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Trends that affect IT asset disposal

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Smartphone technology is evolving rapidly, there have been vast improvements over the past few years and it is certainly not slowing down. The rise of smartphone technology continues to shape the way we live, work and play.
Mobility has grown enormously with the increased use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets by employees for their work-related activities. This has also encouraged many businesses to leverage the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept to mobilise their workforce.
Mobile technology provides employees the benefit of working on the go. This increases productivity considerably since employees can stay connected at all times, thus increasing worker availability and generation of work.
The technology requirements of employees have also changed drastically, especially considering the plethora of new innovations in technology. Employees can access data and resources of the company to complete their online activities and operations without being tied down to an office. With the use of mobile technology, employees can now carry around their office with them.
Xperien senior business development manager Bridgette Vermaak says the impact of mobile technology on the workplace has been enormous and businesses now face the challenge of having robust IT asset management programs that ensure data is not compromised during the disposal process.
“Employees are being given more access to company data through various mobile platforms, especially as more and more devices are being introduced to the office environment. According to Gartner, 45% of the fastest-growing companies will have more smart devices than employees by 2018,” she explains.
Vermaak warns that when old laptops are replaced, the storage drive is often removed from the device. “These hard drives and storage devices often end up in storage and lost or forgotten. This becomes a huge risk when data is not archived and wiped properly.”
Furthermore, technology is updated frequently that results in shorter device lifecycles. With upgrades occurring prior to retirement of devices, there are more opportunities for reuse and resale of equipment. Replaced devices are often still in working condition, this means IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) providers are able to offer more valuable revenue-share options.
“However, new models do impact the resale value of previous versions so turnaround time is critical. This is most advantageous if the ITAD service is efficient and strategic with resale opportunities,” she adds.
End-of-life IT equipment is shredded and separated and commodities of value are refined and sold to manufacturers to be made into new products.
Data security, however, remains a critical issue for the industry. Security threats continue to be significant when it comes to dealing with data stored in any type of electronic device. While majority of the focus remains on cyber security threats, physical security breaches are proving to be worth investing time in preventing as well. Many overlook security measures that should take place to ensure data protection during device disposition.
As a result of existing data threats, ITAD companies now offer high-level data security services. On-site data destruction options are increasing in popularity as a way for IT managers to guarantee all data is destroyed prior to equipment leaving their site. Some services can offer a variety of data destruction methods including bulk data wiping, degaussing or shredding.
Vermaak says anxiety over data security is still a hurdle holding back reuse. “Some clients require all their used IT equipment to be physically destroyed to alleviate any lingering security concerns.
“Data security will continue to be a very strong consideration for companies, particularly with the amount of attention cyber security has garnered,” she concludes.