From Overwhelming Obsolscence To Effective Lifecycle Management


Lisa was working on her masterplan for the coming year. She was bringing together all proposals from her teams. As CTO, she knew she needed to identify clusters of initiatives and,, importantly,ntly, explain “why” she was proposing them.

Looking at the project proposals, she quickly realized that more than 50% were lifecycle projects, mostly on assets that had software or hardware already in end-of-support.

She was frustrated: the more she invested in upgrades, the higher the debt mountain looked like and more efforts she needed to pour in instead of building new capabilities.

Yes, vendors were doing huge businesses by shortening support windows, but she had to admit this wasn’t the root cause of the problem.

“I need to bring change here,” she admitted. “Quickly.”

She stopped her review, took her notebook, and started to write down all the impediments to faster lifecycle management.

Her list was becoming longer and longer…The following morning she called a meeting with her team to illustrate how they would manage assets obsolesce from that day on.

Lisa, in this fictional story, isn’t alone. I bet many tech leaders struggle with this issue too. I do.

Sure, vendors are shortening support windows, but the critical point lies in your processes.

In my experience, critical success factors to effectively manage IT assets lifecycle are migration velocity, limiting tech debt increase and prioritizing by risk level. The following questions help:

  • How do you define when a specific version becomes unsupported by your team, not the vendor?
  • Are your standards in terms of versioning defined and maintained or each asset? How do you ensure compliance?
  • Are you managing minor versions upgrades too?
  • How decoupling is a proper priority for your team and the whole IT?
  • Is your obsolescence management approach based on risk? How do you evaluate these risks? Which mitigation do you consider when prioritizing?
  • How do you balance past investments valorization versus new versions/solutions?
  • Are you leveraging new versions features and prioritizing the increase of migration speed?