Sooner or later, even the most resilient and dependable of work mobile devices will need replacing. Whether this is because they have become too slow to keep up with today’s demands, or more suitable newer models are on offer, a strong plan for replacing hardware is an essential part of any firm’s mobile device management strategy.

However, sometimes, businesses may need to act with more urgency, and this is especially the case if existing hardware or software is reaching its planned end of life. In such cases, migrations will have to be undertaken especially carefully, as there will be nothing to roll back safely to if things do not go to plan.

Why a clear strategy matters

Technology constantly marches on, and if you don’t keep up, you are going to inevitably run into problems. For instance, if you’re maintaining Android or Apple devices that have been in use for many years, these may not get the latest annual operating system updates.

Apple’s iOS 13, set for launch this autumn, won’t be available for any iPhone models prior to the iPhone 6, for instance. While this won’t be an issue for many firms, if you’ve been putting off upgrading for years, this is an important incentive to upgrade, as you could be missing out on key features and functionality, or be left with apps that can no longer be updated.

However, end-of life decisions are particularly relevant if you’re still using Windows Mobile solutions. While in the past, there may have been very good reasons for this decision, such as better interoperability between desktop and mobile platforms, but the decision by Microsoft to withdraw support will mean no new security patches or updates, which could leave your business seriously exposed to a wide range of security threats.

Firms need to act quickly to ensure they aren’t impacted by this. Support for Windows 10 Mobile will end on December 10th 2019, and that will come around quicker than many firms realise. Therefore, it’s important to plan your move away now, if you haven’t already started thinking about this.

The key factors in your decision-making

When you are moving away from Windows Mobile, the first and most obvious question is what platform you jump to. And for the vast majority of requirements, the choice will be between Apple and Android devices, which is Microsoft’s recommended course of action.

To avoid fragmentation, it’s a good idea to pick one path and stick to it. For many businesses, Android is likely to be the most appealing answer. One key reason for this is because it offers the widest range of options, both in terms of hardware and software, as this is where many software developers are now focusing their efforts when it comes to mobile.

Choosing a platform that will be easy to develop new software for and will require minimum retraining for developers or end users will be essential in ensuring any end-of-life migration goes smoothly.

However, even once you’ve decided on the most suitable replacement, there are still a range of factors to consider. For instance, migrating any critical data or applications from one platform to another will require careful planning and consideration to ensure no data is lost in the process, and that the move can be achieved without disrupting business operations. To assist with this, it’s a good idea to seek help from an experienced partner that can offer advice and guidance on how to cope with end of life migrations.

With the right assistance on hand, firms should be able to smoothly navigate any issues they encounter when moving away from Windows Mobile – or any other platform that is reaching its end-of-life date.