Best Practices for Global Organisations to Extend the Life of Tech Equipment
Global organisations stand to benefit, as does the environment, from the optimal use of corporate assets and devices to prolong their lifecycle.
All tech equipment within an organisation goes through the cycle of procurement, use, and eventual disposal. Quite often, the lifespan of IT assets and tech equipment is far shorter than desired, leading to unnecessary e-waste and excessive expenditures. Therefore, it is to the benefit of organisations and to the environment to strive for extending and prolonging the use of tech equipment as long as feasibly possible.
Combine this with the massive shift towards remote and hybrid working arrangements brought about by the global pandemic, where it can be logistically challenging for staff members to return or retire old tech equipment. When employees are separated from traditional in-office IT departments, sometimes across cities or even working internationally, the need for efficient IT asset management and disposal becomes evident.
The Growing E-Waste Problem
Tech equipment depreciates over time and depending on many different factors some corporate devices and equipment may last longer or shorter than anticipated. Inefficient business processes can lead to procuring low-quality tech equipment only to have it wear out after a few years, for example, leading to a growing e-waste crisis worldwide as the equipment is discarded.
There are simply too many variables to give an accurate estimated lifespan for every piece of tech equipment, but to give a few noteworthy examples:
- Corporate laptops generally last between 3-5 years;
- Data centre server equipment tends to last 4.4 years on average.
Electronic equipment disposal is a major contributor to the global e-waste crisis, so a reduction in disposal due to prolonging and extending the lifespan of corporate equipment is a win both for the environment as well as financially.
To give an impression of the scale of the e-waste problem, 155,000 tonnes of e-waste are discarded every year, costing the UK economy over £370 million (over €439 million) in lost precious metals such as gold, steel, copper, and aluminium. Globally, 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2019, which was a 21 per cent increase from the previous five years.
Digital Equipment Safety Tips
There are many reasons for which corporate equipment can depreciate faster than its anticipated EoL. One of the best ways to prolong the lifespan of equipment such as laptops is on the software and operating system side.
Below are some specific tips:
- Ensure that all devices are patched and updated frequently so that they perform optimally. These can be done remotely by the organisation or individual by the end-user.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) for any Wi-Fi connected devices, such as corporate laptops used by remote workers at home or in public spaces. Encourage employees to use separate networks for home devices and work devices.
- Maintain fully up-to-date router firmware.
- Educate and train employees on email and security threats (i.e. phishing, password protection and authentication).
- Use cloud-based storage solutions to reduce hard drive storage and/or data centre storage. Data Centre Services from Wisetek can prolong the lifespan of data centre IT assets.
More in-depth information about this particular topic can be found in our previous blog entry, The Importance of Data Protection and Personal Data Security on Corporate Digital Devices.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Corporate Equipment
Perhaps the more obvious cause of damage to corporate devices and equipment is physical damage. Spilt beverages on laptops, dropped devices, or simply improper cleaning can all cause damage – sometimes impossible to repair – to these devices.
Below are some tips for how to prolong the life of your organisation’s IT assets:
- Use protection for smartphone and tablet screens as well as fall protection from rugged cases, as well as good carrying cases for laptops and larger devices.
- Keep all devices routinely clean. For smaller devices such as smartphones, have the ports cleaned out of any soil or debris that may cause blockages and potentially damage the device? For larger devices such as laptops and desktop computers, clean out the fans with compressed air, or disassemble the fan and give it a deep clean. Dust will accumulate over time, no matter how much one tries to keep their working environment clean, so ensure that your electronic equipment is routinely free of dust.
- Avoid extreme temperatures for your corporate devices. Depending on the climate where your employees are working, high temperatures above 32°C can cause serious damage to many electronics. Moreover, direct sunlight for prolonged periods can also cause damage. Extreme cold, sub-zero temperatures can also cause electronic devices to freeze and stop working altogether.
- Provide employees with laptop stands rather than having the device rest on a hard surface, so that the device’s fans can efficiently expel heat underneath and away from the laptop. Heat-trapping can cause damage to circuitry and components such as graphics cards and the CPU.
Efficient Disposal of Redundant IT Assets
The disposal of electronic equipment is, even with due care and diligence, inevitable. When your business electronic equipment simply no longer works and is beyond repair, it’s time to have it disposed of. Devices that have reached the end of their useful lifecycle should not be simply discarded into landfills as this exacerbates the e-waste crisis and is illegal in many jurisdictions around the world, potentially carrying hefty fines and penalties for businesses caught illegally dumping electronics.
Instead, maximise the revenue of your IT assets, divert e-waste from landfills, and have all sensitive data professionally destroyed with IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services from a truly global ITAD Company and pioneer of the Circular Economy, Wisetek.
Is it possible to perform the tasks of Hard Drive Disposal or Data Centre Decommissioning from within the organisation, perhaps by trained IT professionals? Yes, but in the interest of compliance and data security, these tasks are best left to a dedicated ITAD provider such as Wisetek.
Wisetek provides IT Solutions tailored to meet the ITAD needs of organisations operating around the world. With services such as secure Data Destruction, clients can depend on the auditable, fully secure processes we undertake to ensure that all sensitive data is destroyed. Clients receive data destruction certificates that can be provided during any audits, as well as the peace of mind knowing that the risks of data breaches from discarded IT assets are severely reduced.
Refurbish & Remarket Your Corporate IT Assets
Organisations that need to dispose of large quantities of redundant IT assets must consider an efficient, secure, and environmentally-friendly method of disposing of the equipment. ITAD is the solution, and ITAD companies such as Wisetek are your ideal partner for secure data destruction, hard drive disposal, and much more.
We are a global ITAD vendor who serves our customers globally and we have good channels to remarket and resell our IT equipment through a circular economy model through our Wisetek Store. This new e-commerce platform carries premium refurbished IT assets to consumers at attractive prices, including premium refurbished laptops, refurbished MacBooks, refurbished phones, refurbished desktops, refurbished tablets and more. This venture maximises the ROI on redundant IT assets from the organisation disposing of the devices whilst also providing high-quality products to consumers. The results are longer total lifecycles for each asset, greater utility, and maximal diversion from landfills and recycling centres.
Your Global IT Asset Management Partner: Wisetek
In every global organisation, IT Asset Management processes must consider the disposal of tech equipment and redundant IT assets. The ITAD services from Wisetek provide maximum ROI and extend the lifecycle of equipment through our circular economy model and the refurbishment and remarketing of EoL assets.
As a global leader of ITAD services, we welcome you to get in touch with us and to learn more about our robust range of IT solutions for businesses operating globally.
For more information, please contact email@example.com or visit our website.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
Why Responsible E-Waste Disposal is Essential for Enterprise Cybersecurity
The Environmental Impact of our Digital Devices