Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Lifecycle Management lessons from the spring thaw

4/14/2022 by Patrick Schmidt

As I have mentioned in other posts, I live in Minnesota and enjoy what feels like nine months of winter every year. Ok, so logically I know it is not that long, but it sure feels like it when July is the ONLY month since 1815 that has not seen white flakes falling from the sky in the North Star State.

This past winter seemed especially tiring not because it was so cold (you can read about that here). Rather, it was because every few weeks we would get just above freezing and thought Spring was right around the corner. Not so. Each time we then plunged back into the single digits or teens for a few days. This tiring cycle continued into late March when we were as low as 12 degrees on the 26th.

We are now moving steadily upward. A combination of increasing temperatures and cold spring rains has revealed the soggy earth below. Currently, my yard is a mangled mess of fallen leaves and tree branches that have been there since before the snow first fell on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Why is my property such a disaster? Bad timing and misplaced priorities.

The week before, we had some brisk wind gusts move through the Twin Cities and it brought down not only the remaining leaves, but many substantial branches. I had a couple of days to clean up the mess but postponed it thinking Saturday would be a better day. It wasn’t. It snowed, mashing everything to the ground until just two weeks ago.

Now I have a serious mess to clean up and it might be even worse as the famous April showers are now coming down. As puddles form I am waiting again, but not because I want to. I just wonder how much longer it will take me to clear my yard than it would have in the fall.

Sometimes, managing asset and service lifecycles can be very much like my mushy turf conundrum. A combination of bad timing and competing priorities can hide a lurking problem.

As I know the typical IT administrator has not seen a 40-hour work week in many years, priorities get shuffled to the most important thing at a given moment. Combining regular duties with the frequent “drive-by” requests for a variety of tasks can often push lifecycle tasks to the bottom of the to-do list. Why? Because if the asset is operating normally, there’s no problem, right?

Not so fast… What happens if there is a failure? The problem could be bigger than we can imagine if a system is mistakenly uncovered by a service agreement. Access to replacement parts, configuration advice, and software updates is crucial in today’s complex environments.

Let’s say an organization is operating a firewall or other security appliance that requires regular updates to fight off malicious attacks from the internet. And let’s assume that the renewal of the support subscription was somehow “missed”, and updates have not been applied. Now there is an exposure that can threaten the security of an entire enterprise. Sound far-fetched? It’s not. Just ask anyone who had to deal with the Log4j exploit last year.

Now, more than ever, it's critical to take the time necessary to accurately record, monitor, and maintain your infrastructure before an unexpected event. And we realize you are busy, but we can lighten the burden on your own staff with our Technology Lifecycle Management Review.

Our lifecycle management experts can help you understand the details regarding your current coverage programs and services. We take the time to methodically analyze inventory reports, service levels, coverage locations, and contract terms. We will collaborate with your team to Identify and prioritize the challenges of your current IT infrastructure support model and define your optimized support program.

To find out more about LRS IT Solutions and the Technology Lifecycle Management Review, contact us and we will be in touch. After all, we could all use a little help sometimes. By the way, I’m looking for help cleaning up my yard. Any volunteers out there?

Patrick Schmidt is a Technology Lifecycle Management Specialist with LRS IT Solutions. For more than 23 years, he has been helping customers get a firm grasp on their asset and contract management with a combination of comprehensive service level analysis and lifecycle management best practices.