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How to Green Your IT: Go Pre-Owned

April 17, 2013 No Comments

Featured Article by Mike Sheldon, President and CEO, Curvature

While the economy is showing signs of an uptick, many businesses are not ready to throw caution to the wind quite yet in terms of their approach to IT infrastructure investment.  Feeling the pinch first hand, IT departments have grown accustomed to being asked to do more with less.  So it’s not surprising that the environmental impact of IT often takes a backseat in the list of priorities behind driving productivity, supporting the organization’s overall growth and improving return on investments.

Today, you might assume that the rollout of green strategies requires a significant investment that yields limited returns. The reality is quite the opposite: many IT departments have found that going green by implementing sustainable business practices can actually serve as a boon to their bottom line.

As Earth Day fast approaches, here are three environmentally-friendly, cost-saving tips to consider that will green up your IT strategy:

1. Go pre-owned.  Similar to the value and allure of purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, IT purchasing decision makers should remain open to the idea of pre-owned networking equipment.   Purchasing and deploying pre-owned equipment is not only environmentally-friendly, but also the more reliable and cost-effective option.

Businesses are often led to believe that new equipment is the best and only alternative.  Wrong. Choosing a credible reseller of used and pre-owned networking equipment can actually mitigate the risks of network downtime due to equipment failure because each piece of hardware undergoes exhaustive diagnostic testing prior to being shipped.  In fact with some refurbished equipment, the failure rate is as low as 0.5 percent, a standard unmatched by out-of-the-box network hardware from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).  Going pre-owned can also save your department an average of 75 percent off of traditional OEM list prices.

2. Explore alternative maintenance and support solutions that extend the life of your network.  Companies are often unaware of the ratio of core network costs versus network support and maintenance costs. On average, only 25 percent of IT budgets are allotted to purchasing and deploying core networking equipment, yet these investments are the key to staying ahead of the curve and driving growth.  The other 75 percent of the budget goes toward network maintenance and support. You can balance this ratio by exploring alternative maintenance solutions that offer significant cost savings and support legacy networking equipment long beyond its end-of-life date.

For example, Sansum Clinic – the oldest and largest non-profit, outpatient healthcare provider between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay area –migrated the majority of its hardware maintenance from Cisco’s SMARTnet® over to Network Hardware Resale’s NetSure™ Maintenance Program. As a result, Sansum Clinic is saving more than $57,000 annually in maintenance fees.  The savings enabled Sansum Clinic to jumpstart new IT projects that originally fell outside the annual budget (click here to view the full case study).

Beyond the cost savings, alternative maintenance and support solutions offer maximum ROI by extending the life of the network. Network equipment is built to last for decades (up to 33 years depending on the type of equipment), yet OEMs pressure customers into upgrades typically within three to five years of their last purchase. For many IT departments, the cost of constant upgrades to the latest network gear is not only daunting but is simply not a smart choice, delivering only marginal improvements in price/performance and questionable ROI.  Alternative maintenance and support solutions on the market today support legacy networking equipment long beyond OEM-mandated end-of-life dates, so you can choose when and how you want to upgrade.  By putting the choice back in your hands, alternative maintenance and support solutions can extend the life of viable networking equipment and keep it out of landfills.

3. Get cash back for recycling surplus and legacy networking equipment.  When it comes time to part ways with surplus or legacy networking equipment, consider programs that offer financial incentives for reducing inventories in a responsible manner.

Secondary resellers in the market today provide IT asset recovery programs that offer cash incentives for old equipment, maximizing ROI, eliminating storage costs for excess equipment and providing peace of mind by making the appraisal and shipping process hassle-free.  And by selling pre-owned equipment to secondary resellers, you are keeping viable equipment that can be remarketed from being tossed into landfills (click here to view an infographic on reducing e-Waste).

Working with pre-owned equipment providers is a winning strategy. Reconsidering pre-owned networking equipment, deploying alternative maintenance solutions and leveraging IT asset recovery programs are just a few strategies you can implement to gain value-added services at a significantly reduced cost. These small steps can make a big difference for the environment and your bottom line.

Mike Sheldon is President and CEO of Curvature. Mike joined the company in 2001 as Vice President of Sales and was named CEO in January 2006. Under his executive leadership Curvature continues to post record revenues and expand its operations – now employing more than 400 people in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining Curvature, Mike had a successful career in investment banking with UBS and Barclay’s Capital in New York. Mike studied philosophy and game theory at MIT.

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