Although many of us have accumulated a drawer full of old cell phones and laptops over the years, companies can’t just toss their used IT equipment under the bed. The individual consumer might be reluctant to dispose of an old PC because of its sensitive data, such as personal photos or bank details, and so may find the safest place to keep old hardware is in the basement — however a business with any number of employees must consider the storage costs and security risks when choosing not to dispose of expiring technology. This dilemma will not go away, and with devices like laptops and desktop PCs having a lifespan of around a few years, the decision on what to do with it all is becoming ever more critical.
IT Asset Disposition Explained
The ITAD industry is the collection of options for the secure and environmentally friendly disposal of obsolete or retiring IT equipment. The relatively fast replacement cycle for technology means that a decision between refurbishing, recycling, reselling, or even donating your business’ worn-out equipment is always around the corner. ITAD service providers specialize in making these decisions easier so that costs are low and returns remain as high as possible to create and sustain a strong online presence.
Key Considerations in the ITAD Strategy
- If you’re planning to dispose of hardware that contains sensitive data, sanitation will be the main concern. Data sanitation refers to the removal of data from devices, and mistakes here could be costly — especially if your business stores confidential client information or sensitive company secrets on its drives. Sanitization will ordinarily involve data wiping using robust software, and you should be able to request a certificate confirming each device has been satisfactorily wiped. Before computers, bank statements and other customer records would necessarily be shredded before hitting the trash, and the same should apply to digital data.
- The environment is typically your next concern. Ecologically friendly disposal is not only ethical, but many industries even regulate how equipment is disposed. Inquire with your ITAD manager or vendor what sort of components end up in landfill, whether your equipment will be shred, and where its base materials are going. Most ITAD processors boast their salvage percentage, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t approach 100%.
- While data breaches and the environment are important considerations, your business will also want to minimize losses associated with their IT refresh. Recouping the maximum value from each unit should be your next goal. Your used assets often have a residual value that strong sales channels will pay top dollar for. The more directly connected to the end-user your ITAD management team is, the more your business will ordinarily recoup.
- Lastly, your ITAD strategy is a plan for the future. By having an IT asset disposition policy in place, your business has more clarity on its IT budget, can keep company hardware up to date, and can implement future purchase strategies much further upstream.
Every business must eventually determine what to do with their used, surplus, or obsolete IT equipment. Storing it in a cabinet in the printing room is no longer an efficient solution. ITAD vendors are trusted in the process of safely and responsibly handling expiring technology. The right solution will mitigate corporate risk, contribute to an environmentally sustainable economy, be cost-effective, maximize returns, and provide your business with a strategic advantage for the future.