The technology refresh process may be quite extensive—requiring many steps and team members possibly spread out over a geographical region that could include the whole country or even the whole world. The retirement and disposal of the used assets —is often most effectively accomplished with an enterprise-wide program developed with an ITAD expert. Anytime a company updates its IT equipment—desktops or servers, for example—it’s faced with the problem of what to do with the old equipment. There are four basic service areas involved with this undertaking:
- Asset Management: Recording and tracking the chain of custody and final disposition of every asset, particularly for financial and compliance reporting.
- Data destruction: ensuring the sensitive information stored on the retired equipment has been adequately erased or destroyed.
- Remarketing: selling the retired equipment to recover some of the initial investment or reduce costs in the disposal process.
- Recycling: disposing the equipment that can’t be resold in compliance with all environmental standards and regulations.
For some enterprises, these functions are fulfilled by several different vendors. For example, a data destruction vendor might handle the secure erasure of data (or a company might do this in-house). Then the enterprise might bid out different types of equipment to brokers who will buy it for resale. Then there will be another vendor that collects whatever couldn’t be sold for recycling. Each of these vendors might provide a different level of asset reporting (or not at all). Multiply this scenario several times over for companies that use different vendors for their different locations.
While it’s always painful to search out new vendors and end relationships with existing ones, consolidating your enterprise’s entire asset disposition process with one partner that can handle audit-chain of custody reporting, data destruction, remarketing, and recycling will save your company money and reduce risk during a refresh cycle. Here are several reasons why:
- A partner with expertise in both data destruction and remarketing can help you maximize value by only physically destroying devices that can’t be reused or resold. A good IT asset disposition partner can help you evaluate each piece of equipment as you plan for its retirement. Your internal IT team may be missing some valuable equipment if they are sorting it based on just their knowledge of resale markets.
- Working with a single partner will minimize the need for sorting. This is especially true if you look for a vendor that has resale channels for many different types of equipment. A single vendor can coordinate the whole process, freeing your company’s people up for other, more strategic, work. It reduces the number of visits from different vendors. Having multiple vendors come in and out, especially at locations that do not have a lot of storage or dock space, can be very disruptive.
- A single vendor means a single, consistent process that protects your company from the risk of a data breach and the risks of noncompliance with industry and environmental regulations.
- Working with a single vendor also means having a single reporting and tracking process for financial, asset management, and data security. All the information you need to for an audit can be found in the same place.
Overall, the “messier” your company’s IT asset disposition process is, the less value you’ll get from it and the more risks you have. There are vendors out there that are experts in the four main elements of asset disposition—audit & chain of custody, data destruction, remarketing, and recycling—and can work with you to help you plan a process that’s easier, more efficient, and more cost effective than working with multiple vendors. For more information on the benefits of such a process, download our free guide, “The IT Asset Manager’s Guide to Disposition,” by clicking on the link below.