How Global Organizations Can Maintain and Extend The Life Of Their Tech Equipment
With organizations in the US and worldwide generating an ever-increasing quantity of e-waste, the need to prolong the lifecycle of corporate tech equipment is integral for the environment and to minimize needless IT spending.
Tech equipment used by organizations across the United States and worldwide go through cycles of procurement to their eventual disposal at the end of their usable lifespan. Often, the lifespan of corporate equipment is shorter than anticipated, which can lead to unnecessary IT expenditures and needless e-waste. Consequently, organizations must undertake efforts to maximize the lifespan of their tech equipment for as long as possible to reduce e-waste and minimize costs.
This has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has shifted millions of Americans to remote and hybrid work schedules. Working from home has its benefits, but from the organization’s point of view, the logistics involved with collecting tech equipment from sometimes vast geographical distances can be complex and challenging. Therefore, IT Asset Management must consider efficient and environmentally-friendly IT Asset Disposition for remote devices too.
The E-Waste Problem: No Signs of Slowing Down
Electronic waste (e-waste) is at a global tipping point. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2.7 million tons of consumer electronics goods were discarded by Americans in 2018. For organizations with potentially thousands or tens of thousands of IT assets in their inventories, the problem of e-waste becomes a serious consideration that needs to be tackled with responsible Hard Drive Disposal and professional ITAD services.
Tech equipment used in corporate settings depreciates over time and with use, but this depreciation can be accelerated with improper care, maintenance, and cleaning of corporate-owned devices. Taking good care of current IT asset inventories is therefore essential for prolonging the lifespan of IT assets and reducing needless e-waste.
The average lifespan of corporate devices would be too exhaustive to list here, but to give a very rough impression of some popular tech equipment we’ve included a few examples below:
- Laptops: generally last between 3-5 years;
- Data center server equipment: average lifespan is about 4.4 years.
The EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy considers source reduction and reuse to be the preferred strategy for sustainable materials management. Purchasing fewer devices may simply not be a practical option for operational purposes, but reuse can be an effective strategy.
Simple Tips to Prolong the Lifespan of Corporate Equipment
There are many tips that employees and IT professionals within an organization can follow to prolong the lifespan of corporate IT assets. Generally, there are two main methods: physical and non-physical.
The following tips can be followed without physical interference with tech equipment:
- Patch and update software, applications, and firmware to ensure optimal performance. Updates can be performed either manually by the end-user (e.g. Windows OS updates) or remotely via IT staff.
- Keep networks separated. Employees should be using a virtual private network (VPN) with all corporate devices to perform their duties, especially when working from home with private domestic Wi-Fi. Avoid having employees use their devices and their home Wi-Fi networks to perform work duties.
- Ensure that all server equipment and router firmware remain updated.
- Train employees on how to identify and respond to potential email and security threats such as phishing or unauthorized attempts at entry. Maintain strong password authentication and 2FA whenever feasible and possible.
- Choose cloud-based storage solutions to alleviate the need for traditional data center storage or local hard drive storage.
- Use cloud-based storage solutions to reduce hard drive storage and/or data center storage. Take advantage of Wisetek’s Data Center Services for secure and efficient Data Center Decommissioning.
Many risks can be introduced with the mixing of corporate digital devices and personal devices, which we’ve covered in our blog entry The Importance of Data Destruction on Corporate Digital Devices.
How to Prolong the Lifespan of Corporate Equipment
In addition to software and network solutions for keeping tech equipment secure and performing optimally, there are many physical ways of keeping devices running smoothly and at peak performance for years to come.
Not all problems can be solved with repairs, however. A playful kitty cat might knock over a laptop and cause irreparable damage, or perhaps a spilled beverage might render a cell phone unusable.
Below are some key tips for keeping your organization’s IT assets well-maintained:
- Provide employees with protection for devices. This could include impact-resistant cases for cell phones and screen protectors for phones and tablets and sturdy carrying cases for laptops and other hardware.
- Ensure that all devices are routinely cleaned. Cell phones and other smaller devices can accumulate dirt and other debris in the ports (USB ports, charging ports, etc.); larger devices such as laptops and desktop computers need to be dusted at least once per year. Use compressed air to clean dust out of the fans, and in the case of serious buildups of dust, remove the fan and deep clean it with an electric vacuum cleaner.
- Instruct employees to not use their devices in extreme temperatures. Many devices will not function or will be put at risk of sustaining damage when used at temperatures below freezing or over 90°F. Avoid keeping phones, laptops, and other devices continuously exposed to direct sunlight.
- For ergonomic and safety reasons, laptops should not be used on hard surfaces with little to no room to ‘breathe’. Overheating is common and can damage internal components such as the GPU and CPU, so provide employees with laptop stands with ample room for ventilating below and around the sides of the laptop.
How to Dispose of Tech Equipment Responsibly
While the above tips can help to prolong the life of tech equipment, after a certain point all devices will ultimately be destined for disposal. How, where, and when is a matter whereby organizations can exert some control, however. Most states in the US have, as of 2022, some form of data disposal laws in effect whereby individuals and businesses cannot simply dispose of e-waste in landfills. Moreover, improper disposal can lead to costly data breaches if the data has not been thoroughly destroyed.
The best way to dispose of tech equipment is with the assistance of a global leader in ITAD such as Wisetek. Our IT Solutions are an invaluable asset because they assist global organizations with the complex tasks of IT Asset Disposition and ensure that your organization remains compliant, secure, and generates maximum ROI on retired IT assets.
Services such as secure Data Destruction also mitigate the risks of data breaches, which can be crippling to organizations. Data breaches are growing in frequency and severity, so eliminating a major source of data breaches (through improper IT asset disposal) is in itself a wise investment for the protection of organizations in the US and worldwide.
Refurbish & Remarket Your Corporate IT Assets
Responsible ITAD from a reliable ITAD Company such as Wisetek can ensure that your organization’s EoL IT assets are disposed of in a compliant, secure, environmentally-friendly, and cost-efficient manner. This is achieved through our business processes and our commitment to a fully-functional Circular Economy whereby redundant IT assets can be refurbished and remarketed, thereby maximizing your organization’s ROI.
Our refurbished IT assets are available for sale as premium refurbished products on our e-commerce platform, Wisetek Market. Consumers can purchase discounted refurbished laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones, and accessories, thereby keeping the same device in use for prolonged periods while also providing immense value to the environment, the organization, and the end consumer of the refurbished product.
Wisetek: A Global Leader in ITAD
Prolonging the use of your corporate digital devices and equipment makes sense for financial and environmental reasons. Responsible and efficient data disposal goes hand in hand with prolonging the lifecycle of IT assets, which is why Wisetek is your best choice for ITAD services.
Our circular economy model and Zero Landfill Policy help organizations reduce e-waste while providing opportunities to refurbish and remarket redundant IT assets through the Wisetek Store. Learn more about our services and get in touch with us today.
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