Guidelines for a Successful Tech Refresh

What is a Tech Refresh?

For better or worse, the technology equipment used by businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and more, doesn’t last forever. So it is the job of IT departments to make sure that their organizations’ infrastructure, employee hardware and software are all refreshed when needed. Refresh cycle times vary based on how long each type and piece of equipment will last. So before reaching the point that tech becomes outdated or unusable, IT departments must have an efficient and effective plan in place to provide current technology to keep operations running without disruption. This is what we call a tech refresh plan.

Staying ahead of outdated technology is ever more crucial now that most organizations are implementing some version of a hybrid or holistic “work from home” or remote working policy. With this increase of remote workers, IT departments are tasked with providing, servicing and managing more devices than ever before. With a refresh focus, businesses and schools will be able to ensure that independent of where employees or students are located they have the quality and quantity of devices they require to be productive.

Not sure where to start? To create a tech refresh plan, the following tips and guidelines will help IT departments ensure all requirements and key considerations are addressed.

Here are 5 Guidelines to Consider when Planning a Tech Refresh

Properly Asset Tag Your End-User Devices

Before you do anything, tag your hardware. You’ll need to keep track of all your business-related equipment so that you’ll know how to build your plan. We recommend using a centralized system so that all information is easily accessible in one place. At Insight Financial Services (IFS), we offer our clients our proprietary asset management software called AMOS. This allows users to define fields within the AMOS software to easily tag and keep track of all their owned assets as well as those that may be under lease.

Start Your Refresh Planning Early

The next important step is planning. Begin preparing for your technology refresh 12 months prior to the any leases you may have in place. You’ll need to identify not only what tech must be replaced or upgraded, but which assets need to be retrieved from end users, and when. IFS customers enjoy a simplified process with notifications within the AMOS software. And for added support and guidance, IFS representatives work closely with you to explain details, share ideas, and develop strong and efficient planning strategies.

Don’t Forget About Self-Insurance

As you create your plan, carefully review your specific end-of-lease terms and build in a small additional reserve of equipment that can be used for hot swaps, teachers or students that have forgotten their machines at home, or other needs. Having extra devices on hand can also be important at the end of the contract. While some lessors require the return of original serial numbered equipment, IFS offers its leasing customers the ability to exchange like-kind hardware. So, when a piece of equipment has been damaged or lost, you can draw from your additional reserve and return another device in its place. This approach gives you insurance that will help you throughout the year and set you up to be successful at the end of the contract.

Always Plan For Data Wiping

Prior to the refresh, and before shipping out any returning assets, make sure all drives are wiped. To protect your data, check that all passwords are completely de-activated and that all devices have been unregistered to the company. Some independent and full-service leasing companies such as IFS can perform data wiping on all returning hardware as an added service.

Consider A Centralized Shipping Center

Finally, to ensure a successful tech refresh, especially when dealing with laptops, desktops, and accessories, if possible, transport your assets to a centralized location before sending them onto the lessor. Sending all your tech to one location like your headquarters first, helps you to track all hardware items and reduce damage costs. And making one large shipment to your lessor provides you with economies of scale that help you to save on per unit freight cost. If you work with a service-focused lessor like IFS, you may be able to take advantage of end-of-term concierge services that can help to support this strategy.

A tech refresh can seem overwhelming, but with these guidelines and tools to help you along the way, you can create a manageable program that keeps your organization running smoothly that keeps your IT infrastructure running smoothly with consistently up-to-date equipment.

IFS offers IT Refresh structures designed to ensure and execute the future refresh of your end-user devices and overall IT infrastructure. IFS makes the IT refresh process easier with a predictable and sustainable monthly expense and offers the flexibility to return, extend or purchase your equipment at the end of the lease.

For more information on how IFS can help you create a refresh program that meets all your needs, contact us today. 

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Andy brings nearly 20 years of experience in the technology leasing industry. He has provided technology leasing solutions to several Fortune 500 companies, regional health systems, school districts, law firms and physician group practices. Over the past two years, Andy has been the top volume producer at IFS in helping organizations build a sustainable refresh strategy on a predictable budget. The IFS solution is customer focused and built on a platform that provides complete transparency and communication throughout and beyond the life of the lease. As an IT leasing thought leader, Andy has been a speaker at the following conferences: ACPE Northwest (Association for Computer Professionals in Education), OCCIT (Oregon Community College IT Association), and the RTM CIO Congress. Andy has also been featured in magazines such as Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Magazine and Toggle Magazine. On the personal side, Andy is continually active in his local soccer programs. Andy has been married for 15 years to Lisa and they have three children, Rylan, Lucca and Dane.