Most businesses have some type of strategy in place for how and when they will by the computer equipment they require. They may even have a system in place for determining how long the equipment will be used before it is replaced. Unfortunately, many businesses do not have any idea of what to do with the equipment once it is no longer useful to them.
Some companies simply throw it into a dumpster, which is terrible for the environment. Others will store it in a supply closet for years, which is also undesirable. If you find yourself in this, or some similar, situation, you will want to implement an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) strategy.
What is ITAD?
Simply put, ITAD is the process of determining what to do with your computer equipment after your company is done with it. While many people focus on the environmental benefits of ITAD, which are many, it will also benefit your company directly. Understand the key areas and options associated with IT asset disposition will help to further illustrate why implementing this type of strategy is not only responsible, but also good for your bottom line.
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Typically Performed by Third Party Company
One important thing to note is that most of the work involved with ITAD is actually performed by a third-party company. There are many organizations that offer services related to this type of work.
They will often work with other companies, free of charge or for very little money, to handle the disposing of older equipment. They make their money through things like refurbishing older equipment and pulling out scrap materials for resale. Partnering with an experienced ITAD company will make implementing this type of strategy almost effortless.
Key Areas of ITAD and Why They are Important
The easiest way to get a good understanding of how ITAD benefits your business and how to begin implementing this type of strategy is to break it down to specific areas. While each company will be unique on where their benefits come from, learning about each of them is essential for understanding the big picture of why ITAD makes sense for everyone.
Refurbishment and Resale
As mentioned above, a good ITAD service provider will start by going through all of your old equipment to determine what can still be used. Just because something is out of date for your company does not mean that it cannot be used. There are many small businesses, schools, and charities that are happy to work with older equipment that they can get for cheap or free.
In addition, some equipment can be fully refurbished and retain a significant amount of resale value. Some ITAD providers also partner with organizations in third world countries to provide them with computer equipment to help them improve their region.
There’s a lot of value to be found in Refurbs
Anything that cannot be refurbished or resold will be recycled. All computer equipment is made of some very useful materials that can be reused many times. There are small amounts of gold in most computers, for example. In addition, the metal cases, plastic, and silicone can often be recycled or reused.
ITAD service providers streamline the process of pulling out what can be recycled efficiently so they can sell the scrap items for profit, which is why they often offer these services for free.
Asset Tracking and Legal Compliance
One of the biggest concerns about disposing of old equipment for many businesses is knowing where everything will go. Some industries are legally responsible for the data on their computers. In the banking industry, for example, there are strict regulations on how assets are managed. Top ITAD providers will be certified with asset tracking and legal compliance requirements so they can help ensure your company is meeting all your requirements.
You do not want your company data falling into the wrong hands. Whether that is hackers, organized crime, competitors, or anyone else. When going through the disposition process, the data on your equipment will be properly destroyed.
In some cases, that will simply mean wiping the hard drives using advanced protocols. In others, it will mean wiping those drives and then physically destroying them so it would be impossible to ever recover. You can work with your ITAD partners to determine what requirements you will have in place.
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One of the best parts of a good ITAD program is that it will help ensure you are not wasting money on unused software. Many companies, for example, pay for licenses to use various software.
If you do not properly indicate that a piece of equipment was destroyed, you may continue paying for the licenses it was using for years to come. An important step in the ITAD process is identifying all software and deactivating the licenses properly before it is removed from your system.
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Design Your ITAD Program Today
Whether you are running a small business or a global enterprise, having a good ITAD program in place just makes sense. It is the responsible thing to do both for yourself, and for the world around you. Find out what companies or non-profits are available in your area to partner with on this goal. They will help you to create an effective ITAD strategy that is easy for you to follow and will help you improve your operations for years to come.
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