CIOIT Best Practices

10 Ways to Repurpose Your IT Investments

Legacy technology is seldom destined for the scrap heap in the right hands. You might even be surprised how much value remains to be found. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett lists 10 ways you can recycle old IT investments and receive a thumbs-up from the more miserly souls in your organization:

  1. Donate old equipment to a school or a charity.
  2. Use slower hard drives for cold storage archiving.
  3. Use old servers for testing and training.
  4. Recycle desktops and laptops to occasional and casual system users.
  5. Find more “standard” code you can place into your reusable code routine libraries.
  6. Boilerplate repeatable system operations, like virtual operating systems deployment.
  7. Use old servers for proxy servers on networks.
  8. Create a library of end user macros for office applications.
  9. Hang onto your tape drives.
  10. Renovate seldom used reports.

Here Today, Still Here Tomorrow

Although at the top of the list, donating old equipment to schools and the like comes with a caveat—most of them do not want your outdated garbage either, so practice discretion before you offer your Windows 3.1-enabled computers to the elementary school. More practically though, you can use old hard drives for your backroom data archiving. Tape drives too are excellent for archiving on the cheap. Old servers meanwhile that can still handle new apps are ideal for testing, but they can be redeveloped as proxy servers too.

There are necessarily some power users in your organization who use machines that dwarf those of their peers, but such machines tend to lose their edge within the third year. Shacklett recommends replacing those machines with new models at that time, and simply giving the old, perfectly usable machines to someone else. And regarding the hunt for more “standard” code, she writes:

Most sites have common date/field edits and system resource invocation routines in their source code libraries—but beyond this, there is a layer of highly reusable and repeatable software that supports common business processes that goes unleveraged. Process repeatability in software is an area that many IT departments overlook for their code libraries, yet many of these coded processes offer uniformity and repeatability that can improve corporate business processes and also save time for developers.

While you are it, adding your manual scripts for virtual operating systems to your common code libraries and turning them into templates can save much-craved time as well. Ask around the IT organization to see who has come up with slick macros for office applications too, as what saves one person oodles of time might save several other people oodles of time as well. Finally, although the majority of your old reports sitting on shelves might just be taking up space, they still might be worth one more glance before you toss them. You never know where you might find a diamond in the rough.

You can read the original article here:

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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