In your IT Infrastructure, it is inevitable that at some point an OEM will declare a hardware device “End of Life” (EOL). EOL refers to the date after which technical support either in the form of telephone or on-site labor, or spare parts, or both is no longer available to the product owner. In unique cases where manufacturer support may still be possible to obtain, customers requesting it are often charged a premium for services provided after the EOL support date with limited service options. This presents many challenges to your IT department, but in many cases, you need not be leveraged into a CAPEX decision.
Just because your IT investments are nearing it’s EOL, it doesn’t mean that you are obligated to retire the functional equipment for an upgraded version. In fact, extending the use of technology past the end of life support date, in certain instances, can present considerable advantages to your enterprise. Your investment has more life than the OEMs would have you believe.
Why you should consider using EOL products in your IT Infrastructure
If your IT Infrastructure is stable and performing well, and you plan no major OS or application changes, EOL support can deliver:
- Stable and proven IT Infrastructure performance
- Avoidance of the risk of upgrade, transition, conversion, etc.
- Avoidance of the risk of OS and application compatibility
- Reduced pressure on CAPEX
- Lowered OPEX through alternative support programs for EOL
Why you may not have a choice on an EOL decision
There are instances where the EOL decision is not in play – you simply have no choice.
- OS or application changes require a hardware upgrade
- Critical features or functions may be available only on new hardware
- Merger and acquisition activity requires level-setting hardware configurations
- New clients require level-setting hardware configurations
Considering some of the challenges of implementing new technology
Upgraded equipment may have new functionality and manufacturer support, but it also often requires the IT department to undertake a large, complex reintegration project to activate. New hardware could entail expensive integration to become operational with existing firmware, software, and other hardware in the network. These implementation projects may be lengthy and could cause interruptions in service to internal and external customers.
The unpredictability of project management timelines was recently revealed in a study by PMI, which showed that for every $1 billion invested in the US, an additional $122 million was wasted due to lacking project performance.
A similar study by Geneca showed that in technology, specifically that 75% of IT departments believe their projects are ‘doomed right from the start.’ 80% of respondents said that they spend half of their time on rework, and only 23% said that they are in agreement with upper management on when a project is truly complete.
Upgrading to a newer version of equipment may also result in hidden costs. Sometimes, there are significant costs associated with transferring the licenses associated with existing product agreements; at other times, a company may be faced with additional consultancy fees associated with the implementation and support of upgraded equipment.
Your EOL support decision
If you decide to employ an EOL support strategy in your IT Infrastructure, you can get more life out of your CAPEX and lower your OPEX by employing the services of a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) provider. The TPM business was launched 50+ years ago as a cost-effective alternative to OEMs. While the major TPMs today support emerging, current-state and EOL products, their value proposition is firmly rooted in EOL.
A TPM like Maintech, with a broad scope of products in its portfolio, a proven service delivery infrastructure and a growing international reach, can enable longer life from your capital investment, lower your OPEX costs and provide many years of reliable, confident service to your organization.
In summary, the decision to employ EOL is yours to make and should not be determined by a date set by an OEM. Through the use of a qualified TPM company, you have cost-effective, quality options for the continued support of your EOL products.