Embracing sustainability and circular economy with Device-as-a-Service

  • November 04, 2023

Businesses are adapting rapidly to hybrid workplaces, they're also transforming their IT landscape to reduce costs, optimize operations, enhance productivity and drive better employee and end-user experiences. A significant byproduct of these endeavors is the impact on the environment. According to Gartner®, employee devices make up more than 50% of IT greenhouse gas emissions in most enterprises.* The report also states if proper hygiene and care allows an endpoint to just one year longer, that will save the organization ~20% of avoided device emissions for that employee.* Hence, IT investments must contribute to enterprise-wide sustainability goals by maximizing the asset life and use, optimizing energy consumption and shipping to reduce the carbon footprint of the digital workforce. Regarding managing end-to-end device lifecycle, Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a transformative solution. DaaS can offer organizations a comprehensive package that includes devices, software and support, combined with sustainable best practices embedded within the various phases of the device lifecycle from manufacturing to disposal. Beyond its convenience and cost-effectiveness, DaaS is evolving to embrace sustainability and the circular economy with a proven reduction in carbon footprint and increased reduction of TCO during the life of the devices.

The evolution of Device-as-a-Service

DaaS has evolved from a traditional hardware-centric model to a more holistic approach that emphasizes the entire lifecycle of devices. In our previous post, we explained how organizations can use DaaS to manage the device lifecycle from end to end. That includes helping organizations with:

  • Planning their device needs,
  • Procuring the right equipment,
  • Configuring and deploying devices,
  • Providing ongoing support and analytics,
  • Managing repairs and replacements, and
  • Retiring devices appropriately.

In addition to device procurement and management, DaaS also integrates support, security and software updates, making sure that organizations have access to the latest technology without the burden of ownership. This shift towards a service-oriented model enables businesses to stay agile, scalable and future-proof in their digital endeavors.

Embracing sustainability with DaaS

Recognizing the environmental impact of electronic waste and the importance of sustainability, OEMs are increasingly integrating sustainability practices into their manufacturing, shipping and support processes. By adopting a sustainable DaaS model, organizations can reduce electronic waste through device reuse, recycling and responsible disposal. NTT DATA works closely with device manufacturers to make sure devices are designed for longevity, repairability and recyclability. This approach aligns with the principles of the circular economy, aiming to minimize resource consumption and maximize the lifespan of devices. An exciting development within the DaaS ecosystem introduces remanufacturing, which involves the process of repairing and upgrading eligible used devices to extend their lifespan and improve performance. While remanufacturing can bring to life any device to a usable state, the model works best with notebook PCs and doesn't make economic sense regarding desktop systems. Partnering with certified remanufacturing facilities is critical toto ensure quality. Certified remanufacturers can guarantee notebook PCs undergo rigorous testing, cleaning and repairs. This approach not only reduces electronic waste but also offers cost savings to organizations by providing access to high-quality refurbished devices at a lower price point. More importantly, a significant portion of carbon emissions caused by the manufacturing of new devices is completely avoided.

Key recommendations for adopting DaaS to meet sustainability goals for the digital workforce

  • Assess your needs: Before embracing DaaS, conduct a thorough assessment of your organization's device requirements and lifecycle management processes. Identify pain points, inefficiencies and potential areas for improvement. These may also include a revision of the refresh plan to infuse remanufactured devices into the estate as part of the refresh.
  • Optimize device lifespan: Implement strategies to extend the lifespan of your devices. This includes regular maintenance, software updates and leveraging refurbished devices when appropriate. Adopting a proactive approach to device management ensures optimal performance and reduces unnecessary device turnover. Device tracking with tools such as Nexthink or 1E Tachyon can help optimize usage and send alerts at the right time to retire or refresh devices based on criteria.
  • Adopt a sustainable device support model: Encourage remote support with AR-enabled solutions and out-of-band solutions, such as Intel vPro® so field service technician dispatch can be avoided. Cutting down unnecessary travel will help move the needle to help reduce carbon footprints. Tech bars, smart lockers and vending machines can be deployed to improve delivery efficiency while improving your organization’s green posture.
  • Implement responsible supply chain practices: Work closely with OEMs to ensure factory imaging and direct shipment to homes in recyclable cardboard packaging so staging and shipment to and from depots is eliminated. MakeMake sure devices are responsibly disposed of at the end of their lifecycle. Working with NTT DATA can help you establish processes for recycling and properly disposing of devices to minimize environmental impact.
  • Promote employee awareness and engagement: Educate your employees about the importance of sustainable device management. Encourage them to participate actively in device recycling programs and promote a culture of environmental responsibility.
  • Track and measure impact: Continuously monitor the environmental impact of your DaaS program. Track metrics such as device reuse rates, carbon emissions reduction and waste diversion to measure the effectiveness of your sustainability initiatives. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and set new sustainability goals.

The way forward

Sustainable Device-as-a-Service can transform the way organizations approach their digital workplace needs. Hence, it is important to align your enterprise-wide sustainability goals with digital workplace objectives. Aim to reduce your carbon footprint throughout the device lifecycle with prioritization to device refurbishment, recycling, recycled shipping material, and responsible disposal.

NTT DATA has developed a Sustainable Device-as-a-Service (SDaaS) solution that embraces sustainability and the circular economy in the end-to-end device lifecycle management. The solution can be a significant contributor in driving down carbon emissions by up to 35% and provide up to 15% cost savings when it comes to TCO of laptops. With lower OPEX intrinsic in the DaaS commercial models, further operational efficiencies can be gained with reduced dispatch tickets. We have partnered with HP to bring in their Device-as-a-Service combined with an integrated finance model that ensures agility, flexibility, security, and sustainability across the life of the devices.

Find out more ways on how you can modernize your digital workplace.

* Gartner, The Best and Worst Ideas for Achieving Digital Workplace Sustainability, by Autumn Stanish & Stuart Downes, June 2023
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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Harish Acharya

Harish is a Strategic Advisor for Digital Workplace Services and Solutions at NTT DATA. He has more than 24 years of experience in various roles covering offering management, solution engineering, technical support, and infrastructure-managed services delivery. He is passionate about creating Future of Work solutions with a focus on driving elevated employee experience, user engagement, digital-first solutions, and workplace transformation.


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