1. Make the Investment in Quality Devices for Higher Ed Staff
One obvious way to keep devices from meeting the end of their useful life is to extend their lifespan. Spending a few extra dollars up front for high-quality, well-equipped devices can be a smart, long-term investment that pays off down the road.
Joseph Moreau, a 30-year technology veteran and former vice chancellor of technology and CTO for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California, says during his time there the district purchased mainly Dell and Apple devices that he knew were “going to live a long, healthy life.”
“Don’t buy cheap stuff to begin with,” Moreau says. “Buy quality hardware from reputable manufacturers with specifications that may be a little more than most people need right now. We’ve known for years and years that people always run out of memory, they always run out of storage, and they often run out of processing capability.”
Devices that need to be replaced more often not only contribute to device graveyards but also take significantly more time and effort from IT teams who must retire the old devices and prepare the new ones — the less frequently that has to happen, the better.
In the same vein, Moreau also suggested using application virtualization as much as possible to limit the stress placed on devices. By using browser-based software, he says, a broader range of devices are able to tolerate those applications.
Moreau, who now works as an executive consultant for Higher Digital, also recommended spending a little extra money for device warranties — again, with the long view in mind. While warranties add to the initial cost of a device, Moreau says his institutions “almost always got that money back” as devices needed to be repaired.
“We tried to make investments strategically to get the greatest return on investment with the lowest total cost of ownership for end-user devices,” he says.