Apr 28 2023

How Can K–12 IT Teams Manage All Stages of the Device Lifecycle?

Services help districts handle hardware with ease, from planning and purchasing conversations to options for device retirement.

Lifecycle services for devices start as soon as districts consider making a purchase. The experts at CDW can help administrators and IT decision-makers early in the planning process. These services can benefit all teams, no matter their size or expertise. CDW delivers white glove services to make managing the device lifecycle easier at every stage.

Making a device purchase, especially for one-to-one programs, can require the assistance of numerous district teams. Without the help of a services team, these deployments can bring all other work to a halt while schools work to get devices into the right hands. Even after devices are distributed, the work of managing a new device ecosystem can require major bandwidth from IT teams and educators. Plus, schools must consider where devices will end up after they are no longer usable.

For all of these reasons, it’s important to start conversations with services partners as early as possible. There are many services for schools that can reduce the headache of purchasing several thousand devices for students and staff.

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Prepare for the Device Lifecycle Before Deployment

Before making a big purchase, schools should consider a few questions about their device plans:

  • How are they funding the purchase?
  • Are they purchasing or leasing devices?
  • What type of devices do they need?
  • Who are the end users, and what capabilities do they need in their devices?

Answering to these questions will help leaders make informed decisions about their device programs. Working with the team at CDW can help district leaders determine whether they need different devices for different classes and grade levels. It can help schools think through whether they want to purchase tablets or laptops for users in lower grades.

Properly planning in the pre-deployment phase can set up schools for success throughout the device lifecycle. It can also help them prepare for known challenges, like the impending “funding cliff.”

Make the Deployment Process Painless and Efficient

When purchasing thousands of student devices, IT teams don’t want to spend time configuring each device. Imaging services can help these departments ensure devices are loaded up with the necessary applications right out of the box.

To further the readiness of these devices upon receipt, they can be enrolled in the district’s system, ensuring that they’ll connect to the school’s network when users first turn them on.

Schools also can opt for services such as laser engraving and asset tagging. This helps with asset management after devices are distributed to end users. Taking these steps before the devices ever arrive at schools gives IT departments peace of mind that the tech is ready to go when needed.

DIVE DEEPER: How can asset tagging save school districts money?

When it comes to boxes, schools have options including green packaging and refuse removal services, saving them the headache of disposing of trash from thousands of devices.

Other deployment options, like last-mile delivery services, are particularly beneficial for schools that don’t have the space to coordinate pickups at central locations. Planning for the delivery and storage of thousands of devices can cause chaos for a school that’s unprepared. If devices have already been configured for students and staff, they can be delivered directly to those users instead.

Maintain and Manage Thousands of K–12 Devices with Ease

Once devices are in the hands of end users, CDW’s partners can help schools with device management tools that help IT teams see where devices are, who’s using them and how they’re being used. This information is aggregated onto a single dashboard that makes it easy to keep track of these assets.

Services from partners such as Absolute Software can even allow a district to lock a device that’s reported missing. This helps prevent sensitive student data from falling into the wrong hands, and it can encourage whoever finds a device to return it to the school.

CDW partner services are critical when collecting devices at the end of the school year. There are services that handle device collection and refreshing. This includes a physical cleaning, which is frequently necessary after a year in students’ hands, and digital cleaning. Teams can remove unnecessary applications, files and other downloads and delete user profiles.

LEARN MORE: Support your school’s cloud domain with CDW’s AmplifiedTM Services.

Remote device management tools are critical for IT teams to know the Auto Update Expiration date for their device fleets, which can keep them one step ahead of some endpoint security vulnerabilities. Being able to see the age of devices is critical for making budget plans for device refresh cycles.

Transition Seamlessly into New Tech with Device Retirement Options

As devices reach the end of their lifecycle, schools have a few options that won’t leave them with a device graveyard overtaking valuable storage space.

Services available to help schools properly retire their devices include de-installation and physical removal. This ensures any data on the hard drive is cleared before it’s removed from the school.

Electronic recycling is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of devices that many partners offer to districts as a device retirement service. Schools can choose to “e-cycle” to ensure their tech doesn’t end up in landfills.

Whatever services schools choose for device retirement, advance planning ensures that their IT teams won’t need to deal with thousands of outdated devices while simultaneously preparing new devices for incoming students.

This article is part of the “ConnectIT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology” series.

[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology

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