As vaccines are increasingly distributed and pandemic restrictions lift, some companies throughout Canada will return to in-office operations. For others, continuing work-from-home (WFH) makes sense financially; a remote workforce can decrease overhead costs by reducing or even eliminating the need for office space. In either case, companies resuming in-office operations or maintaining WFH arrangements will likely want to eliminate some of their excess IT investments, including laptops for remote workers or desktop units sitting unused.
The challenge lies in the fact that most companies don’t have a policy for handling their unused IT assets. Typically, this task gets passed along to the office manager, who has little to no understanding of why proper IT disposition is so important or how to pursue it. Now is the time for companies to look ahead and consider how their device surplus should be managed. Failure to adopt and enforce company-wide protocols can lead to the following issues.
Many companies fall into the dangerous assumption that simply getting rid of excess equipment by any means possible will solve the problem. Yet, Quantum’s Director of Sales, Mike Morgan, warns of a scenario described as “two guys in a pickup truck” who turn up and take assets away at no cost. Unfortunately, these too-good-to-be-true scenarios are just that. Allowing unqualified parties to haul away your equipment introduces tremendous risk for your company.
Clearing the history on your computers isn’t enough to prevent intellectual property from getting into the wrong hands. Most office managers don’t know which questions to ask when seeking a trustworthy partner for handling their end-of-life electronics. By adopting and enforcing company policies for device recycling now, you can reduce risks at every level of the business for the future.
Professional IT asset disposition (ITAD) companies such as Quantum have the training and qualifications needed to ensure your hard drives are completely destroyed and there’s no risk of sensitive data leaving your organization. We can provide certificates of destruction, giving you peace of mind and fulfilling your compliance requirements.
The COVID pandemic necessitated an investment in technology for many organizations, with a majority purchasing new devices to support a WFH employee base. As this equipment becomes unneeded, only a fraction of companies will reuse or resell the devices they purchased during the height of the pandemic. Most of the rest will likely end up in landfills, potentially surpassing the 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste which are dumped each year under normal circumstances.
Partnering with a trusted third party can reduce your company’s carbon footprint, enabling you to either resell or recycle your unneeded equipment. Typically, there’s a market for refurbished devices that are only a couple years old, but even if an abundance of equipment emerges after many businesses enter into their “new normal” phase of operations, there’s always the option for recycling.
Oftentimes, companies want to do the right thing when disposing of their IT assets, but are unsure where to begin. Once you’ve established a plan for post-COVID operations, you can use this knowledge to make the best decisions for both your company and the environment.