Not all technology upgrades and replacements are voluntary. When organizations build entire systems around specific hardware – which is often the case – they create intrinsic risk. What if the systems they rely on break and the components needed to repair them no longer are available? It’s not so uncommon for well-designed applications to become integral to an organization’s functioning often decades past when the architects envisioned. As manufacturers market new products, support for older products wanes.
Organizations often feel forced to replace complete systems with new systems. This not only launches a new cycle of reliance but also creates ripples – or tsunamis – throughout the office. Budgets, sustainability and productivity all take their hits. New systems often require new integration, and applications require adaptation.
Does it always have to be this way?
From a sustainability perspective, the energy and raw materials needed to manufacture computer hardware are best amortized by getting full use of equipment rather than condemning it to a premature end of life.
The risk posed by obsolete electronic components – when components become unavailable from their original manufacturing source for any number of reasons – often goes undetected and is a threat that can undermine entire operations. I’m very excited by the initiative being offered by Converge, an Arrow company. The Future of Obsolescence Management (FOM) program works to identify these risks and constructs proactive solutions, safeguarding systems’ viability long past what the market itself provides.
If you’d like to learn more about obsolescence management, you can follow the new blog series from EMEA director Rob Picken. If you know you have systems at risk, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with folks ready to help.
Carol Baroudi works for Arrow’s Value Recovery business promoting sustainability awareness and action. She is the lead author of Green IT For Dummies. Her particular focus is on electronics in the Circular Economy, with an emphasis on the IT asset disposition stage, e-waste and everything connected. Follow her on Twitter at @carol_baroudi and connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/carolbaroudi.