Article Download: Best Practices for IT Asset Disposal (ITAD)
As Big Data, cloud migrations and mobile devices become ubiquitous in enterprise landscapes, IT infrastructure tracking and security needs continue to evolve rapidly. While procuring IT assets and managing and securing their location during use is typically a strong focus within organizations, a lack of focus occurs during the disposal of these IT assets at their end of life. The rapid evolution in IT infrastructure landscapes coupled with a lack of focus on end of life disposal has left data security holes and environmental liabilities for enterprises. This article will explore these new “blind spots” and provide instruction on the best ways to stay protected in this new IT landscape.
Properly disposing of IT assets and hardware has been a problem for enterprises and organizations for quite some time. Ever since the first computers rolled out of factory floors back in the early 1970s and started dotting the corporate landscape, IT asset managers have been tasked with finding appropriate ways to remove and dispose of the equipment. While the task has gotten easier over the years–in that a computer no longer takes up an entire office floor like the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), an 1800 square foot computer used by the US Army Ballistics Research Laboratory in 1946–new challenges have emerged. A primary challenge is that data is everywhere. A corporation’s entire list of trade secrets can fit in a pocket, and while the weight of the equipment to dispose of has gotten lighter, the data security burden associated with devices has gotten heavier.
So, how is an IT asset manager supposed to successfully navigate the complexities of proper ITAD? First the “hassle factor” associated with disposal must be overcome. It is rare that an IT procurement officer is thinking about disposal – let alone planning for it – when new equipment is purchased. The procurement officer has a whole list of other things to think about, such as the following:
- Will the equipment help solve the business challenges for which it was purchased?
- Is this the best value for our investment?
- Will the equipment make our operation more efficient?
- Is it compatible with the existing IT infrastructure?
- Will the equipment be secure and protect data?
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Best Practices for IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) in a Rapidly Evolving IT Infrastructure Landscape by Daniel Mattock