Below, we’ll review why solutions reach their EOL and how to handle them when that time comes.
Why Do Solutions Have an End-of-Life?
Let’s put it this way: When was the last time you dialed a rotary phone? Do you still use a horse-and-buggy to get around? How many of your daily records are literally carved in stone?
As the technology we use has developed and improved, there has always been an “out with the old, in with the new” attitude. Each of those technologies was once cutting-edge, the pinnacle of human ingenuity. However, as we’ve innovated, these approaches were phased out - and it is only happening faster and faster.
We can probably agree that, in terms of productivity, a faster, more comprehensive solution is better than a slower, less comprehensive one.
Furthermore, we should also agree that our technology itself has improved greatly. The same computing power that once required an entire room to house it can now fit comfortably in our pockets and operate at much greater speeds. Now, think about which is more effective for us to use: a roomful of technology capable of processing a, b, and c, or a roomful of technology processing eight different alphabets in their entirety?
The same principle can be seen in automobiles. After many decades of inventors developing a self-propelled vehicle powered by an engine, the first “actual” automobile was built in 1885 by Karl Benz. It took another fifteen years to introduce the steering wheel (replacing a tiller), and twenty-four after that to add the radio into the vehicle. It wasn’t until 1958 that most cars even featured seatbelts, and it took until 1970 for them to be a front-seat requirement anywhere.
Consider what our cars are capable of doing now, driving themselves, connecting to space for ‘radio’ services, and effectively yelling if someone’s seatbelt isn’t engaged. Benz’s automobile wouldn’t be near street-legal today, because upgrades have made cars better and safer - much like upgrades can do for your business technology.
How to Approach Your Business IT
Of course, there is no need to wait until something has reached its EOL to upgrade it, but the same process applies either way. This process can essentially be broken into three parts:
Evaluation: Looking at your IT from a big-picture perspective, you need to consider a few things. How do you want your business to progress, and is your technology sufficient to accommodate that progress? Maintaining an inventory of your technology will help in this regard, as well as assist you in tracking which upgrades are coming up.
Emphasis: Once you have some perspective on your business technology as a whole, you need to focus on what needs to be done on a micro-scale, and if the budget for it exists. Are equipment overhauls needed, and can you finance them? How many opportunities are being missed by upgrading one solution over another? How close is the solution’s EOL, is it under warranty, and is it preventing you from pursuing another business goal?
Execution: Once you’ve determined where your greatest needs are and how you can effectively budget them, it’s time to do it. Depending on your situation, this may mean completing an upgrade process in its entirety, or proactively weighing options in preparation of a future endeavor.
Whether you’re facing an EOL event or your solutions just can’t support your needs any longer, reach out to Eclipse Integrated Systems for assistance. We can help you strategize your updates and upgrades, and use our industry connections to facilitate them. Call us at 800-340-0505 today!