Extending the Lifespan of Technology | Tips from the Experts
Extending the lifespan of your technology is an important process to consider for your company’s IT system, as well as for personal device use. Not only is IT product lifespan extension necessary for the creation of a circular IT economy and to protect the environment, it is also a cost-effective solution for your company’s IT needs and maximises your technology budget.
Why Extend IT Product lifespan?
From a financial perspective, small businesses spend on average, 6.9% of their total revenue on IT every year. In this study, conducted by Techvera, a small company is any organisation with a yearly revenue of up to $50 million. By ensuring that your IT equipment lasts for longer, you can significantly reduce this cost and free up finances to spend in other areas of your organisation.
In terms of sustainability, recycling processes are not capable of supporting a circular economy where IT devices are concerned. Likewise, public opinion has not entirely shifted towards a recycling mindset for technology; this is demonstrated by the fact that only 20% of e-waste produced in 2021 was properly recycled, resulting in a massive 80% of the 54 million tonnes of electronic waste produced that year from ending up in landfill.
Until technology practices, habits and methods can support a truly circular IT economy, extending the lifespan of IT is integral to reducing the demand of this sector on Critical Raw Materials and reducing the impact of e-waste on our environment.
But what do we mean when we say product lifespan extension?
Product lifespan extension can take many forms, making it a versatile practice that can be adapted to fit any solution. The idea is to keep products, in our case technology, in use for longer to reduce the amount of e-waste ending up in landfill and reduce the pressure on the mining of virgin materials.
In practice, there are many ways to ensure that you get the most out of your technology, which is outlined in this article with explanations, advice and recommendations from our experts.
Our Sustainability Lead Astrid Wynne CEnV Shares Her View on Refurbished Servers
Choosing refurbished is a fantastic way to expand the lifespan of technology. Choosing a second-hand server that has been configured to a high quality adds years to the life of this device. Our sustainability lead Astrid Wynne highlights this:
“A useful server life extends way beyond the three years of a finance term. They can be cascaded to other parts of the data centre, reused by organisations with lower compute needs, disassembled for spares and upgrades or built into new machines for new users. Recognising this with a thriving secondary market means fewer machines going to waste before their time, more resources saved and less pressure on the planet.”
Techbuyer offers an extensive range of refurbished servers that can be configured to meet your company’s requirements and come with an industry-leading three-year warranty. Find out more here.
Whilst refurbished servers allow you to expand the lifecycle of second-hand equipment through buying technology, there are many services and procedures that you can carry out to extend the lifespan of your devices. This is important for making sure that you get the most out of your technology and that it is utilised to its fullest potential.
UK Repairs Technician Eugene Melega Explains the Importance of IT Repairs
Techbuyer’s IT Repairs service offers technical expertise to repair your technology and restore performance and user experience to as well as new.
In a society in which we are encouraged to replace our IT and replace it often by technology manufacturers, this is becoming increasingly important! Millions of devices are thrown away year on year with cracked screens and ageing batteries. IT repairs enable you to keep the same device for extended periods of time by repairing any damage that your technology may sustain. This is explored by our IT Technician, Eugene Melega:
“The concept of extending the lifespan of devices we are dealing with is simple: we are restoring their physical condition […] and eventually repairing the faulty components (which is not always an easy task). After performing these operations, we can be sure that the devices are ready for a ‘second life’ and will perform reliably for many years.
Many people are used to the idea that most modern electronic devices have to be replaced every few years, while in reality, their lifespan can be much longer; and they can often operate until they become obsolete. At Techbuyer we are also able to design, and 3D print plastic parts required for repairs in-house, using varied materials. Giving a second chance to devices with damaged parts, even where these are critical to their functionality.”
IT Maintenance is Explained by Technical Services and Support Operative Chris Parry
IT Maintenance is just as important as IT Repairs when it comes to extending the lifespan of your technology and helps keep your devices in working condition for longer.
Proper IT maintenance in the form of cleaning, component upgrades and analysis are essential to keep your technology running effectively for longer. Our Technical Services and Support Operative Chris Parry explains why this is important:
“The number one thing that can affect the lifespan and performance of a system is heat.
“Keeping the chassis clean and having ample airflow will allow the components to run at optimal temps and thus prolong their life expectancy.”
If IT maintenance on a large scale is difficult, Techbuyer offers extensive IT maintenance service contracts to help keep your technology up and running. Find out more here.
Expanding IT Lifespan with Component Level Upgrades, Explained by IT Director Richard Kenny
Component level upgrades, along with repairs and maintenance are all about prolonging the lifespan of your device and keeping your technology working for you for longer.
Component level upgrades involve replacing computer or server parts to restore performance to as well as, or even better than, new. This process adds years to the lifespan of your device. Our IT Director, Richard Kenny, highlights the importance of this:
“For many pieces of hardware, there is an option to increase performance and extend useable lifespan by simply upgrading key components.
“Taking Laptops and desktops as an example – the key components that are both simple to upgrade and yet have significant impacts are the Memory and Storage. Upgrading an HDD to an SSD will lead to dramatic improvements in read and write speed and can make an old laptop feel new.
“The same is true for upgrades to RAM – if applications are resource hungry doubling the RAM is both simple and will be noticed straight away. Doing both can add years to the life of a device.
“For servers, this is even more impactful as you can upgrade the CPUs fairly easily too. The key is identifying the compatible components and then upgrading as necessary. Take a Gen 9 HPE server for example; When they were released, they used V3 boards and CPUs. You can upgrade the system board to V4 and change the CPU to a high core CPU and it can easily double the performance of a system. The same applied to RAM – there are multiple options to increase total capacity, frequency or speed. All of which will improve performance and energy efficiency per operation.”
Techbuyer’s component level upgrade service increases the speed and performance of any laptop, computer or server to restore productivity and efficiency for your IT. Find out more here.
The Value of IT Asset Disposition Explained by Purchasing Director Dan Rice
IT Maintenance and repairs can extend the lifespan of your device, adding yours to your time with technology. Eventually, your IT will come to the end of its useable life for you, however, this does not mean that your devices cannot be valuable to another person or business. You can extend the lifespan of your technology by disposing of your IT equipment in a responsible way.
Using an IT Asset Disposition Service (ITAD) allows your technology to have a second life beyond your company. This is explained by our Purchasing Director Dan Rice:
“IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is a process that helps organisations from all industries dispose of IT equipment securely and sustainably. The process aims to extend the lifespan of IT devices by erasing all residual data and putting the equipment into the hands of secondary users and avoiding landfill. The majority of organisations in the UK process and store potentially sensitive business or customer data. To remain compliant with GDPR legislation they should commission a certified ITAD vendor to data sanitise the IT equipment. Once sanitised and configured, the equipment can re-enter the market as high-quality refurbished devices. “
ITAD, along with sell to us, services are available to expand the useable lifespan of technology by finding a new owner and user of the equipment which would have otherwise been made prematurely redundant. Find out more about Techbuyer’s ITAD service here.
Techbuyer’s Lifecycle Services
Increasing the lifespan of your technology is essential to relieve the pressure it places on our environment. Using technology to its fullest potential is not only the most sustainable option but it also allows you to maximise your IT budget by increasing the time between required IT refreshes. However, to be truly sustainable with technology, IT procurement and disposal habits also must be addressed. That is where Techbuyer’s lifecycle services come in; Techbuyer is a supplier of the entire IT lifecycle, from purchasing to disposal. Find out more about our range of services here.