Instead of spending more than R7-million on brand new laptops, a local healthcare provider saved more than 75% by simply choosing an innovative alternative solution. They managed to acquire 556 certified refurbished (CRS) Dell E6430 i5 laptops for a quarter of the price.

This illustrates how companies can now use the residual value of the old devices towards the new budget, offsetting the costs of data sanitisation.

As a deposit for a Continuous IT Lifecycle Solution, Xperien also bought back old laptops that were supplied three years earlier for 15% residual value. Together with one of its partners, Merchant West, Xperien is able to provide an alternative solution using certified refurbished computers coupled with innovative finance solutions.

Xperien CEO Wale Arewa says corporates must now realise that the “throw away” culture of the 1980s is long gone. “According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the circular economy is a trillion dollar opportunity. South Africa’s IT hardware spend is expected to be around R100-billion for 2019 of which only 0.5% (R500-million) will be on refurbished systems.”

He highlights a call centre in Sandton that has just invested in 3 000 refurbished PCs. “Large corporates must understand that 65% of the workforce are lower power users and don’t require high end machines. They’re wasting unnecessary capital on technology that’s not required.

“A recently published Blancco study called ‘The High Cost of Cluttered Data Centers’ laid out how retained hardware led to increased storage costs and neglected opportunities to recapture funds. The survey suggests that too many data centre operators waste money and risk data breaches by failing to properly dispose of storage hardware,” he adds.

Data centres stockpile old hardware wherever they have some free space, and that’s driving up costs. The survey found that on average, organisations stored around 33% of their data onsite and nearly 75% of businesses with onsite data centres store their end-of-life assets onsite, putting them at risk of security and compliance violations.

If organisations want to cut costs and be more efficient, why are they keeping so much unusable hardware around? Drives, servers and other IT assets could even be reused or resold once erased. One problem is that the processes used are archaic and inefficient, and that even when these are carried out, it’s unclear that the drives are completely wiped of any sensitive data.

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