Planned obsolescence is creating problems left and right for IT professionals. It is continuing to burden nearly every step of an IT specialist’s daily functions and will not stop until someone invents the unbreakable, ever-adapting, unhackable computer. However, until then, businesses are scrambling to find financial stability in a technological age where the technology we rely on for small and large operational functions are being built to become obsolete — costing more money to upgrade.
One current alleviation of planned obsolescence is to continually throw money at the problem. This is precisely what fuels the reasons behind planned obsolescence, as once you have upgraded your infrastructure, it is living on borrowed time — becoming more and more obsolete until another upgrade is imperative. Another increasingly popular option is to invest in cloud management services.
Below, we take a look at how planned obsolescence effects IT specialists and how cloud managed services are a viable approach for the uncertainties of technological relevancy.
Consumers and businesses — mainly manufacturers — are at odds as to the effects of planned obsolescence and product lifespan. From a business strategy viewpoint, designing your product to ensure that in a certain amount of time it becomes outdated to the point of unusability is genius, as it ensures the continuity of sales and predictable revenue from brand-loyal customers. As a consumer, it ensures your long monetary entanglement with a company. One recent example is Apple coming under scrutiny for purposely slowing down older iPhones in order to “protect” battery life, affecting performance to the point where consumers were forced to buy new phones.
Planned obsolescence, plainly put, is the concept to build consumer products with regular changes in mind. This quickly renders hardware and software obsolete, as hardware is made out of materials that purposely won’t last and software requires frequent updates — and both can be costly to upgrade.
For an IT specialist, the planned obsolescence debate can be a nightmare. Trying to plan and budget for the unpredictability of the agility of your infrastructure while maintaining a positive user experience and client satisfaction becomes harder with each upgrade required. An unorganized mistake here can cost you dearly. Furthermore, planned obsolescence is affecting every component of your infrastructure — from hardware to metaware. So, how do you provide maintenance and provisioning while maintaining stability in cost effectiveness? Enter cloud computing.
Cloud Management Services & IT Agility
IT organizations are looking to cloud automation for its opportunities for their infrastructures and are finding a solution to the above madness. Cloud management services allow for predictability and adaptability — both valuable properties of infrastructure agility. Cloud computing shoulders some of the burden for IT professionals in offering scalability and adjustability, all while being cost effective. In doing so, cloud services have the capabilities for you to fight planned obsolescence.
Scalability & Elasticity Leading to Cost Effectiveness
Your business capacity needs are rarely set to a constant. Rather, as your business grows or shrinks, your capacity for hardware and software needs to accommodate for business needs. Managing this scalability on-site requires calculating and budgeting for every swing in capacity. With cloud services, a flat, monthly pay-as-you-grow (or shrink) rate is agreed upon. This allows for the predictability of your business’ financial operations, all while maintaining a flexible capacity rate.
Imagine if your business is an e-commerce, subscription-based company. In times where your business would maximize capacity, such as holidays, your business needs to scale up capacity to brace for the demand of your product, software needs, and customer/client inquiries. Improperly planning for these demands will bring a vendor to look elsewhere for an IT organization that can handle the task at hand, as your business could come to a standstill without the capacity it needs to operate.
Not only are cloud services flexible on capacity, but handling your hardware and software off-site (via the cloud) brings the closest thing that can combat planned obsolescence. SaaS options allow for the upgrading of much of your infrastructure. As described above, planned obsolescence strongly suggests that at one point or another, many components of your infrastructure are going to become obsolete. Sure, there are some software and apps that automatically update, but you want to be prepared.
It will cost your business money to constantly be upgrading aspects of your infrastrastructure. Whether it be updates required of your software to even be able to run, or elements of your hardware — servers, computers, etc. — that are built only for a certain lifespan.
In the same financial respects you pay for scalability of capacity, the decision to have (most) of your infrastructure off-site comes with a monthly rate. Furthermore, it falls upon your cloud service providers to keep up to date on their software, hardware, as well as security measures. Meaning that planned obsolescence isn’t eliminated, but it does not affect you, the IT specialist, to fall victim to obsolescence — and your business shelling out money to adjust for it.
Visualizing the same subscription-based company above, your business, clients, and its customers will thank you to always be connected to the latest version of software while you enjoy no recurring upgrade costs — in this case, we see hotel management as one on the many fields of business benefiting from cloud services.
It looks like planned obsolescence is showing no signs of slowing down. From a business and marketing perspective, the return business implications are just too great. We see this with the constant updates of iOS and the brand-loyal customers of Apple. At a foundational level, any smartphone — or any technology for that matter — has been built with a certain shelf-life in mind. This would be fine if the lifespan were built with the customer or user in mind. However, that is not the case, and is mostly out of your control.
What is in your control, however, is that you can pass off the bulk of the price of planned obsolescence. In investing in cloud services, the upgrading of your software and hardware is now your service provider’s requirement. Allowing you to have the reliability of a fixed monthly price while maintaining a comfortable agility in your infrastructure. Such luxuries will be appreciated by your clients and business.