How to Repurpose Old Company Technology 13 Oct 2021
E-waste, including anything with plugs, cords and electronic components, is expected to grow from 57.4 million to 74.7 million tonnes a year between now and 2030, statistics suggest. There is, however, an incentive for businesses to refrain, as the UK has enshrined a law to slash emissions by 78% before 2035. In addition, E-waste disposal contributes to climate change due to the chemicals released when burned, meaning businesses directly impact the environment.
Not only can this be reversed, but money will also be saved. There is no need to stock up on fancy new equipment when the old tech will do. As the old saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’
So, what are the different ways a company can reuse old tech?
When one employee leaves for another, repurpose the loaned technology.
It is always unfortunate when a loyal employee has to leave. They may have given everything they had or simply be excellent at their job. But the time has come for them to move on to pastures new. Instead of dwelling on this, ensure that the hardware they have loaned is repurposed for another employee. Repurposing will save the business on costs of buying new equipment and boost employee morale, knowing they too are saving money.
Keeping an updated and comprehensive company asset register is essential, ensuring property does not get lost. A list of things they have, such as a laptop, cell phone, peripheral devices, office keys, access cards, etcetera, is an absolute necessity. Keeping this inventory of assets updated is good practice. And, checking these assets when the employee leaves is a must.
Smaller and medium-sized businesses will benefit massively from this.
Donate where possible.
If the company is looking to update technology anyway, it may be worth donating the old hardware to charity. This benefits the company as new technology will improve efficiency and, therefore, productivity. It also prevents e-waste from building up and helps others out in need of it.
There are plenty of charities that offer their help. For example, the Air Ambulance Service has a free IT Asset Reuse collection and data wiping service for donated IT equipment, which subsequently helps raise vital funds for the life-saving charity. Similarly, WeeeCharity is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to help relieve poverty by offering free complete recycling of computers and electrical equipment to businesses, residential and educational facilities.
Maybe look to help another local business in need of the equipment. Being active in the community will ensure that the company receives more business as a result of the kind gesture. It also helps the environment!
Find new uses within the office.
Old tech can still be utilised if kept after its use. Imagine one day the new tech acquired by the business goes faulty – a backup will be sorely needed to ensure the company runs smoothly. This is exactly where the old tech comes in. If kept in good condition and able to work correctly, this will help save the company a lot of money and time having to replace the replacement!
PCs can have certain parts upgraded to make them perform on par with other devices. If this can be done in any way, then aim to do so. It will be cheaper and less time consuming than finding something better. Just make sure that the most updated version of the software is available.
Then, if all out of ideas, look at alternative ways to reuse the tech. For example, these 9 Ingenious Ways to Repurpose Old Tech may inspire other ideas too.
The importance of wiping old data from tech beforehand.
At the end of a device’s life, never forget to wipe any old data that could be hanging around. Reinstalling the operating system, formatting the hard drive or deleting specific files and folders does not ensure all the data is gone. But, in most cases, the data is still recoverable.
This is why WipeDrive 9 is vital to the process.
WipeDrive ensures data is completely erased and unrecoverable. Military-grade wiping technology is used to overwrite data multiple times using Department-of-Defense-approved wipe patterns, ensuring it is completely unrecoverable, even with the most sophisticated tools.
Then, to verify this has gone through successfully, audit the process with VeriDrive.
While many data erasure tools include algorithms for verifying that a drive was wiped, it is possible this software has a bug or was misused. For example, VeriDrive’s pattern verification code was written by a separate software engineer and, therefore, it uses a different algorithm than WipeDrive. This separation verifies that WipeDrive was appropriately used to erase the data and comply with NIST 800-88 requirements.
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