Picture this: You’re the last one still at the office, when suddenly, you feel a gust of air that sends a chill down your spine. You get the eerie feeling that you’re not alone anymore. Then, you turn around and—dun-da-da-dun: It’s the designated device graveyard, piled high with broken phones and legacy tech that should have been removed from the office ages ago. You’re totally spooked to say the least.
You should take IT sustainability and responsible device disposal seriously; otherwise, you’ll find yourself trudging through this type of device graveyard yourself one day. Outdated tech that isn’t recycled or disposed of properly is terrifying every day of the year, and too many offices have areas, like an empty or unused storage closet, for tossing old or nonfunctioning hardware—sometimes called fringe devices—that they ought to recycle.
Let’s take a fresh look at how you can refine your device disposal practices and make sure you’re not only recycling responsibly—but also protecting the office by eliminating any overlooked entry points to your network.
Go green, safe, and secure
Green-friendly companies promote IT sustainability and printer recycling by offering to buy back or donate old equipment safely and securely. You can turn that device stash into cash, a gift card, a donation to a worthy charity, or return the funds to your IT budget. Even if your old equipment is beyond recovery, certain companies will help you out with preferred recycling options—an easy way to protect the environment.
These programs offer great options, but you should take precautions. We’ve all heard the horror stories about cybercriminals recovering sensitive information from hard drives taken out of discarded PCs, printers, copiers—basically, any endpoint is up for grabs. Avoid becoming a cybercasualty by following these tips:
- Wipe the hard drive of a device first, then physically remove it or drill it.
- Destroy data by degaussing or shredding.
- Keep certificates of destruction for audit purposes.
- Work with a Device as a Service offering to manage hardware that reaches the end of its lifecycle.
Technology partners can provide a range of offerings to move your business to the cloud and transform your printer and copier experience. For example, HP’s office printers, which offer the world’s most secure printing, keep the environment in clear focus. Through their circular economy process, HP lowered its carbon and water footprints from 2015 to 2016—all thanks to their pursuit of improving materials recovery, refurbishing their subscription services (like managed print services), reducing materials overall, implementing renewable energy initiatives, and more.
Take your printing sky-high
The cloud is where it’s at if we’re talking about decluttering your office for good. Modern copiers and printers can ease information sharing and collaboration, while keeping everything in the cloud. The US government got on board several years ago, calling cloud computing a “profound economic and technical shift with great potential to reduce the cost of federal IT systems while improving IT capabilities and stimulating innovation in IT solutions.”
Modern, cloud-based technology solutions allow you to replace and refresh office components quickly, with less downtime and the peace of mind that your data and processes are secure. You won’t have to worry about a physical device graveyard for a while. Moving beyond a product refresh and secure processing, new equipment also has plenty of edge. Here are a few features that make cloud-based printers and copiers a smart upgrade over outdated technology:
- Self-repair from attacks in real time
- Anticipation of parts servicing to avoid premature ink and toner replacement
- Automatic threat detection to prevent intrusions and validate operating software
- Accelerated workflow, improved accuracy, and easy connection to users throughout your organization
- Ability to hold print jobs in the cloud with a range of authentication options, including card readers and QR codes
Choose IT sustainability
All those menial tasks on your list—turning off the copier, ordering pre-printed forms, encouraging users to save money by duplexing—can be handled automatically by smart, cloud-based technology. Know what that means? You can spend more time on the important, strategic aspects of your business, like customer satisfaction, budget, productivity, employee satisfaction, and retention.
Isn’t it time you take another look at your copier and printing recycling methods? Chuck out that tired, worn equipment collecting dust and creeping out your workers—then, freshen your workspace with advanced cloud technology. Your team will have the information-sharing and collaborative power to boost efficiency, create innovative solutions, and promote friendlier staff interactions.