We are merely the custodians of this planet we inhabit; by ‘we’, I mean every person that is alive today. As individuals, our tenancy agreement with this wonderful piece of real estate is a short one, as the one thing none of us can avoid is that we die at our allotted time. Within a couple of generations, all that will be left of each of us, will at best, be a digital fingerprint in some long-forgotten cloud, reminiscent of the people we thought we were. Anything meaningful will be gone. Ultimately, as individuals our lives will have been without meaning apart from the fact that it was lived.
As a generation, our time on the Earth and the legacy we leave, may have a greater meaning for those that come after. If you believe the Cassandras, the collapse of our civilisation is only a few years away due to global warming, rising sea levels and food shortages. Sceptics will say the planet is just going through one of its warm periods, and, to quote one of my colleagues, “everything will be fine”; apparently if we separate our rubbish into black or green bins and change over to low-energy lightbulbs, the world will be saved.
The one thing that is without doubt, is we are consuming more of the Earth’s resources than ever before and we’re continuing to do so at an ever-increasing rate. Our hunger for the exploitation of every natural habitat is driven by the insatiable appetite for growth, that mythical beast that financiers, governments and companies see as the bell-weather of a healthy world.
Measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product), growth means only one thing – Production. To produce more takes more resources, it’s a very simple equation. Even a modest 3% annual growth figure means a doubling of production over a 25 year period, that’s a doubling on the demand for the world’s resources every 25 years.
And the purpose of production is to make stuff that people buy; from the wear-once T-shirt to the latest and greatest must-have smartphone. It’s all about growth. Make something short lived but desirable and we all keep going back for more, beguiled by manufacturers into an unnecessary purchase.
However, this is not just confined to the public; companies are enticed to have the latest IT systems, the latest machinery, the latest of everything to make them appear more competitive, to make them able to produce more.
Sadly, it’s not a fair fight; especially in electronic goods, manufacturers are deliberately reducing product lifecycles. If they make the lifecycle shorter the product becomes obsolete sooner, resulting in a newer model up for purchasing and if a new model needs to be purchased it needs to be produced.
In IT, it’s a very simple manufacturer-sponsored cycle for any new piece of equipment: Warranty; Support and End Of Life. With the time a machine is eligible for manufacturer support being shortened, a machine will become obsolete and, on the scrapheap, long before its useful life has expired. It’s still a capable machine able to do what it was originally designed to do, but without the necessary support it becomes a risk, it becomes junk. The cycle keeps the production lines very busy but does nothing for the burgeoning demand on the environment, gobbling up ever more resources.
Thankfully, there is an alternative; there is a thriving global industry providing continued support for just about every IT manufacturer that you can think of. Keeping the lights on for equipment the manufacturer would like you to throw on the scrapheap, improving a company’s return on their original investment, breaking them free from the manufacturer’s stranglehold of upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.
With manufacturers desperate to reduce costs and the fact that their support is is one of the first casualties, the support offered by a third-party maintainer often improves on the support previously given by the manufacturer.
I am proud to say that I work for this industry and even prouder to say that I work for probably the best exponent of third-party maintenance in the world.
If this blog hits a note with you, or you are just looking for the best data centre maintenance that money can buy, then get in touch with me or at least have a look around our website. I’m not saying that together we are going to save the planet but, like the low energy lightbulbs, we might just make that little bit of a difference.