Do Device Upgrades Top Sustainability Intentions?


Today, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. These digital transformations can improve the speed, quality and return on investment (ROI) of an organization’s mobile operations. They can also increase employee productivity, as well as customer satisfaction.

However, companies are struggling between being sustainable and digitally transforming their operations. The pressure to innovate and have the newest technology is outweighing the urge to protect their existing network of devices.

In SOTI’s latest report, Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: From Discard Mentality to Tech Sustainability, we explore how devices are being discarded prematurely as companies buy into the latest tech on the market.

But does buying the newest hardware actually provide a significant ROI and operational efficiencies?

Learn how Green IT can be an ally to sustainability and your business operations, saving you both time and money.

Sustainability vs. Technology

What is more important for organizations: being sustainable or having the latest tech?

According to our report, 65% of IT decision-makers agree they understand the role they have within their wider organization’s sustainability efforts. However, 62% believe that having the latest hardware devices at their disposal makes their company a more attractive place to work.

Between the two statistics, it is clear that while IT decision-makers acknowledge the part they play there is a lack of guidance on how to continue to innovate on the tech front, while at the same time ensuring that they are adhering to the organization’s wider green computing goals.

The problem is consumer culture when it comes to technology. In our quest to make the workplace more attractive to top talent, we end up throwing away devices that are in perfect working condition. In fact, 55% of IT decision-makers say that all enterprise devices are disposed of unnecessarily. On average, enterprise devices are replaced every 2.42 years. This is despite the fact that these devices are built to last much longer than a few years.

Although there are some advantages to upgrading your technology, in terms of making day to day work easier and less stressful off the bat, are these benefits worth the toll that e-waste takes on the environment?

Digital Transformation & Green IT

Today, there are many ways in which technology and sustainability go hand in hand. For example, business-critical apps can be created to reduce paper-based processes and consumption and provide more effective and efficient ways for employees to work.

When it comes to hardware there can be a disconnect between sustainability efforts and having the newest technology. The fact is e-waste is toxic waste. It contains toxins such as lead, beryllium, mercury, polyvinyl chloride, cadmium and more. Not only is this harmful to the environment, but it is dangerous to our health as well.

According to SOTI’s report, 52% of respondents admitted to replacing laptop computers and tablets at the end of their expected lifespans rather than when they stop working. This trend is not only wasting perfectly good hardware, but money as well, and is an unsustainable display of an organization’s device management strategy.

Reducing e-waste by extending the lifespan of your mobile devices can save your organization money. For example, using a diagnostic intelligence tool, you can track the health of device accessories, such as batteries, to identify specific issues and proactively address them. This way, instead of replacing all your devices for the latest model when they still work, if you identify that the batteries are the issue, you can replace specific devices that need it.

Another way to extend the lifespan of your devices would be to ensure that regular software updates are being made by your IT department. By ensuring your network of devices are being maintained correctly, you can expand the lifecycle of your mobile devices and thus increase your bottom line.

To do this however, companies need to go from a “discard mentality” to a “diagnose and fix” mentality.

Balance Is Key

Changing the way organizations and IT decision-makers approach technology will be key in enabling more effective and sustainable device management strategies.

Instead of buying into the latest tech and throwing away older devices, companies should try donating these devices to someone that could use them via a local charity or drop their devices off at a local depot to ensure they are being correctly recycled. Companies can even sell their older devices to organizations that specialize in refurbishing and reselling to other companies.

Or they could simply resist the urge to buy new if they don’t have to.

Either way, sustainability initiatives like Green IT don’t have to be difficult. There are numerous solutions out there to ensure your business and the environment thrives.

Interested in learning how your business can be sustainable and profitable? Learn more about Green IT and sustainability in our latest report, Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: From Discard Mentality to Tech Sustainability, and how SOTI’s solutions can help.