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Stop buying IT: Report reveals top trends driving IT decision making – device proliferation, sustainability & data security

A new report launched today reveals the four major trends driving IT purchasing decisions post-pandemic, according to nearly 1,000 IT decision makers across Europe.

The Stop Buying IT report, from Technology Lifecycle Management provider 3stepIT, highlights how a drastically changed workforce and operating environment has put device proliferation, sustainability and security to the forefront of IT decision making. The report reveals:


Devices have proliferated since the pandemic.

  • 81% of businesses report remote working has prompted them to make more device purchases.
  • The number of devices per employee is up 14% on pre-pandemic levels – from 2.1 to 2.4.


Sustainability is a growing concern, but this isn’t always translating into action.

  • 77% agree e-waste and its impact on the environment is a concern for their business.
  • 71% say the IT department is under pressure to be more sustainable.
  • Just over half (55%) measure the carbon footprint of their IT devices.


Data security is a top priority for businesses considering sustainable IT asset management.

  • Nearly a fifth (19%) said they were not able to track and locate all of their business devices all of the time.
  • 56% said data security and a full audit trail for disposed devices was their top priority.
  • 41% said data security was their biggest challenge.


The report launches during a moment of critical importance for businesses, which, driven in part by the pandemic, face increasing tech expenditure and high volumes of redundant devices. It reveals how a more flexible approach to IT procurement can help organisations overcome today’s biggest business challenges.


The report also shows enterprise IT still remains in its infancy when it comes to sustainable procurement, with more than half (52%) of businesses revealing they still buy IT outright. This is despite 77% of respondents revealing they use flexible acquisition models in other areas of their business, including the procurement of cars and printers.


3stepIT is therefore calling on businesses to transition away from a ‘buy it now’ approach and instead adopt technology lifecycle management, a practice that enables companies to sustainably and securely procure, manage and dispose of business tech without the need to purchase.


As part of a single service, technology lifecycle management helps businesses to acquire essential IT infrastructure, use an advanced asset management platform to manage the health and efficiency of those devices, and when they age, instigate the renewal and refurbishment process.


Speaking on the launch of the report, Carmen Ene, CEO of 3stepIT & BNP Paribas 3 Step IT said: “Businesses have been under immense pressure since the pandemic – adjusting to hybrid workforces, managing high volumes of devices and tackling new data security risks. Not to mention the mounting pressure to support the net zero transition and operate more sustainably.


“The traditional cash purchase model is placing a huge burden on businesses. Investment in new technology requires massive upfront capital expenditure and significant time, while considerable resources need to be ploughed into sourcing new equipment, managing and disposing of it, often through a complex web of suppliers and systems.


“Cash ownership embeds needless waste in a business right from the outset, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Enterprise IT is an untapped area to contribute to reaching an organisation’s sustainability goals and, managed correctly, can be a huge driver of productivity and creativity.


“We’re calling on businesses to Stop Buying IT outright and to start benefiting from the better cash flow, flexibility, efficiency and security that a technology lifecycle management solution can provide.”

Research methodology
3stepIT surveyed 955 decision makers across IT, Finance & Procurement, and Sustainability roles in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Finland to understand current attitudes and approach to IT device acquisition, management and disposal; and highlight the untapped potential that TLM offers to businesses across EMEA.

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