An IT asset is classified as any company-owned information,  system or hardware used in business activities. IT Asset Management and Disposition are crucial to any company’s success. It facilitates strategic decision-making regarding the utilization and distribution of IT-related materials among employees by bringing together financial, inventory, and contractual functions within the company into a single location.

An asset management plan provides a road map for organizations to understand their objectives and long-term asset management strategy, however, creating a plan can be quite challenging.  Let’s explore some of the issues in doing so:

Environmental Regulations: There are all sorts of regulations that come into play with electronics. E-waste poses a risk due to the presence of metals and chemicals known to be harmful to human health in the components used to make devices like laptops, mobile phones, and televisions. You will want to make sure that all of your assets are handled correctly and don’t end up in a landfill in order to avoid negative press.

Data Security: Is the process of safeguarding digital information from tampering, corruption, and unauthorized access throughout its entire lifecycle? A company avoids financial loss, damage to its reputation, erosion of consumer trust, and damage to its brand by safeguarding it from internal or external corruption and illegal access. Data Security, along with risk management and compliance, are the biggest drivers of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) and one of the main reasons many companies choose to work with an ITAD provider.

Risk assessments:  Risk plays a huge part in many company decisions. A security procedure known as an IT Infrastructure Risk Assessment entails determining whether controls are in place to reduce threats posed by your business, technology, and procedures. As an example, will data erasure be done prior to shipping your assets to an ITAD vendor or will encryption of devices be sufficient?  What is the chain of custody? How is equipment staged/stored prior to going to the ITAD vendor? What are the logistics in moving the equipment? A good ITAD vendor can also be used to wipe all your data containing devices or, at the least, provide secondary verification of data erasure.

What to do with End-of-Life Equipment: Determining what to do with equipment is another challenge. Risk must be balanced against financial considerations. Allowing the ITAD vendor to re-sell equipment can produce a large amount of money and may even pay for your entire asset disposition program. 

Selecting an ITAD Vendor: This can be the biggest challenge of all.  You want to look for a vendor who adheres to industry standards and holds the proper certifications for ITAD. Responsible Recycling (R2) by Sustainable Electronics and Recycling International, NAID AAA certifications by iSigma, e-Stewards by Basel Action Network, ADISA’s IT Asset Recovery certification, and global ISO standards for Quality Management (ISO 9001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), and Health and Safety (ISO 45001) are among the important certifications and certifying bodies.

Do your due diligence and ask the tough questions that need to be asked.  How long has your company been in business? What does company ownership look like?  Do you have the necessary certifications to adhere to the Best Practices of the ITAD industry?  Do you have customer references?  What type of security is present? Look for 24/7 surveillance and restricted access.  Other questions include the types of services offered, such as data center decommissioning, data destruction, recycling,  re-marketing, redeployment, donations, end of lease services and logistics.

A reputable ITAD provider will work hard to eliminate the risks to data and the environment that come with disposing of old equipment. They will protect all data and avoid data breaches at all costs. These firms are capable of erasing multiple drives at a time and have a back-up process for drives that fail, ie., shredding and serial number capture.  Prior to reselling your equipment, they will determine the current market value, remove assets tags and any other company information.  They will be able to provide you with necessary Certificates of Destruction that are needed to pass any IT audit. 

Success comes with preparation. When due diligence is performed and open dialogue is maintained, the chances of a successful IT Asset Management Program are realized.  The ideal way to perform due diligence is to personally visit the vendor.

Contact OceanTech today and schedule your on-site visit.