Following on from our previous blog post, we discuss our final 4 common IT lifecycle beliefs and the truth behind them.
6. Annuity-based support contracts are a must – SCARE
It is impossible to guarantee a 100% operational network, 100% of the time. Faults and problems from time to time are inevitable and when something does go wrong. You want to be sure it will be fixed in the shortest time possible to minimise disruption and financial loss.
Annuity-based support and repair contracts work on an annual fee basis. They provide comprehensive cover across your network with support on hand, as and when you need it, to ensure your network operations are restored within the stated SLAs.
These prove a reliable and cost-effective solution for many businesses. But those with a larger estate may end up paying over the odds for a service to cover their entire network when they may only have need to use it for one or two parts of their system within a year.
There is an alternative…
Which still guarantees minimal downtime while saving money for larger organisations. This comes in the form of a spares service based on usage.
When an organisation houses a large infrastructure, it can often be cheaper to buy spares in bulk than rely on a support provider to provide them on an ad hoc basis when they are needed. With a thorough understanding of the equipment within an estate, its age and the failure rates experienced, it’s possible to effectively plan for a workable spares inventory.
Some support and repair suppliers will agree to provide storage for these spares for an agreed monthly fee. And ship them to the required locations as they are needed. The faulty equipment can then be sent to the same supplier for repair before it is added back into the spares pile for future use.
Because the spares are already owned by the company in question, this can work out cheaper and still provide a reliable support option.
7. Old equipment piled in your stock room is worthless – SCARE
Technology is constantly evolving. With so many new capabilities on the market, it can be tempting to think your older equipment holds little value. In so many cases old, and even new, unused equipment is piled up in a store room and forgotten.
This is a mistake as you could be sitting on considerable amounts of capital that can be reinvested back into your IT infrastructure or wider business.
In many cases, redundant equipment can be put to highly effective use elsewhere in your network architecture. Refurbishment and repair options can return equipment to manufacturer standards, upgrading software and configurations along the way so that it can continue to be serviceable for years to come. With the correct refurbishment and secure data erasure to remove all previous configurations, a piece of equipment can happily be redeployed elsewhere in your network to underpin some of the newer, more sophisticated technology.
Where this is not possible, buy-back or trade-in options can return significant value with many schemes offering the highest market rate. Even if equipment really has seen better days, it can still be sold on for use as spares. Thus providing some return to your company.
One thing is for sure, unused assets locked in your stock room are losing value with each day that passes. Essentially costing you money which could be topping up your bottom line.
8. Data security is just as important for redundant equipment – TRUTH
The safe storage of sensitive data is deemed a business priority during the active use of a device. But organisations often overlook what happens when equipment data is stored on becomes end of life (EOL) or surplus.
Security lapses during the disposal or redeployment process can be extremely serious. Security breaches, ID fraud and reputation hits are a major threat. Not to mention potential fines of up to £500,000 for the loss of an individual’s confidential information.
Simply deleting files is not enough. Deleted files are easily recovered so this alone does not class as secure data disposal. Instead, data and configuration files need to be properly wiped from storage devices using advanced software. Alternatively, the device needs to be fully destroyed to an irrecoverable state using dedicating crushing or shearing equipment.
9. Obsolete equipment needs to be disposed of according to WEEE guidelines – TRUTH
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and includes most items that use a plug or battery. Government statistics show an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE items are discarded by households and companies in the UK each year. Due to the specialist nature of the products, the complex mix of materials and the potential for hazardous materials such as mercury, lead and phosphorus pentachloride, the government introduced an official WEEE directive. This provides strict guidelines for the disposal of these products.
Non-compliance with such procedures could result in exposure to hazardous or poisonous material. And substantial health risks, danger of fire and significant negative impact to the environment, as well as potential prosecution. So it is absolutely necessary to adhere to the guidelines.
The regulations with regard to WEEE are fairly complex due to different categories of equipment with different requirements. In some cases, large-scale shredding or disassembly is required using specialist equipment, so it is advisable to find a supplier who can manage the removal and disposal of your equipment for you, providing a certificate of disposal as proof of legal compliance. Many suppliers will also manage the destruction of data from any equipment simultaneously to ensure data security.
For more IT lifecycle myths and facts, view part one in the series.
Want to learn more about our WEEE, System Decommissioning and Lifecycle Services? Check out our Value Added Services.