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The complete guide to device lifecycle management in 2024

IT managers juggle many responsibilities, including managing IT equipment throughout its entire lifespan. It's a full-time job to oversee devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones from the moment they are acquired until it's time to dispose of them.

Device lifecycle management (DLM) software simplifies these tasks, making IT admins' lives easier. This process helps the IT department and the business by maximizing the value of company assets while minimizing management costs.

Enterprise asset management, a multibillion-dollar global market, is projected to grow at a 9.8% compound annual rate through 2028. This growth highlights how crucial device lifecycle management is in optimizing company resources.

Effective device lifecycle management is essential for businesses to thrive in 2024. It ensures devices are tracked, costs are managed, and compliance is maintained. This guide covers everything you need to know about device lifecycle management and how it can benefit your business.


What is device lifecycle management?

Device lifecycle management (DLM) is a comprehensive approach to managing the entire lifespan of an organization's devices, from acquisition to disposal. This process includes planning, procurement, provisioning, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of devices such as laptop and desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices. By systematically overseeing these stages, businesses can ensure that their devices are always up-to-date, secure, and cost-effective.


lifecycle management


The importance of device lifecycle management for businesses cannot be overstated. Effective device lifecycle management helps organizations maximize the value of their IT assets while minimizing costs. It provides visibility into device inventory, usage patterns, and performance, enabling better decision-making and resource optimization. DLM also ensures compliance with data privacy and security regulations, reducing the risk of data breaches and legal issues.

Implementing a robust asset management strategy for the entire device lifespan is essential in today's technology-driven world, where IT assets play a critical role in daily operations. Maintaining a well-managed and secure fleet of devices enhances efficiency, boosts employee productivity, and supports business continuity.


What are the 5 stages of device lifecycle management?

Device lifecycle management is typically organized into five key stages, each crucial for maintaining an efficient and secure environment for your enterprise devices. The five stages of the asset management lifecycle are:


device lifecycle stages


Device planning: Setting up for success

The first phase, device planning, involves assessing your organization's device requirements and forecasting future needs. Conducting a thorough audit of your current device inventory helps identify gaps and ensure new devices are available when needed. This approach prevents shortages and avoids duplicate purchases, setting the stage for successful asset management.

Device procurement: Acquiring the right devices

In the procurement stage, businesses acquire the necessary devices by selecting reliable vendors and negotiating favorable contracts. This stage requires careful consideration of operating systems, security applications, and cost-effectiveness to meet the organization’s needs. Establishing strong relationships with multiple vendors can lead to better deals and lower costs. Learn how to set up your IT procurement strategy here.

Device provisioning: Configuring and deploying devices

Provisioning involves setting up devices with the necessary software, security applications, and user-specific settings. This phase is critical for mobile device lifecycle management, ensuring that devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones are configured correctly. Proper provisioning enhances device security, ensures data privacy, and prepares devices for immediate employee use.

Device maintenance: Ongoing support and updates

Regular maintenance is essential to keep devices running smoothly throughout their complete lifecycle. This phase includes installing software updates, performing device repairs, and conducting security checks. The ongoing process of maintaining efficiency and preventing security breaches are key aspects of this phase. By keeping devices up to date, businesses can mitigate risks and extend device lifespans.

Device decommissioning and recycling: Securely retiring devices

When devices reach the end of their useful life, they must be securely retired through the device decommissioning phase. This involves secure disposal methods such as data wiping and responsible recycling, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and data security standards. Properly decommissioning devices helps protect sensitive data and supports sustainable asset management practices. Learn how to dispose of old IT equipment here.


What are the types of device lifecycle management?

Device lifecycle management encompasses various strategies tailored to manage different types of devices within an organization. The two primary types are mobile device lifecycle management and IoT device lifecycle management.

Mobile device lifecycle management

Mobile device lifecycle management focuses on managing mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This type of device management is essential for ensuring the efficiency and security of devices that employees use remotely or on the go. It includes every stage from procurement to disposal.

Effective mobile device lifecycle management enhances employee productivity by ensuring devices are correctly configured and maintained throughout their lifecycle. This involves regular software updates, repairs, and implementing security protocols to protect sensitive data. It also includes mobile device management (MDM) solutions that provide centralized control over all devices, facilitating seamless inventory management and ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations.

IoT device lifecycle management

IoT device lifecycle management focuses on managing IoT devices like printers, smart TVs, building security systems, and other interconnected equipment. IoT, or Internet of Things, devices often transmit data and interact with the broader IT infrastructure, making their management complex and critical for business operations.

