A recent study from MarketWatch detailed out some $47 billion in old smartphones sitting unused in drawers, boxes and cabinets in the US alone. I think most consumers know there is value in the old device, even if it is a spare for that “what-if” scenario where the phone goes for a swim in the pool this summer. But many have no idea how much real value is still held in that “old” device. An iPhone 4S might return as much as 50% of hard dollars spent to purchase the device under carrier subsidy.
Companies I speak with usually have a spares drawer or cabinet full of used devices in reasonably good shape. They are used strategically to replace broken or lost devices for associates supported under their corporate program. I think it’s a wise move, but that is generally a small subset of their complete device inventory. The key is to have a complete strategy for all device turn over. Those spare devices need to be tracked in inventory and updated regularly as devices go end of life. There should also be a standard process for all device upgrades to make sure the old devices get returned, evaluated for the spares pool and recycled when appropriate. Any time a user gets a new device, or there is turn over in personnel, the old device should be accounted for.
While the recovery of some of the hardware costs is beneficial, the true value of a clear and complete decommissioning process is the decommissioning of the data on those devices as well. Especially true for lost and stolen devices, wiping the device data protects your organization and its competitive advantage. By building your MDM administrators or help desk agents into the processes you achieve the trifecta to complete lifecycle management of hardware, software licenses and content.