IT Asset Lifecycle Management

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The most cost effective and environmentally friendly process for IT asset disposal is to manage the entire lifecycle of these devices with the total cost of ownership in mind. This means considering disposal issues along with energy usage, as well as the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. The entire life cycle from acquisition to utilization to asset disposal must be considered to reduce the total cost of ownership of the asset. IDC, in its 2008 whitepaper "Beyond Power: IT's Roadmap to Sustainable

Figure 9-9

IDC BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS IN ITAD OPERATION. (© IDC 2008)

Figure 9-9

IDC BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS IN ITAD OPERATION. (© IDC 2008)

Computing," developed a list of environmental considerations for each stage of the IT asset lifecycle. This is shown in Figure 9-9.

The following sections look at things you should be doing to improve the return on your investment in IT assets while doing the right thing for the environment.

ACQUISITION

Companies traditionally make purchasing decisions based on cost and features, with little concern for energy usage or disposal issues. While energy usage has begun to get more notice, the cost of disposal is just beginning to receive the attention it deserves.

The process of acquiring IT assets is typically disconnected from the disposal process, with different parts of the organization responsible for each of these functions. In addition, the deployment of the assets rarely takes into consideration the process of removing the equipment at the end of its useful life. In larger organizations, the facilities management group is responsible for paying the energy bill, so IT and end users have no incentive to reduce power usage. All of this leads to a disconnected process that does not optimize the total cost of owning the IT asset.

Some of the things you should consider at the time of acquisition are:

Energy consumption. Energy usage over the life of the asset is a large percentage of the total cost of owning the asset. Look for equipment that is rated as energy efficient using any of the energy rating standards such as EPEAT or Energy Star.

▲ Design for Recycling (DfR). Look for equipment that is designed to be easily disassembled for reuse or recycling. Equipment designed from the start to be easily taken apart makes it easier to extend the life of the equipment by replacing outdated or nonfunctioning parts. It also reduces the cost of disassembling for recycling.

▲ Standardization. It is more convenient to deal with only one vendor. Therefore, standardizing on a particular vendor for each type of equipment can facilitate turning in old equipment for new with the manufacturer. It also makes it easier for your ITAD vendor to project costs for handling your end-of-life equipment and pass on the savings to you.

▲ Design for the Environment (DfE). Look for equipment that has been designed following best practices in environmentally friendly design. The U.S. EPA leads a number of DfE programs for areas that affect the design of IT equipment. It also maintains a list of

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