A Sustainable Approach to Handling End-of-Life IT Assets

In a previous post we discussed how persona-based tech refresh policies enhance the user experience. Instead of refreshing IT assets based on a set time period, organizations should consider the specific needs of certain user personas. Some users need high-performance, highly reliable devices to do their jobs. Those devices may need to be refreshed more frequently to ensure users have the resources they need. 

If a device has useful life, it can be redeployed as a loaner unit or for less-critical functions. This enables the organization to capture the full financial value of the asset. Once the device reaches end-of-life, other considerations come into play.

Although the device has reached the end of its lifecycle from the enterprise’s perspective, it may still have value to another organization. If not, it should be recycled in a sustainable, environmentally conscious way.

Resell Assets with Residual Value

KST Data offers asset disposition as part of our full-lifecycle IT asset management services. When we receive an end-of-life asset in our integration center, we first wipe all the data and remove any asset tags. Nothing is left that could associate the asset with your organization. 

We then determine if the asset has any residual value in the marketplace. We’ll grade it depending on the type of CPU, how much memory it has, the size of the hard drive and other factors. If it’s a four-year-old laptop, for example, it might still be useful to a school system, an underprivileged community or a nonprofit. 

In that case, we’ll prepare it for resale. We’ll validate that it’s operational, in good physical condition and has a power supply. We may only get 10 percent or 15 percent of the purchase price by selling it on the open market, but your organization recoups some financial value. More importantly, we’ve created a lifecycle model that’s more sustainable by putting that asset back into the economy rather than disposing of it.

Recycle Assets with No Value

If an asset comes into our integration center that has no residual value, we follow the same preliminary procedure: We wipe the data and ensure there are no asset tags or other markings. We first break it down into all of its parts and prepare it for recycling. Plastics, various types of metals and any potentially toxic materials are separated. There are different recycling procedures for each.

We work with partners who ensure that these materials are recycled in the most environmentally friendly way. They also provide a report detailing all the materials that were recycled, how much energy was saved, and how much carbon and landfill volume was saved. This “circular economy” report shows the environmental impact of the entire process.

A Full-Lifecycle Approach to Sustainability

This process works together with persona-based refresh policies to create a sustainable model. In essence, it follows the “three Rs” of waste management:

  1. Reduce the amount of e-waste by redeploying assets within your environment as much as possible.
  2. Reuse assets by selling them in the marketplace. Another organization can capture any residual value.
  3. Recycle assets with no value so they don’t wind up in a landfill.

It all starts with a full-lifecycle IT asset management program. You have to track the location of each device within the enterprise, and everything that happens to that device from the time it’s procured until it’s disposed of. Policies and procedures determine how the device will be handled at each point in its lifecycle.

With our well-defined processes and advanced tools, KST Data is uniquely qualified to deliver full-lifecycle asset management services. Let us help you maximize the operational and financial value of your IT assets while meeting your sustainability objectives.