Jul 05, 2022 by Team HiddenApp

Four reasons to retain rather than replace your devices

Four reasons to retain rather than replace your devices

What's your replacement strategy for lost and EOL devices? Find out the underlying costs, and measures to keep devices in your organization and operational longer.

When you’re managing a fleet of laptops and tablets, it’s not always easy to stay in control. If one becomes lost, you may feel that the easiest thing to do is simply replace it. But your replacement strategy might be costing you more than you think.

There are considerable advantages in taking steps to retain devices i.e. to keep them operational and in your organization for longer. Here are just a few:


The IT industry isn’t known for its commitment to the environment. The cycle of pushing new products in the shortest possible time leaves a growing mountain of energy consumption, mineral use, leached heavy metals and e-waste behind it. As a result of this constant drive to flood the world with new devices, the industry is responsible for as much greenhouse gas pollution as the entire airline industry - almost 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

But things are changing, and not before time. There’s a movement for IT asset management to become more planet-friendly. There’s more choice in the market; we are no longer forced to buy new. Newer devices are no longer more efficient than older ones. Remanufactured devices perform as well as, or better, than brand new. In addition, organizational and societal mindset is changing. Sustainability is fast becoming a badge of honor for businesses, a choice for consumers and preferred by employees.

Many schools and companies have a commitment to environmental sustainability. If yours does, having a policy of retaining, rather than replacing, devices is a measurable action that can contribute to your overall green strategy.

Operational continuity

When mobile devices are misplaced or go missing, it’s not always easy to replace them quickly. Long supply chains and wait times mean that, if you’re short of devices, work or study can be interrupted. Productivity can decline or learning can be delayed when you don’t have all the resources you need to do the job.

Alternatively, you may be forced to buy a different model device that’s not top of your list but delivered more quickly, because it’s better than having a gap. This may be a more expensive option, or it might not do everything you need it to do. It’s not an optimal way forward.

Reduced costs

Retaining rather than replacing devices saves money in more ways than one. Obviously, keeping an IT asset operational for longer reduces the need (and cost) of new assets.

But there’s a danger of needless spending, too. For instance, If you don’t have an active device retention policy, it’s likely that you’re not keeping track of your fleet of devices as effectively as you might. Perhaps a device is misplaced for a while and turns up again after you’ve replaced it. This unnecessary spending can damage IT, corporate or school budgets.

You may also buy a new device, rather than redeploy a perfectly good spare device, And these costs don't take into account impacts on insurance costs for lost or stolen devices, or the time taken by IT staff to provision, secure and deploy individual replacements.

Becoming more progressive

There is a cluster of values-led progressive philosophies that are growing amongst switched-on companies and schools. These go beyond environmental principles. Philosophies such as responsible use, acknowledging the value of things, good citizenship, product lifecycles and B-Corp standards are part of a more thoughtful approach to how we operate in the world. In IT land, retaining rather than replacing devices is a small but important part of this new world order of progressive thinking.

Looking to retain your devices? Here’s where to start:

If you’ve made the decision to retain rather than replace your mobile devices, here are some tips to get you started:

Create a device register

If you don’t already have one, it makes sense to create a central registry of all the devices in your fleet. Use management software to build a central dashboard from where you can see exactly which devices are in your fleet, where they are and who’s using them. With an IT asset register that’s updated in real time, you’ll be able to identify and redeploy spares, rather than buy new devices.

Track your devices

If you can track your devices, you’ll be able to locate them in real-time. This helps with redeployment of spares, but also helps to reduce the chance of devices getting lost or misplaced. And if bad things happen - for instance, a device gets stolen - it’s easier to track it down, alert the authorities and get the device back.

Create a preventative maintenance schedule

It’s important to make sure that your devices are maintained, in order to lengthen their useful lives. With centralized administration, you’ll be able to push software updates and OS upgrades, and identify issues before they become problems. You’ll also be able to schedule any disruptive maintenance for the least disruptive time, and warn users when it’ll happen, too.

Buy with life length in mind

When you buy new devices, keep in mind that you’ll want it operational and viable for a long time. It’s a good idea to check out warranty length and guarantees.

It makes financial and environmental sense to make your devices last longer. With a clear retention policy and some practical interventions, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.