As technology advances, it becomes necessary for companies to liquidate their IT assets. Whether it’s replacing outdated servers, upgrading computer systems, or updating networking equipment, it is important for companies to properly dispose of their old IT assets. Liquidating IT assets is not just about making room for new equipment, but it is also about protecting the company from data breaches and reducing environmental impact.
In this article, we will discuss the best way to liquidate IT assets, including the steps to take, the risks involved, and the benefits of proper asset disposition.
Step 1: Inventory Management
Before disposing of any IT assets, it is important to have an inventory of all the assets in question. The inventory should include all hardware and software components, including servers, laptops, desktops, printers, and networking equipment. Once the inventory is complete, it should be shared with all relevant stakeholders, including IT staff, management, and any third-party disposal companies. Depending upon the size of the network upgrade, the inventory process can be daunting and time consuming and put a strain on an already overworked staff. In those cases it may be best to partner with a company that can provide the service of fully taking over the inventory and processing of your old IT equipment. There are companies like TeleTraders and others that are well equipped to handle your project.
Step 2: Data Management
Data management is perhaps the most critical aspect of IT asset disposition. Data breaches can result in financial losses, legal liabilities, and reputational damage. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all data is securely erased before disposing of any IT assets. This can be done using data wiping software or physical destruction of the storage device. It is important to use companies that follow industry guidelines like ITAD and R2 . These companies can provide certificates of destruction that will assure you that your data has been destroyed securely and safely.
It is also important to ensure that all licenses and subscriptions related to the software being used are cancelled or transferred to the new equipment. Failing to do so could result in legal and financial penalties.
Step 3: Environmentally Responsible Disposal
Proper disposal of IT assets is not just about protecting data, it is also about minimizing the environmental impact of e-waste. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and improper disposal can lead to pollution, resource depletion, and health hazards. Each year, about 50 to 60 million tons of e-waste are generated, equivalent to only 2-3% of annual global waste. Yet, the damage that this amount of waste poses to our health and the environment may exceed the destructive power of all other wastes combined. Since e-waste contains toxic materials, such as lead, cadmium, and beryllium, once it is exposed to strong UV radiation or corrodes due to any other physical or chemical reasons, toxic materials could be released into the atmosphere, infiltrate the soil, and flow into the water bodies nearby, affecting public health.
To ensure environmentally responsible disposal, companies should consider recycling or donating their old IT assets. Recycling companies specialize in extracting valuable materials from old equipment, such as copper, gold, and aluminum. This reduces the need for new raw materials, conserves energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Donating old IT assets to non-profit organizations, schools, and charities is another way to ensure that they are put to good use. This not only reduces e-waste but also benefits the community.
Step 4: Choose the Right Disposal Partner
Choosing the right disposal partner is critical to ensuring a smooth and secure asset disposition process. The partner should have a proven track record in IT asset disposition and should be certified in the relevant standards and regulations, such as ISO 14001 and R2.
The partner should also be able to provide a certificate of data destruction, which confirms that all data has been securely erased and cannot be recovered. This certificate is important for legal and compliance purposes. The ideal partner is one that will allow you to manage what you can about the process and handle as little or as much of the process as you may need to get the job done. It is important to choose a partner that is licensed, bonded, insured and most importantly experienced to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 5: Secure Transport and Storage
Once the assets are ready for disposal, it is important to ensure that they are securely transported and stored. This is to prevent theft, damage, or loss during transit.
The transport and storage should be done by a secure logistics provider, who should have a proven track record in IT asset disposition. They should also have a secure storage facility, with CCTV surveillance, access control, and fire suppression systems.
Improper disposal of IT assets can result in several risks, including:
- Data breaches: If data is not securely erased before disposal, it can fall into the wrong hands and result in data breaches, financial losses, and legal liabilities.
- Environmental impact: E-waste is a growing problem, and improper disposal can result in pollution, resource depletion, and health hazards.
- Legal and compliance issues: Failing to comply with regulations and standards can result in legal and financial penalties.
- Reputational damage: Improper disposal can result in security issues for not only your company but for all the companies that you interact with on a day to day basis.
Still have questions or want to learn more about the entire IT liquidation process. Go to TeleTraders blog
for additional reading on all the aspects for disposing of old IT assets.