops and laptops equipped with Intel vPro technology provide higheravailability through a number of features that help prevent unauthorized access andenable IT to remotely isolate and repair an infected PC across the network.While the actual cost saving of higher availability is harder to quantify, thereality is that downtime is prohibitively expensive: A single minute of data centerdowntime costs $5,600 per minute, according to research from the PonemonInstitute.5So, if you have single infected endpoint device that impacts your entirenetwork, the risks to your organization could be considerable.Plan strategically for migrations.By keeping current on your refresh cycles and taking a strategic approachto lifecycle management, you will find that it is much less complex andtime consuming to deal with a major migration, such as the current migrationto Windows 7 and the pending migration to Windows 8, which is already on thehorizon for many mid-size businesses. With any migration, it isimportant to incorporate the latest technology to deliver theperformance and memory that will be demanded by the newoperating system and applications.Another important piece of the migration strategy is to havein place technology and processes that help to automate andsimplify migrations with minimal downtime. For example,customers using Dell Services to plan migrations have beenable to use automated processes to reduce desk-side setuptime by an average of 88 percent while saving up to 55 percent on associated ITlabor costs.6Provide the right device for the right worker.As businesses become more agile and workers become more mobile, itis imperative that organizations make sure each user is equipped with adevice that maximizes performance and productivity. You don’t want workers doingsophisticated animation or product drawings on your older desktops, and you wantto enhance the efficiency of your most mobile workers.In addition, it is important to consider the impact ofvirtualization and cloud computing on worker productivity,for end users as well as for IT management and staff. There isno doubt that a hardware refresh will have a positive impacton your cloud deployments, whether for private, public orhybrid clouds. One of the benefits of virtualization and cloudcomputing is enhanced business agility and utilizing newerdesktops and laptops will enable you to set up users muchmore quickly in cloud environments through simplified provisioning.You will also be able to use automation and centralized management tools tokeep cloud users current on all patches and security fixes. All of this will enableyou to scale new applications more rapidly, and get new business services up andrunning faster.In addition, all of the previously mentioned benefits will make your clouddeployments more successful as well, from better performance to improvedsecurity to higher availability of devices and applications.ConclusionAs businesses move into a new eradefined by enhanced mobility andbusiness agility, it is critical thattechnology is an enabler and not aroadblock. Trying to save money byextending the lifecycle of desktops andPCs can have just the opposite effect asdesired—not only creating higher totalcost of ownership over the long term,but putting your organization more atrisk for security breaches and costlydowntime.There is a strong business case tobe made for strategically managingand, when appropriate, acceleratingtraditional PC refresh cycles. Thebusiness case is built around:• TCO• business agility• improved security,• enhanced reliability and uptime• gains in worker and IT productivity• simplified migrations• the ability to enhance efficiency byproviding the right device for the rightworkerThe opportunities to take advantageof strategic refresh cycles are at hand:Now is the time to start making thecase for PC refresh cycles that makesense for today’s computing paradigm.3451How To Reduce Your PC TCO 30% in 2011,Gartner, Inc., March 20092A White Paper: Cost of Maintaining PCs,Techaisle, 20093Understanding the Cost of Data CenterDowntime, Ponemon Institute, 20114A White Paper: Cost of Maintaining PCs,Techaisle, 20095Using Total Cost of Ownership To DetermineOptimal PC Refresh Cycles, WiproTechnologies, March 20096IDC White Paper sponsored by Dell, Dell PCOptimized Deployment Model, Document#223437, June 2010. IDC found that acompany with optimized practices in alldeployment activities would spend $337 less(55 percent) in IT labor per PC than a companyexecuting each activity at the basic level.Downtime cutby 1.5 hourswith desktopsless than 3years oldDesk-side setuptime reducedby 88%, with55% $ savingson IT laborScale newapplicationsfaster, newbusiness servicesavailable quickly