Tech Trends: Device Lifecycle Solutions and Why They Matter for Customers and the Environment

Aug 2, 2022


According to the 2020 Global E-Waste Monitor, the world dumped 53.6 million tons of e-waste in 2019. CBC news shared a visual comparison — 53.6 million tons of e-waste is “equivalent to the weight of 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary 2, or enough to form a line 125 kilometres long.”

Now that you have a visual of 53.6 mega tons, imagine what 74.7 mega tons would look like. That’s the amount of e-waste the Global E-Waste Monitor projects for 2030.

If you sell IT devices to global or local customers, one way you can help them reduce e-waste is by managing device lifecycle solutions on their behalf. Devices lifecycle solutions refer to how devices are reused or disposed of once they’ve reached their “end of life.”

Let’s say you’ve sold 500 cell phones to a customer. Eventually, the phones will need to be replaced. By managing device lifecycles for them, you can help reduce the chance of the old cellphones going straight the landfill. For example, it’s possible that cellphone components (i.e. the aluminum, glass, and even platinum, gold and silver) could be recycled.

Circular economies — models that ensure assets are reused — are also part of the device lifecycle conversation. Device lifecycles are like gears that move circular economies forward. Consumer behavior also keeps these “gears” moving. Currently, most consumers support companies that have sustainable practices.

How do you manage device lifecycle solutions for your customers?

Simply put, you can manage device lifecycle solutions for your customers by offering IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services in their contracts. ITAD services address how devices, like cellphones, can be reused. ITAD services also include erasing sensitive data before devices are reused.

It’s important to meet data erasure qualifications including International Standards Organization (ISO) 27001 or the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) AAA.

Understanding device reuse

We mentioned that device lifecycles address how devices are “reused.” In this case, reuse often refers to “remanufacturing” or “recertifying”/ “refurbishing” devices.

  • Remanufacturing refers to an asset being returned to its original performance. Also, the warranty is the same or better than a newly manufactured product.
  • Refurbishing/recertifying refers to when an asset has been repaired, cleaned, and had parts replaced to return it to as close to a new product as possible (including factory certification and minimum warranty coverage).

However, let’s say the devices you’ve sold can’t be reused. Recycling could be an option – you could manage ITAD services where the devices are taken apart to see what’s salvageable. In the cellphone example, the circuit boards could be reused. Recycling device components can also help your customers sidestep supply chain issues.

How do your customers benefit from device lifecycle solutions?

Besides an effort to reduce e-waste, there are several ways customers can benefit from you managing device lifecycle solutions (via ITAD services) on their behalf.

They can:

Get data validating their sustainability efforts. Many businesses need data that supports their sustainability efforts. By managing their ITAD services, you can provide customers with reports highlighting overall device lifecycle data (i.e. how many devices they've reused).

Focus on their business. When devices are at their “end of life”, the customer needs to think about “what”, “where”, “how”, and “who” questions:

  • What are they going to do with the devices?
  • How will the devices be disposed of?
  • Where do the devices need to go?
  • Who will manage all these steps?

Many of these questions require background knowledge. For example, some countries have specific disposal regulations. When you manage ITAD services for your customers, you’re reducing the guesswork so they can focus on their business.

Stay current. Technology is always changing. Providing your customers device lifecycle solutions means you can help them evolve with these changes in a sustainable, efficient manner.

Develop an ongoing relationship with you. The device lifecycle data you supply customers opens the door for further conversations. For example, they might see they’re recycling less of a specific device and ask for advice.

Where can you learn more about device lifecycle solutions?

For more details about device lifecycle solutions, visit our page on lifecycle asset management. You can also learn more in our recent article in the Monitor Daily magazine.

Have questions? Contact our technology experts. We’re here to help!