Recently, it seems that I have been engaged in more dialog than usual regarding the disposal of client devices. It could be due to preparations for an upcoming refresh, it could be anticipation of new regulations, or it could simply be a matter of coincidence. I once had a manager who once said wisely, that when something occurs more than twice, it is a trend. That may not necessarily be the case here, but there does seem to be more interest than previously.
Lifecycle as you know is a process, and like all processes, it may, or may not, matter where one begins. It could be that businesses are looking at the end of the lifecycle to see if there are issues that could be anticipated, or perhaps leveraged.
First, the disclaimer, the opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and not those of my employer HP, and the representations are based upon my experience, research and engagements.
The end of lifecycle is referred to as disposal by some, disposition by others, and even decommissioning. Whatever the nomenclature, the process is about taking a desktop or laptop typcially, and removing all of the proprietary information (IP and consumer) , and perhaps recycle, remarket, de-manufacture, donate, or other process that your business has adopted (or some combination). The end of life process has software licenses harvested and asset repositories updated. Experience suggests that frequently, the end of life process is undervalued in its complexity, even more so depending on the size of your business and the nature of the work your company performs. The cost to prepare and kit the assets represents a significant cost, as well as potential shipping if it is applicable.
How does your business perceive the end of life of desktops and laptops?
The tried and true traditional trade in programs are clearly making a comeback with all of the top tier OEM's and resellers as a very viable alternative. One opinion is that older technology (regardless of the age) may have trade in value of some sort and therefore is a potential source of working capital. In addition,there seems to be a growing number of businesses that specialize in the disposition processes these days, some of which are every well certified in the processes.
Disposal also has taken on a more challenging aspect as one of our fellow bloggers alluded to in his comment a short time ago- what about other access devices?
This may in fact be what is driving some of the current interest in disposal. What is the disposal process for handheld devices, smart phones, PDA's, home PC's that may contain corporate information, and other trends in access computing. I think that there is becoming a "connecting of the dots of sorts" in terms of thinking not only about desktops and laptops, but about the overall concept of access and the number of devices that may, and frequently do, have business information residing on it.
What are your thoughts, is this perhaps over thinking about the issues of disposal?