02 May 2018

Go Green: Recycle, Repurpose and Reuse

Why repurposing old IT hardware, saving money, and saving the planet is a good idea.

Why repurpose old IT hardware?

Up to 95% of companies send their electronic waste to landfill sites rather than arrange for it to be collected, reused, or recycled, according to a survey by recycling firm BusinessWaste.[1] However, You cannot just send old IT equipment to a landfill site due to the toxic materials used in the manufacturing process of a PC, from lead used in the paint, to the chemicals used in the batteries. It must be properly, and legally disposed of using specialist recycling companies, so that also most definitely rules out breaking it up and putting it out with the normal trash! Ireland is the top country in Europe for electronics recycling because of the WEEE directive, a law that states that any used electronic devices, including PC’s, laptops and other IT equipment must be disposed of by certified waste management companies.[2] However, that comes at a cost, which is why this might not be adhered to as strictly as it should be. It adds additional costs to the bottom line of any desktop transformation projects.

But what about any data on these devices?

What happens to the data on these old PC’s and laptops? How do you know whether they were properly dealt with prior to disposal and that data has been properly wiped? Yes, you can wipe hard drives, but often anybody with the right tools can get that data back again. Data recovery companies have made a business out of doing just that. The answer to this is to either the remove hard drives and lock them away somewhere secure or spend yet more money and pay to have them wiped by a certified company.

VDI breaks the traditional desktop PC refresh cycle

In a typical business environment, an organization would refresh their desktop hardware, around the time the device was between three years and five years old. In some cases that could be even longer.

But organisations today are looking at transformation rather than like-for-like replacement projects. VDI or remote desktop/application projects change all this, maybe cutting PC lifecycles by replacing desktop PC’s with thin client devices. This accelerates the need to dispose of the old, and now unused hardware. We are back to the disposal conversation. But it doesn’t have to be like this? Why throw a perfectly good device away and replace it with a new one, when the old one is perfectly able to deliver what you need? You don’t knock your entire house down and build it over again, just because you want to change your kitchen!

Software defined is the way forward

But how about this for an idea? Don’t do any of the above - instead keep the devices, keep the hard drives, and continue using the PC’s and laptops, but turn them into something more usable and manageable. No need to dispose of, or wipe anything. Just repurpose your PC’s, lock them down and manage them just as you would with any other thin client, but now via a software-based solution. Saving costs, and not sending stuff needlessly to landfill, because now you can use any hardware, old or new.

Go Green: Recycle, Repurpose, and Reuse

ThinKiosk, a software-based solution, turns existing Windows PC’s into Windows-based thin client devices. As devices will already be in place, ThinKiosk can centrally deploy the ThinKiosk Client software, and turn these into centrally managed Windows-based thin clients, delivering end users a familiar look and feel, but more importantly a secure workspace from where they can access their apps and data. Not only does ThinKiosk convert existing PC’s it adds central management and patching to ensure devices are patched and up to date. Another big advantage is its ability to run on older versions of Windows, alleviating the need to migrate and extending the life of existing hardware.

So, you can save money, improve device management AND save the planet just by deploying ThinKiosk from ThinScale – who would have thought it could be so easy! To take a trial of ThinKiosk click here.

[1] https://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/95-percent-of-business-computers-end-up-in-landfill-121552?inf_by=5aaa3179671db8e03a8b4880 [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
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