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End of Life IT Management: Are You Prepared?

All good things must come to an end…or at least, in the case of IT equipment, come to a point when they stop working or are no longer needed. It is part of the business plan that often times does not get the attention it should, according to a recent Forrester study commissioned by Cisco. 

The study took an in-depth look at how 300 European businesses with over 3,000 employees manage their end-of-life IT assets. The conclusion: companies need to do a better job in this area – put bluntly, the end-of-life management process is a financial, regulatory and brand reputation liability. 

While the study was done in Europe it can be used as an indicator of how companies are prioritizing, or not, end-of-life IT management globally.

Some of the highlights of the report:

  • The average lifespan of servers and storage devices is 3.6 years
  • Only 15% of network equipment is destroyed at end-of-life.
  • 45% of German organizations use a 3rd party to manage the end-of-life of IT assets.

 Read the study in full.

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22 Comments.


  1. Any comparison of Europe to the US in terms of our IT organization and efficiency?

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  2. Karen Snell

    Erica, Thanks for your comment.This study in particular focuses on European companies and does not compare companies in other countries. If we come across any such information, we’ll share it.

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  3. If only 15% of network equipment is destroyed, where does the rest of 75% go?

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  4. It is inevitable that every thing is finite weather its good or bad.

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  5. Though it’s in it’s infancy stages, more companies are cloud computing, therefore it totally decreases the volume, time and money spent of removing servers and other IT equipment. However, one of the downsides companies are contemplating is the security of the data stored. Those companies who are well branded and have solid reputations for secured data storage will be very successful yet hold a high responsibility. Hugo

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  6. I think that for medium and large corporations the choice of using 3rd party for doing this job is essential, as there a greater probability that they will do the service in a optimal manner.

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  7. It is important for the IT maintenance and management. Europe ITs are really good in doing this.

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  8. I am an IT Executive and at the end of the day this is just one more thing to add to the list of things that are not our top priority. Why? If I have a specific switch in 36 facilities and it is 6 years old and 2,4 years past its Life span”" am I going to plan its automated replacement? No that is throwing away money AND taking on a project that is not needed.I would rather prioritize my limited resources and work on projects that add value and payback to the company now.”

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  9. I’ve always thought it’d be cool to run a PC reclamation company. One of the more interesting things has been the amount of gold a PC contains, however that has been greatly reduced in the past 10 years due to the overwhelming price of gold.

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  10. Not only is there is a lot of money tied up in old IT equipment there is a lot of plastic and metal that could be recycled. With the life-cycle of IT equipment getting less and less we really need to be getting smarter about how we dispose of these items.

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  11. It is inevitable…

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  12. Karen Snell

    @Brandon, yes, the amount of gold is surprising. Definitely something I learned on this story. @Jon Case…agreed.

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  13. I wonder if we will ever come to a point where we are so efficient in the creation of our technology that the lifespan and relevancy of the equipment gets longer, rather than shorter in this age of exponential technological growth.

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  14. Nice post, it’s very informative about IT maintenance. Thanks for all

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  15. thankss

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  16. It’s good to know more about technologies.

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  17. However, one of the downsides companies are contemplating is the security of the data stored. Those companies who are well branded and have solid reputations for secured data storage will be very successful yet hold a high responsibility. http://www.iqtestforfree.net http://www.testedeqi.net

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  18. hi to allthis post is very informative and transfer of knowledge towards.really useful information I god through this post.thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and thinking.thanks.

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  19. wow, great post and infokeep posting stuff like thisi really like it.hotels goa

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  20. I read your whole blog and I conclude that European’s are always very curious in this field. IT management is very necessary as it is the basic need of every small and big organization.

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