This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Record.
Millennials are expected to comprise 50% of the global workforce by 2020. A recent Microsoft study found that 93% of millennials consider modern technology a priority in the workplace, so it’s clear that companies must start investing in their IT equipment. But what if they don’t have the budget for new devices?
An affordable option is to lease devices from an IT lifecycle services organisation, says Nick Gallop, vice president of marketing at 3 Step IT.
“3 Step IT can help customers to acquire new devices and then provides an asset management service for an agreed period (usually two to four years),” he explains. “Once the lease is up, we take the devices back, erase the data to prevent privacy breaches and recondition them so they can be re-sold for a second life.”
Regularly replacing IT assets enables companies to empower their employees with the latest tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. The planned lifecycle approach helps to reduce costs and makes the whole process more sustainable.
“Typically, things start to go wrong with devices after around three years, so employees become less productive, and the costs of supporting their equipment increase significantly,” says Gallop. “Our customers say that our flexible lifecycle services help them to reduce the total cost of ownership and better manage their IT budgets.”
The asset management service also makes it easy for customers to keep track of their devices, and therefore their business-critical data.
“With asset management services, clients know who is using each device, what software they install, and they can identify potential system issues,” says Jonas Rosqvist, 3 Step IT’s chief remarketing officer. “We use it to advise the client their lease is ending too.”
When clients return their used devices, Rosqvist and his team check them against the asset record. This provides clients with an audit trail, and helps to detect and prevent data theft. It’s only once 3 Step IT has all the correct assets that it moves on to the data erasure process, reconditioning and finally reselling the equipment.
“This approach reassures our customers that no one can access their sensitive data, allowing them to remain compliant with industry regulations,” Rosqvist comments.
Currently, 3 Step IT leases devices to around 4,000 customers and provides used equipment to many more worldwide, including UK-based school Smith’s Wood Academy (read more on page 106). Rosqvist estimates that 98% of leased devices are given a second life.
“Reconditioning and reselling devices enables us to extend their life by three or four years so we get much more value out of each asset,” he says. “Plus, we’re able to fulfil the circular economy philosophy and help our customers enhance their sustainability credentials.”