Managing the lifecycle management of IoT devices involves ensuring operational efficiency and addressing unique security risks. IoT device lifecycle management includes careful planning, procurement, provisioning, and maintenance tailored to the specific needs of these devices. This also means implementing stringent configurations and regular updates to mitigate security threats.

IoT devices require a robust device lifecycle management strategy to ensure they function optimally and securely throughout their complete lifecycle. By doing so, businesses can achieve cost savings and enhance asset performance, ultimately providing more value and supporting overall business operations.

Both types of device lifecycle management are integral to maintaining a secure and efficient IT infrastructure. They ensure that all devices, whether mobile or IoT, are managed effectively to support the organization’s goals.


What are the challenges of device lifecycle management?

Device lifecycle management involves several challenges that organizations must address to ensure effective device management. Key areas of concern include procurement, inventory management, compliance, security, and cost effectiveness.


mobile device lifecycle management


  • Procurement
    Device procurement can be a complex task, involving negotiating contracts with multiple vendors and ensuring the timely delivery of new devices. Organizations must balance cost-effectiveness with the need for high-quality devices. This requires careful planning and device inventory audits to prevent duplicate purchases and ensure devices are available when a new employee starts, or another device breaks down.

  • Inventory management
    Managing a diverse IT fleet that includes mobile and IoT devices is a daunting task. Tracking usage patterns and maintaining an accurate device inventory is essential for efficient operations. Effective inventory management systems are needed to monitor device status and performance and ensure all devices are up to date.

  • Compliance
    Compliance with data privacy and security regulations is a critical aspect of device lifecycle management. Ensuring all devices meet legal standards for data security and disposal is essential. Organizations must implement robust security protocols and conduct regular audits to avoid penalties and maintain compliance.

  • Security
    Security is a major concern in device lifecycle management. Protecting sensitive data from breaches requires implementing rigorous configurations and regularly rolling out updates. Organizations must address security risks at every phase of the device lifecycle to safeguard company data and maintain a secure IT infrastructure.

  • Cost optimization
    Effective cost optimization involves balancing expenses related to procurement, maintenance, and disposal of devices. Organizations must seek savings by optimizing resource allocation and avoiding unnecessary expenditures. This includes planning for repairs, replacing devices in bad shape, and disposing of assets that reach their end of life to maximize their value.

By addressing these challenges, organizations can implement a robust device lifecycle management strategy that enhances productivity, ensures compliance, and supports overall business operations.


What are the benefits of device lifecycle management?

Device lifecycle management ensures that assets are used effectively throughout their entire lifecycle. This granular oversight offers numerous benefits for organizations. Here are some of the benefits of device lifecycle management:


device lifecycle management strategy


Greater efficiency and productivity

Implementing a robust device lifecycle management strategy streamlines device management processes, from procurement to secure disposal. This results in fewer disruptions and smoother operations. Efficient management ensures that mobile devices and enterprise devices are always ready for use. By reducing the time spent on manual processes, employees can focus on their core tasks, leading to higher productivity and efficiency across the organization.

Improved visibility

A comprehensive device lifecycle management approach provides better visibility into device inventory and usage patterns. By tracking asset performance and repairs, organizations can make informed decisions about device planning and replacement schedules. This visibility helps maintain a well-managed device fleet and ensures its optimal utilization. Detailed insights into operating systems, software versions, and device health allow for proactive management and timely interventions, preventing potential issues before they impact operations.

Improved asset utilization

By monitoring and analyzing how devices are used, businesses can identify underutilized assets and reallocate them where they are needed most. This efficient use of resources reduces waste and ensures that devices are used to their full potential, leading to significant savings. Organizations can better manage their device lifecycles, ensuring every asset is used efficiently from deployment to retirement.

Cost savings

Effective lifecycle management helps organizations optimize costs by preventing unnecessary expenditures on new devices and reducing procurement costs. By avoiding duplicate purchases and implementing timely repairs, businesses can extend the lifespan of their devices and get more value from their investments. Additionally, leveraging economies of scale and negotiating better terms with vendors can lead to further cost savings. Predictive maintenance and inventory management also help reduce unexpected expenses, ensuring a more stable and predictable budget.

Access to expert support

Partnering with a mobile device management or IoT device lifecycle management provider ensures access to expert support. These providers offer comprehensive management systems that handle everything from security features to software updates. Having access to expert support reduces the burden on internal IT teams and ensures that any issues are promptly addressed. This expert assistance can be particularly valuable during critical stages such as device provisioning, deployment, and decommissioning.

