The definition of a hero is generally described as a person admired for outstanding achievements. Therefore when referring to an IT department a hero might represent the person responsible for a successful server refresh which will typically improve stability, speed and up-time providing a reliable and productive work environment!
When upgrading your IT equipment the advantages of upgrading only outweigh the disadvantages if the same level of attention is provided to both the new and replaced equipment. When discarding an IT device of any kind, data and environmental threats exist. While more IT managers are becoming cognizant of these risks not all are confident they’re managing this appropriately. For example, when questioned roughly 50 percent of executives expressed a lack of confidence in their comfort levels of their own IT asset disposition (ITAD) processes. Not very heroic is it?
As the industry continues to grow and develop, so must levels of confidence. As a start here are six things you should know (that you might not already) when it comes to ITAD.
- Most ITAD processes are still in their infancy.
You are not alone. Most IT executives are still trying to outline their ITAD process. The definition of ITAD is still one not widely understood as the business of safe and responsible management of retired IT equipment. What is understood however is that the ITAD process is more complex than the process of acquiring new IT assets.
- The regulatory status of e-waste can change throughout the disposal process.
When items are sent for disposition as whole components they will either be refurbished and remarketed, or classified as end-of-life equipment. Retired equipment is then dismantled and separated. Some of these parts, such as batteries, become deemed “hazardous waste” when they become stand-alone parts. It is advised to work with your ITAD provider to ensure these materials are processed according to local regulatory requirements.
- Not all IT assets are “discoverable”.
With the ubiquity of the “Internet of Things” and the lifespan of an IT device averaging three years electronics inventory control has become complicated and items are becoming obsolete at a faster rate. A common mistake many make is assuming all IT assets are discoverable. If the device is not powered on or not on the network it is not discoverable and must be tracked manually.
- Go beyond certifications.
As you educate yourself on the ITAD industry you will learn some of the related certifications that can help you narrow down your ITAD partner. These certifications are a great way to qualify a vendor but don’t let it stop there. First choose the certifications that complement your business needs. Then it is best to have a full understanding of the ITAD company personally to ensure you are comfortable with the services and processes they provide. A review of their footprint, financials and security protocols is a great place to start.
- Hard drive wiping is 99.999 percent effective (which is sufficient for most).
Hard drive wiping is a great way to clear the data from a hard drive to prepare it for reuse while protecting your stored data. Companies can benefit from this because they will earn back value when reselling that hard drive. For most businesses 99.999 percent is sufficient, as at that point it would be extremely different for any data to be retrieved. However, in some circumstances this percentage overshadows value. Regardless it is helpful to understand the levels of effectiveness when considering your options.
- You cannot degauss a solid state drive.
When you degauss a mechanical hard drive or HDD, it is quick and 100 percent effective if done properly. Degaussing a hard drive is accomplished by destroying a remnant magnetic field within the drive. Solid state drives (SSDs) do not store data magnetically they use semiconductors and are not affected by magnetic fields. Options for SSD wiping and/or physical destruction are alternatives to this approach which you can consult with further with your ITAD provider.
As the industry continues to evolve so will ITAD vendors and processes, so staying up to date will not only help you succeed in your refresh or decommissioning projects, it will help you become an IT hero.
To read more about 6 tips for building a successful IT asset disposal program – Click Here.