2023 Federal Tech Trends: Device Lifecycle Management Helps Compliance

2023 Federal Tech Trends: Device Lifecycle Management Helps Compliance

Establish a holistic view of all devices

Device lifecycle management helps agencies by cataloging the smallest details of every device in an agency environment. Device lifecycle management can also be part of a larger IT asset management system that includes software and network equipment.

It’s a key tool for CIOs to know where each device is in its lifecycle and when it might be time to upgrade or decommission an asset.

When it comes to compliance, device lifecycle management lets CIOs know where agency information resides and how it’s protected.

“One of the most important things is to consider safety throughout the life cycle,” says Fraser. “We still think of things as safe after the fact. We put it in there, and by the way, let’s make it safe. We cannot do this.

“As IT leaders, we have to think about everything we build, from the moment it appears in our brain, we have to plan what security is for this architecture,” he says. “We have to think about the security implications.”

Device lifecycle conversations often revolve around software because, as Fraser points out, “a device’s lifecycle is a software lifecycle,” and keeping them up to date is “a never-ending perspective.”

Process and policy are at the heart of IT asset management, blog David Comings and Randy Coughlin of CDW. “They can provide detection of unauthorized or malicious downloads on the network and help automate security and compliance practices.”

RESEARCH: Federal agencies are leading other industries in implementing zero trust.

Consider device management costs

Finance can be a limiting factor when creating a device lifecycle management system. The agency must consider the cost of acquiring new devices and the cost of managing them, including security and compliance efforts.

On the one hand, using devices for longer periods reduces the total cost of ownership, but increases the energy and resources of the IT team to manage them.

“The longer you hold on to devices, the more types of things you are likely to support—the more varieties of desktop models or laptop models, the larger and more diverse mobile phone platforms and operating system versions will be. And every time you deal with it, you complicate what you manage,” says Scott Buchholz, CTO of Deloitte’s government and community services practice.

“Who will manage them? Is it the same group if it’s a desktop or laptop as it is for a phone or tablet? Buchholz continues. “It can be a real pain because it’s not just about keeping them up to date, but also fixing them when they break, maintaining them and so on.”

On the other hand, limiting the lifecycle of devices will reduce the amount of time the IT team spends managing those devices, but may increase costs as devices are updated more frequently.

“How important is it for an employee to have a laptop no older than two or three years? Does it matter that it’s five?” Buchholz says. “What is the value of owning equipment and maintaining equipment compared to renting equipment for a period of time, knowing that they depreciate assets, knowing that updated life cycles are what they are?

“That’s the challenge of leadership: making sure you balance the pros and cons of these different areas,” he says.

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