Corporate IT departments have much to consider when deciding how to dispose of their surplus, obsolete or scrap IT assets. In fact, there are so many things to take into account when disposing of IT assets that often the decision is to leave it for later and do nothing in the short term.
This paper aims to provide some guidance to those who aren’t sure what to do, but know they need to do something. At the end of this paper you will have at least a basic knowledge of what questions to ask and things to consider when making IT asset disposition (ITAD) decisions.
What is ITAD?
Information Technology Asset Disposition (ITAD) is a blanket term used to describe a range of services related to ensuring your assets are properly handled and disposed of when you’re done with them.
Old IT products are not garbage.
Properly managed ITAD starts with changing the paradigm from one in which broken or obsolete IT equipment are thought of as junk to one in which they are considered assets. Garbage isn’t worth anything. Assets can be monetized. As you will see, thinking of IT disposition from this perspective, and engaging an ITAD firm like Quantum to manage the process, can have significant impacts towards reducing your labour costs and increasing return on investment.
Don’t sit on things.
IT assets depreciate in value quickly. A $1 million server can be worth less than 5% of that 5 years later. It follows then that leaving an offline asset sitting around for 6 months, 1 year or longer means it’s going to be worth that much less when you eventually pull the disposition trigger. Your ITAD service provider will generate more revenue for you if you get them the equipment quickly after taking it offline.
Be paranoid about data.
Leaving an offline asset sitting for any extended period of time is a lot like leaving your garage door open overnight: It invites theft and increases risk.
Engage a full service ITAD company like Quantum to manage data destruction on your behalf either as a standalone service or as part of a comprehensive ITAD solution. A reputable ITAD company will be able to offer a range of solutions to meet your data destruction needs:
- onsite or offsite data destruction,
- audited data eradication,
- secure bins for hard drives,
- GPS enabled trucks,
- bonded drivers,
- cyber liability insurance,
- quick turnaround for pickup when requested.
They will also be registered with and adhere to industry accepted standards, the most important being R2 and NAID AAA. If your ITAD service provider isn’t registered with these standards, you should ask them why.
Just because you’re done with it, doesn’t mean it’s done.
Never is the old adage “one person’s junk is another’s treasure” more true than when thinking about IT assets. Medium and large companies set their refresh cycles to maximize efficiency. Large companies just can’t afford to have hundreds or thousands of employees using sluggish equipment. But smaller companies or those with lower computing power requirements will accept (even want) older IT assets as a way to stretch limited budgets.
Your ITAD service provider has a network of specialized buyers and will maximize the return on those assets while ensuring all data and corporate identifiers are removed prior to redeployment. Revenue will be shared back with you through different models, most typically outright purchase or consignment,
By cycling your assets quickly and not leaving them stockpiled you are reducing waste generated because fewer assets will be obsolete. By extension, you will be maximizing the reuse potential through resale.
However, sometimes the assets really are finished and the only solution is recycling for commodity recovery. In those instances, you want to ensure your ITAD provider is aligned with a reputable electronics recycler, approved under a provincial stewardship program (OES in Ontario) that won’t export and cause your company embarrassment or worse. Even better is to ensure your ITAD service provider is owned by an end of life recycler, like Quantum. Only then can you ensure complete end-to-end chain of custody and secure handling of your assets in an environmentally friendly manner.
Reporting is everything.
All the above sounds great, right? But only if your ITAD provider can show you what they did. A reputable ITAD vendor will provide detailed reporting for each load received including itemized lists of what was reused and or recycled, confirmation of data destruction via certificates and clear line of site to final disposition if the assets were recycled.
If your vendor can’t provide serialized reports you have to ask yourself: Did they do what they said they would do? Why can’t they prove it?
Engage a reputable ITAD vendor like Quantum today, before you have assets to get rid of. They will work with you to develop a customized program that meets your needs and reduces your headache and stress. Do it now before that server room fills up with stuff that’s worth less every day and that you don’t want or need anyway.