You work in IT, and one morning you wake up to very gut-wrenching news: your organization has been hacked. You stare at your computer screen in horror, wishing none of this is indeed true. It’s probably a bad dream, or a very tasteless April Fool’s joke, or some other explanation – you want to think.
Unfortunately, however, you are very much awake and April seems months away.
It’s a position no one wants to find themselves in, a security breach, but it’s one of the many challenges IT departments the world over have to contend with. Keeping all systems running, managing security and compliance, asset disposition, and keeping within the confines of the budget can keep – and does keep – many up at night.
Staying au fait in this industry requires a lot of time investment and this comes at the expense of carrying out additional tasks like IT asset recovery in a secure and responsible manner. And as we kick off the year, here is a reminder of why responsible disposal of IT assets is so crucial for businesses.
IT Equipment Remarketing/Resale
IT equipment still holds value despite the fact that it may no longer meet your organization’s needs.
After it is removed from its station, the equipment can be refurbished, or it could be assessed and remarketed. It’s best to leave the task of identifying this value to a certified pro who has the expertise and a good understanding of the secondhand market. Otherwise you could be undercutting your equipment’s value, particularly when it comes to high-end consignment or when dealing with a bulk of regular assets like old computers, or printers, or telephone systems and the like.
Disposing a plethora of assets is not the easiest task to follow because each has its own specifications. This is why asset tracking and reporting can be beneficial as it ensures every single device is accounted for, right down to the flash drive.
You can opt for an online portal to do this in real time, or you can let a disposition company handle things for you. Either way, you are assured of a strong paper trail.
30 percent or more of IT budgets are swallowed up by software license and maintenance costs, according to McKinsey and Sand-Hill Group.
The good thing with respect to the old machines is that the software installed could still be of use to the company. Through the years, we’ve had companies occasionally hand to us electronic assets with software still running on the systems. This is software that could be reused by your organization, cutting on that 30 percent+, and this is why we remove and deactivate it on your behalf (in such incidences) for further reuse.
Corporate and Regulatory Compliance
Irrespective of the industry, no business is exempt from corporate and regulatory requirements when it comes to disposition of IT assets.
In the event that your equipment is handled irresponsibly, you risk incurring fines, penalties and more importantly, your brand integrity. We cannot overemphasize the need to manage your disposal through a secure, certified, and accountable process.
Data Breach/Theft Protection
Poor security leads to hundreds of millions of company records finding their way to criminal hands every year. Going by 2014 figures, for example, the United States and Germany saw an average of $201 and $195 lost per individual record, with the lowest instances averaging $51 and $70 per record in the emerging economies of India and Brazil.
Suffice to say data theft is a lucrative venture, but that is no breaking news.
Fortunately, data breaches are preventable when it comes to retired IT assets. For starters, make sure you handle your hard drive data destruction procedures professionally: degaussing, wiping, shredding or crushing. Second, make sure you are working with a recovery solutions vendor who will guarantee responsible disposal of both data and device.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting
Every company that considers itself environmentally conscious wants to feel (and be assured) that its obsolete equipment is being handled in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
There are industry certifications and standards to that effect, although they are not the be-all and end-all. But they do give you confidence to know that your assets will be managed as they ought to: in a safe, secure and efficient manner. This will absolve you of that niggling feeling that you could be caught up in environmental dilemmas you definitely don’t want to find yourself in.
It’s tough out there these days, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in the news for floating environmental rules – or getting hacked.
Responsible IT asset disposition has many benefits, and some are obvious than others. This year going forward, make it a point of doing business with partners you can trust. They are key.