Getting more life out of the lifecycle for Datacom customers is a challenge that Datacom’s Circularity Services team thrive on.

“This generation is facing a set of global challenges that are testing us like never before. Companies like ours have a critical role to play in helping solve some big human issues. Our world is changing. At our current rate of growth, by 2050 we’ll need the equivalent of 2.3 earths to support us all.* IT can be used as a force for good to help solve significant human issues like climate change and inequality. And in fact, it can do that while increasing business performance,” says Datacom PSG Director, Ross Salisbury.

It first requires solving a fundamental problem: IT assets within a large organisation often have a linear lifespan – instead of a circular lifecycle. Assets (incorporating software and hardware of all kinds) are also often poorly managed and tend to be under-utilised and over-provisioned, which contributes to a whole cycle of waste.

Did you know that humans create 50 million metric tons of e-waste each year? That’s an average of seven kilograms of e-waste per person. Less than 20% of that is recycled.

Waste not, want not: better management of IT assets

“We estimate that the average large business that we work with has 1.8 computing devices per user,” says Ross. “Our research tells us they only need 1.3 without compromising any user experience. In other words, they are over-provisioning by a third-of-a-device per person. Taking out that excess, has huge potential to improve waste, utilisation and value.”

How does this over-provisioning happen? There often isn’t a singular lens of ‘asset visibility’ across the business (to produce visible utilisation insights), so it’s hard to see and measure the IT fleet. Assets are misvalued, misplaced, under-utilised and poorly maintained or disposed of in ways that cost the planet, and the business, way too much.

Datacom’s holistic approach to asset management removes waste from the IT equation.

“By taking ownership of the customer’s IT asset lifecycle, we work with customers towards the principals of a circular economy,” says Ross. “We close the loop on costly waste and over-provisioning, while we unlock better asset utilisation and therefore better value and performance. Win, win!”

“By way of an example of this increased value; over the course of six years a Federal Government Dept (AU) client harnessing our ITAM Services saved over $6.3M on software costs by reviewing unused software and optimising their software environment and contracts. Furthermore, remediated four years’ worth of leasing to avoid extending assets that no longer existed and implemented new leasing standards. This is a complex entity, in a complex environment with multiple data centres and with over 60% device growth”.

The fact is, no IT asset needs to sit and gather dust in a credenza or end up in landfill. Assets can be refurbished and returned, or refurbished and reallocated to other businesses in buy-back schemes.

Assets that might be near the end of their useful life in a customer’ business, can have another life by being donated to students in a third world country, or broken down and responsibly recycled. There are even charitable tax advantages to find a good use for your retired computers and IT assets.

“Good lifecycle management doesn’t require a scarcity mindset or holding onto outdated tech either. You might want to use advanced technology as a talent attraction solution and have a policy to change it up every two years. That’s great – we’ll take it and provision it for the next 3-5 useful years of its life.”

Sometimes, customer over-provisioning comes from an inability to get assets purchased in bulk, set up, imaged and distributed fast enough.

“Customers will end up paying more for warranties or licences than they need to, because they can’t distribute their assets fast enough. This is where our agile warehousing is gold. We can shave months off the deployment process with dedicated facilities and streamlined deployment tools and capabilities. So, you’re not paying for assets you are not using”.

It’s all about getting more life from the lifecycle. This unlocks more utilisation and more value for Datacom customers with significant performance gains.

How do you begin to get more life out of the lifecycle?

Better decisions start with better metrics. “During a discovery stage, we audit and pull all the asset information into a single source of truth. Then we help customers define their goals around sustainability, productivity, user experience and more. Often, we start with the end in mind and discuss asset retirement and sustainability objectives first,” says Ross.

“We find that customers want to be more sustainable but need help to structure this. We help them see that through their acquisition strategy, that they can adopt products and practices that are environmentally responsible. For instance, in choosing a brand like HP – they are choosing the world’s most sustainably manufactured devices. They are choosing to purchase from a partner that creates economic opportunities while keeping plastic out of the ocean, that makes every PC, display, and home and office-class printer from recycled metal or post-consumer recycled plastic and has the most ambitious sustainability goals of any IT company.”

“HP is a great example of circularity in action achieving incredible impacts. Together with partners like HP, we can help customers achieve seamless sustainability and achieve greater value and performance by taking ownership of their IT asset lifecycle. Value comes in the form of; increased device utilisation, clearer insights, reduced waste, in streamlined licencing, reduced overprovisioning, IT team time savings, a focus on a better human experience and importantly; sustainability”.

Watch how to get more life from the lifecycle, with Datacom and HP here.

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