Going Green in Tech Part 2: The Role of Non-OEM Products in developing Sustainable IT Practices

Jan 23, 2024 | Green Technology

In the second of our ‘Sustainable IT’ articles, it’s time to explore the value of introducing Non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products into the business IT lifecycle as a way of deriving not only sustainability benefits but cost savings and more.


Non-OEM meaning: A quick definition

In the IT context, non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products typically refer to hardware components or software that are produced by one company for use in another company’s devices or systems. Here are some examples:


Hardware Components:

Hard Drives: A non-OEM may manufacture hard drives that are then used in computers produced by other companies.

Graphics Cards: Companies that specialise in graphics card manufacturing may produce non-OEM versions for integration into computers or servers.



Operating Systems: non-OEM versions of operating systems are often pre-installed on computers by the original manufacturer.

Antivirus Software: Some antivirus software is non-OEM meaning it is bundled with new computers by the computer manufacturer.


Networking Equipment:

Routers and Switches: non-OEMs may produce networking equipment that is integrated into larger IT infrastructure solutions.


Printers and Scanners:

Printer Components: Manufacturers may produce non-OEM parts for printers, such as ink cartridges or print heads, used by other companies in their printing devices.


Server Components:

Processor Chips: Companies producing processors may supply non-OEM versions for use in servers manufactured by other companies.

Memory Modules: non-OEM memory modules may be integrated into servers or computers during the manufacturing process.


Embedded Systems:

Embedded Software: non-OEMs may develop software solutions embedded in devices such as smart TVs, IoT devices, or industrial machinery.


Consumer Electronics:

Cameras: Camera modules produced by non-OEM are often integrated into smartphones or other electronic devices.

Tablet Components: non-OEM may manufacture components like screens or batteries for use in tablets produced by other companies.


Why then, would using non-OEM products play a role in developing sustainable IT practices?


Extending the Lifespan: A Cost-Effective Approach

One of the key ways that non-OEM products add value is their ability to extend the lifespan of IT equipment. Simply put, non-OEM products mean that devices can be repaired and upgraded with affordable alternatives, avoiding the need for premature replacements. Non-OEM parts can also be lower cost than OEM parts and offer a variety of options to upgrade beyond what the original manufacturer has to offer. This can not only extend the usage of a system, but improve its performance over the originally supplied system.


The Circular Economy in Action

Non-OEM products allow businesses to break away from the linear model of production and disposal, these alternatives facilitate the reuse and refurbishment of IT equipment. By opting for non-OEM solutions, organisations actively contribute to a circular economy, reducing electronic waste and promoting a more sustainable approach to technology consumption.


Balancing the Books: Economic Sustainability

Business decisions often come down to the bottom line, and here’s where non-OEM products shine. Their cost-effectiveness allows businesses to allocate resources wisely, making sustainable choices within budget limitations. This economic sustainability not only benefits the environment but also aligns with smart financial practices.


Reducing Environmental Footprints

From an environmental perspective, non-OEM products often take a greener approach in the full production cycle. Whether through the use of recycled materials or more efficient manufacturing processes, these alternatives contribute to a lower overall environmental footprint.


Cost over time

Knowing that you have a good source of non-OEM upgrades available means that you can purchase equipment with a view on medium term operability, with the knowledge that non-OEM products can be used for a planned “mid-life upgrade” of systems to significantly extend usage and improve the inherent functionality. This reduces the original purchase cost and allows the integration of the latest technologies available at the time of upgrade.


Market Dynamics: Encouraging Innovation

Competition is the driving force behind innovation, and the presence of non-OEM products in the market fuels healthy competitive practices and innovation. This competition fosters the development of more energy-efficient and sustainable IT solutions, pushing both OEM and non-OEM sectors to strive for excellence.


Compatibility and Flexibility: The Power of Choice

Non-OEM products often feature a broader compatibility range, promoting interoperability which allows businesses to integrate diverse hardware and software solutions into their IT infrastructure, and reduce the need for frequent upgrades. Non-OEM products can also often be redeployed to a wider range of equipment in the future, this further enhances their value for money and use to the business.


Considering and implementing a non-OEM approach as part of your business’s sustainable IT practices is more than a choice; it’s a commitment to a future where technology and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.


Find out more about how iTEXs can help you review, develop and implement a more sustainable IT strategy for your business.


Call us today on 01223 834844.

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