Improved employee experience

A well-implemented device lifecycle management strategy enhances the end-user experience by ensuring employees have reliable, secure devices when needed. This leads to a more productive and satisfied workforce. Organizations can foster a positive work environment and improve productivity by maintaining a consistent and well-managed device lifecycle. Employees benefit from fewer technical issues, faster support responses, and access to the latest technology, all of which contribute to higher job satisfaction and engagement.


What to consider when choosing a DLM solution?

Selecting the right device lifecycle management solution is crucial for optimizing your organization’s assets. Here are key factors to consider:


lifecycle management strategy


  • Compatibility
    Ensure the solution is compatible with all the operating systems and mobile devices used in your organization. This includes desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices. Compatibility ensures seamless integration and functionality across your entire fleet.

  • Features
    Look for comprehensive features that cover all aspects of device management. Essential features include procurement, device security, software updates, device repairs, and secure disposal. Advanced features might include real-time device inventory tracking, automated security configurations, and remote management capabilities.

  • Integrations
    The chosen solution should integrate smoothly with your existing management systems and other business applications. Consider solutions that offer open APIs or pre-built integrations with popular software tools used in your organization.

  • Hidden costs or add-ons
    Be wary of hidden costs or additional fees that might not be apparent upfront. These can include costs for additional features, support services, or scaling up the solution as your fleet grows. Ensure you clearly understand all potential expenses to avoid budget overruns.

  • Scalability
    Select a solution that can scale with your organization’s growth. This includes managing a larger number of devices, supporting new types of devices, and accommodating more complex device lifecycle management strategies as your needs evolve. Scalability ensures the solution remains effective as your business expands, maximizing value over time.

Choosing the right device lifecycle management solution involves careful consideration of compatibility, features, integrations, costs, and scalability. By evaluating these factors, you can ensure that the chosen solution meets your organization’s needs, enhances employee productivity, and supports effective business activity.


How GroWrk handles your device lifecycle management

GroWrk offers comprehensive device lifecycle management services, ensuring efficient handling of your organization’s devices from procurement to disposal. Our services cover all stages of device lifecycle management, including procurement, provisioning, maintenance, and decommissioning.



Comprehensive device lifecycle services

GroWrk’s platform simplifies device management by providing a centralized solution for tracking and managing devices. We handle everything from procurement and shipping to retrieving and recycling devices, ensuring compliance with security and environmental regulations. Our services are designed to maximize cost savings and improve operational efficiency.

Device procurement and provisioning

GroWrk simplifies the procurement of new devices through a global network of trusted vendors. We ensure timely delivery and proper setup, including integration with MDM systems. Our platform supports various operating systems and security configurations available from a centralized location.

Maintenance and support

Our services include regular software updates, device repairs, and ongoing support to keep your fleet in optimal condition. We provide IT support via GroWbot, our 24/7 AI-powered IT help desk, reducing the burden on your internal IT team and ensuring any issues are addressed swiftly.

Decommissioning and secure disposal

When devices reach the end of their useful life, GroWrk ensures their secure decommissioning and responsible disposal. We handle device retrievals, data wiping, recycling, and compliance with environmental regulations, protecting your organization from potential security risks and ensuring data privacy.



The GroWrk advantage

Learn how GroWrk has provided device lifecycle management solutions for global teams:


Case study: Mobile marketplace company saves hours in onboarding and solves device retrieval challenges


lifecycle management for OfferUp


OfferUp, a leading mobile marketplace in the U.S., faced challenges in equipping its Latin-American based contractor support. The company's main struggle was finding vendors who could source and deliver ABM-enrolled devices to local contractors in the country.

GroWrk streamlined their equipment management system, ensuring reliable device delivery and retrieval. This solution reduced contractor onboarding times and recouped significant costs due to improved equipment recovery.

Read the full case study here.


Case study: Software company seamlessly scaled and set up talent in Latin America



Orium, a global software studio, transitioned to a remote-first policy and needed a reliable solution to provide equipment to its Latin American hires. Orium's main challenge was finding local vendors to deliver equipment on time and give new hires a great onboarding experience.

GroWrk managed the procurement, management, taxes, shipping, and recovery of IT equipment across multiple countries, allowing Orium to increase its remote workforce and enhance their end-user experience.

Read more about Orium's success with GroWrk.

GroWrk’s device lifecycle management strategy offers significant benefits, including enhanced asset utilization, cost optimization, and improved compliance. By managing the entire lifecycle of your IT assets, we help you achieve greater efficiency, reduce stress on your IT team, and support your organization’s growth. Our services ensure that devices are managed effectively, providing a seamless experience for your employees.

To learn how you can improve device management and maximize your assets' lifespan, schedule a call with one of our product specialists.

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