How can you establish sustainable IT practices at your company? Sustainability covers a lot of important concerns – environmental impact, financial stability, operational efficiency, to name a few. Broadly, a sustainable company responsibly allocates and uses resources for the good of the company and the environment. This is especially important when it comes to your company’s technology. From an environmental perspective, discarded electronic equipment is the fastest growing source of waste in both the developed and undeveloped world. Worse, most of that electronic waste contains materials that can be permanently hazardous to the environment if mishandled. From a financial perspective, technology represents a substantial investment. To increase profitability, it is important to implement sustainable IT practices so your company can more responsibly and efficiently allocate IT resources. With all these concerns, it is especially important to establish sustainable policies for your company’s technology. But what does it look like for your company to adopt sustainable IT practices? The best way is to adopt a “reuse” strategy for your hardware.
Reuse as a Sustainable IT Practice
The most straightforward way to implement sustainable IT practices to your company’s technology is to find an opportunity to reuse the hardware in-house. This approach immediately raises an important question: is older hardware reliable enough to be reused in-house? After all, your company’s profitability depends upon an efficient, reliable infrastructure. But adopting an in-house reuse strategy doesn’t mean that your company will have to depend upon older and slower technology. Instead, in-house reuse leverages strategic redeployment to help improve the cost-effectiveness of your IT infrastructure. A prime example of this is “cascading” your company’s PCs. For example, a high-end PC is acquired to accomplish a task that requires a high level of speed and performance. After a period of time, that PC will be replaced by a newer PC. The older PC can then be “handed down” to manage a task that requires less than cutting-edge performance. The latest-specification hardware is assigned to the business critical processes, while the older hardware is handed down to the less critical, supporting processes. This kind of reuse strategy allocates IT resources to get the best and longest use from hardware. It both reduces capital and depreciation, making your company’s infrastructure more cost-effective.
Cascading hardware works well for some pieces of IT equipment, but not all. There are some pieces of hardware that have no further application at your company after they have served their primary purpose. Even if that hardware is still in good, well-functioning condition, it does your company no good if you don’t have a use for it. In this case, reuse is still an option, but the opportunity to do so is different. Rather than reusing the hardware in-house, you can resell it.
Reselling as a Sustainable IT Practice
Reselling your excess IT hardware generates a direct financial benefit for your company. You can reinvest the money you get for your old technology immediately into your infrastructure. But reselling your excess IT equipment is more than an opportunity to recoup capital – it is also an opportunity for reuse. Reselling equipment gives it a second chance to have a useful life. This is especially true if you partner with an IT asset recovery company. Once your hardware has been purchased by an IT asset recovery company, the data on the equipment will be securely erased, and the equipment itself will be refurbished, upgraded, and prepared for a productive second life. This keeps salvageable technology out of landfills, and provides growing companies and nonprofit organizations with more affordable options for developing their infrastructure. Not only does your company immediately benefit from the recovered capital, but you also foster environmental sustainability and economic growth in your community.
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