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Making Lifecycle Management Decisions Consciously

A recurring theme in lifecycle management is that decisions are made both consciously and unconsciously. Because of the proliferation of access devices, many businesses defer decisions and provide a de facto “best effort” service level for certain devices. In other words, the business decides not to make a decision. Best effort service level, experience suggests, almost always leads to dissatisfied end users; regardless of the service level provided, it is often considered too little and too late.

Decisions need to be made consciously! De facto standards, support, service levels, and expectations become established when end users are left to assume that what they are leveraging is correct. In lifecycle management, benign neglect is a concern.

IT may or may not be able to approve or reject end users or organizations; however, tacit agreement in today’s highly regulated environment is simply not a good idea. Many businesses today, for example, provide “best effort” support for certain categories of handheld devices. The initial conclusion, therefore, is that the handheld devices are an acceptable company standard, and that IT is prepared to support these devices.

In lifecycle management, the implications from decisions that are made are often as important as the initial decisions themselves. In the example just cited, at what point does the best effort apply if the overall population of devices becomes significant and IT simply cannot deliver an acceptable service level? At that point, a predicament arises; after all, IT cannot go back and suggest that the devices were inappropriate in the first place.

Businesses defer lifecycle decisions for a variety of reasons, but all of the dynamics discussed in this chapter clearly suggest that decisions should be made consciously, because the information and data to be accessed is still the same.

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