Making IT Equipment Last Longer
It is the case that if the world will truly succeed in navigating its journey to a circular economy – kit needs to last longer. In fact, everything needs to be built to last longer and be re-usable (to multiple degrees).
The first step to ensuring that IT Equipment lasts longer is to build a CMDB – a Config Management Data-Base. This is in order to record every IT asset your business has bought, still owns, and often to account for depreciation or lost value (e.g. through damage).
Once we have recorded what we have, be it through a spreadsheet or solutions such as IT Glue, NinjaRMM, etc. we can begin working to make systems last longer.
There are natural performance costs as machines get older and as such for server infrastructure we instead recommend leasing the equipment to ensure you can benefit from peak-performance, and then allow other firms with lower requirements take the equipment back.
You can also purchase refurbished equipment if your business has lower workloads than other more intensive industries. This is all possible with our technology partner Dell, and many other vendors also facilitate this.
The next step is to record and understand your existing workloads, and we recommend running a Roadmap-Exercise in order to do this. You can download our freely available Roadmap below.
Once you understand what your required capabilities are the discussion can move away from ‘how’ to ‘why’: why aren’t we running these workloads via virtual systems; is it possible to run lighter operating systems or virtualise software to make our systems lighter?; do we need such expensive machines?
Drawing Value From Old IT Equipment
We previously wrote a piece on finding value for small business, and in it we did not explore social value. For example, Hayachi Services are a proud signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, and in using NATO-approved software to wipe our drives and data, our older IT Equipment could be donated to local charities or scout-groups to benefit our community.
Making the most of your existing IT Estate is a natural goal for any business, but inevitably some of the equipment will have to go. Doing a social good through disposal is another way of drawing value out of your previous expenditure and it adds a positive footprint to your business’ activities.
Erasing devices is a core component to ensuring your business sustains sufficiently good Information Security. You can still make use of equipment which has been wiped and should explore options such as software wipe or physical destruction (e.g. hard disks and memory) while retaining, recycling or donating the remaining equipment.
Doing More With Less
When it comes to IT the ability to do more with less is truly a golden goose.
By centralising your IT workloads, such as through a Terminal Server, you can build resilience, reduce costs and make end-user devices such as tablets and laptops last much longer. You can also automate building such systems.
Our team are often upset to see devices that have burnt-through processor fans simply because clients haven’t tried to move workloads to more appropriate systems, or replaced the thermal paste on their laptops a few years from purchase.
Enabling your business to offset the cost of replacing hardware is important, and this is readily done by moving more of your workloads to a Cloud. This will enable your business to host emails, applications and other workloads which further extends the life of end-user computers: turn a three-year lifecycle to a seven year one.
There are other benefits, for example enabling law firms to automate shared processes through a secure, centralised and highly-available cloud service.
Virtualisation is a very cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to make IT Equipment last longer, primarily because it moves the ‘heavy-lifting’ to servers which have greater economies of scale on material and power usage.
Doing more with less is the primary way we would recommend businesses make their equipment last longer, because having a strong foundation in virtualisation and re-use enables you to reduce the specification and cost of a range of other capabilities across the business.