This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly circular economy series attributed to Tillmann Schwabe in his capacity as general manager of everphone – a company known for its online phone-as-a-service technology.
In April 2022, the UN released its climate report, which revealed that we are, “On a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5-degree Celsius limit set back in 2015.”
We need to act. Now.
One key change will be addressing the e-waste created by our linear economy. For many businesses, this involves buying new devices every couple of years and – well, not having a plan for disposing of them.
Embracing a device-as-a-service (DaaS) model can help you solve this issue and go greener in the process. Here’s how.
DaaS supports device circularity and streamlines operations.
The take-make-dispose nature of the linear economy is unsustainable given our raw materials shortage. The circular economy approach limits this excessive resource consumption by extending the lives of products.
Here are two ways DaaS enables this circularity while optimising a company’s operations:
- Device replacement in the case of, say, a laptop screen that breaks. Rather than you disposing of the laptop and ordering a new one (a linear economy solution) your DaaS partner can quickly ship a new device and acquire the broken laptop. This swiftly addresses your problem and prevents the disposal of devices.
- Let’s also look at device repairs. After replacing any defective or broken units, your DaaS provider ensures those same broken devices get repaired. Once repaired, devices are one step closer to being reintegrated into the circular economy.
The linear economy model inflates costs and contributes to the 40 million tons of e-waste dumped into our landfills each year. DaaS limits both.
DaaS frees team capacity
If you want to resell your devices, you need to refurbish them first. But properly refurbishing devices isn’t as easy as completing a factory reset on your iPhone. In fact, a 2019 study showed that 59 percent of hard drives still contain data from previous owners.
Fortunately, DaaS limits this issue. Once it’s time to replace your devices, your DaaS provider supplies you with new technology. Then, they engage their trusted partners in the device repair and data deletion spaces to refurbish your old devices.
This makes your life easier in two ways:
- You don’t need to delegate refurbishing work to your IT staff. This means IT can focus on core functions that ensure your business runs smoothly (e.g., monitoring the computer network).
- You don’t need to forge your own relationships with repair or data deletion firms, which can take months and pull you from revenue-driving tasks.
Outsourcing refurbishment duties to your DaaS partner saves you time and gets your devices one step closer to reuse and one step further from the landfill.
DaaS promotes longevity
But what if you already have refurbished devices you need to offload? In that case, it’s time to find a buyer. That could take months. Meanwhile, your devices are in drawers collecting dust.
Enter DaaS providers. Yes, they repair and refurbish devices, but they also auction off those devices, which fuels the circular economy and reduces e-waste. In other words, you can go greener by just letting DaaS providers do what they do best – manage your devices.
By 2030, experts predict we’ll create more than 70 million tons of e-waste every year, nearly double the rate today. This is an unacceptable outcome.
A DaaS provider isn’t just a green initiative; it’s a strategy that frees up IT staff workloads, optimises company spending (shifting CapEx to OpEx) and ensures your company consistently uses updated devices that meet its needs.
The circular economy isn’t an idealistic concept; it’s a model we’ll need to embrace if we want to curb emissions. Getting serious about your device strategy and seeking out a DaaS provider is a great first step.