Jamf Blog
October 1, 2020 by Haddayr Copley-Woods

5 Lessons From 2020 for IT Directors and Asset Managers

Craig Melissare and Ryan Egan with Second Life Mac walked JNUC participants through five lessons IT directors and asset managers can take away from this unprecedented year to strengthen their technology environments.

"2020 has been one for the record books," said Craig Melissare, during his JNUC 2020 session, "and most of us are ready to start afresh."

Melissare shared the five lessons Second Life Mac, a used Apple device buyback company helping organizations tap the residual value of their technology investments. They've developed the only touchless buyback program has taken away through their partnerships with schools and businesses can take with them from 2020. Chief among these is the need to stay ahead of supply chain hiccups with a strategic, sustainable device lifecycle plan.

Lesson 1: Your jobs just got a lot more complicated.

When companies moved to 100% distributed work environments, overnight they went from managing devices in one or several locations to thousands of locations, perhaps globally.

And remote work is probably here to stay. For buyback firms to meet the current need, they require an automated way to take back an employee device from any location in a way that is secure, safe and transparent.

Organizations do have options.

Second Life is launching a service that does this: from a portal, organizations can send a pre-paid postage package to their employee. When the label is scanned, this triggers your MDM to wipe the device for a secure and visible shipment through a user-friendly dashboard for all devices in one place. You can also view and download data destruction certifications.

Lesson 2: Companies are not maximizing the value of their Apple devices.

Companies need a strategy to keep their tools updated and to transform their workforces to remote. Outdated technology can't meet the increased processing power and network demands. It's also a challenge to get back devices without compromising safety.

Asset managers need a strategic process for tracking device cycles and regularly refreshing devices when needed.

Second Life can provide the data-driven tools you need to help you plan the life cycles, including market values and software changes.

Lesson 3: Every student needs a device.

Covid demonstrated the need for 1:1 programs throughout K-12 so that every student and teacher has access to remote learning. Even after this crisis, schools may need to offer distance learning for a number of reasons such as weather emergencies, illness or building system failures.

Studies have shown that learning outcomes improve with 1:1 learning opportunities.

With 1:1 programs, schools can quickly adapt to unforeseen contingencies more quickly than those without these programs in place. Students and teachers are already accustomed to digital learning, and IT has an infrastructure already in place.

Lesson 4: Devices should be refreshed on a regular schedule.

Many schools use equipment until it fails and then rushes to replace it. This needs to change as times change. Teaching is far more difficult on old technology: vintage equipment can't keep up. MDMs cannot manage old devices optimally. Students lose out on educational opportunity because the tech simply won't keep up.

This all falls on IT, turning them into a troubleshooting and fixit department only. And if you decide to refresh at the last minute, your district will have supply-chain problems. A regular refresh schedule would avoid these issues.

Lesson 5: Timing of the refresh will get a higher resale payout.

The best time to refresh is just at the beginning of when iPad or MacBook begins to lose teaching value. This will result in the highest earnings in selling the older tech. That's around year three for an iPad, around year four or five for a MacBook.

Mid-year refreshes are far more lucrative when working with a sellback partner than summer refreshes, when many districts are doing their refreshes. Summer months are a dry spell for the supply chain and getting newer devices can be a real problem.

The biggest benefit of mid-year refreshes are a lesser supply-chain impact, and mid-year refresh can net schools far more money than in the summer: 12% more than in summer.

Thank you to IT

Trying to manage the remote learning and distance needs made this year an especially tough one for Mac admins. "You really are the unsung heroes in this pandemic, and our schools and our businesses are forever grateful."

It's important to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable reseller who remains abreast of industry developments and technology such as the touchless device trade-in program that Second Life offers.

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