It’s easy to manage assets in a static environment. It’s the change that introduces headaches and chaos. Unfortunately for a lot of IT Asset Management (ITAM) professionals, the IT asset disposition (ITAD) process can introduce some particularly chaotic change. When you upgrade to new equipment, you need to know how and where to dispose of the old equipment while making sure all private information has been properly wiped from it before you hand it over. Without a specific, controlled process in place to wipe all equipment and verify that it’s wiped properly, companies will continue to spend money to protect data while equipment is in use and overlook the dangerous implications of careless IT asset disposal. Implementing an ITAD process is necessary to provide documented accountability that will verify that every asset is wiped clean — every step of the way. Without integrated reporting tools, gaining visibility into your ITAD vendor's processes can be challenging at best. Integrating these tools with your ITAM system provides some great time and money-saving benefits.
Most decommissioning or refresh processes use multiple partners for manufacturing, warehousing, data destruction, product resale and logistics. Setting up and vetting these networks can take years, and even then managing them can be like playing a game of telephone; your directions can be quickly mangled as your assets pass from vendor to vendor. Bye bye transparency.
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A comprehensive ITAD vendor can design and implement a unified program that will integrate warehouse footprint, data destruction experience, logistics networks and secondary market knowledge into a single point of contact. Because of this simplification, tracking your assets and communicating with your partner throughout the disposal process becomes more streamlined and far easier to manage. And, if your vendor integrates with your ITAM software, updates arrive seamlessly through your existing system.
After making the decision to decommission your IT equipment, determining the value of your assets can be a challenge. You already know that the value of your decommissioned equipment could offset your capital outlay and ease the transition to new equipment, but you need to know how to find the right buyers at the right time. ITAD is rarely a single, one-size-fits-all transaction. It’s easy to leave money on the table by undervaluing your equipment or holding on too tightly and can take months to see a return. If you want to extract the most value from your equipment, making a spreadsheet list and sending it out to your usual suspects just won’t cut it. You must research and align with the true market value or work with a provider who does. It’s important to note that not all equipment is worth reselling; knowing when to recycle instead of resell and how to recycle in accordance with regulations will save you a lot of wasted time, effort and legal trouble. By strategically repositioning your old assets in a global secondary market, an ITAD vendor can protect the market from unnecessary volatility and triple the recovery value of your assets. Integrating value recovery into your ITAM system allows you to quickly earmark equipment for decommissioning and receive a market-value quote in a single step.
Integrating your ITAD and ITAM processes and tools can also help you fully track your sustainability initiatives. As more companies incorporate sustainability into their decision-making process, the initiative has morphed into a hard financial consideration. Corporate sustainability helps to mitigate a company’s exposure to financial loss, but due to the increase in triple bottom line accounting, it also presents an opportunity to increase the valuation of the company. Sustainability considerations can also increase merger and acquisition profits and protect costly investments by limiting uncertainty and protecting against value chain liabilities. Combining ITAM and ITAD process allows you to verify the effectiveness of your sustainability programs and easily track the earth-saving metrics that are most important to you.
Integration is Good
By extending your asset management into the ITAD process, you will gain the visibility you need to determine precisely the right time to replace assets and maximize their resale value. Perhaps more importantly, you can monitor the entire disposal process to ensure that it protects your business from potentially serious data loss or environmental consequences of improper disposal. By extending asset management into your ITAD process, your company can easily track your equipment throughout the decommissioning process and pull all the records you need to report back to your team. You can also easily track individual items throughout the decommissioning process and pull all of the associated records to provide transparency to your team, executives or auditors. As a result, your company will communicate more clearly, maximize your value recovery and improve the ROI of your sustainability initiatives.
James Kilkelly is the CEO and Co-founder of Apto Solutions.