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Overcoming the challenges of IT asset disposal

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Creating and implementing a successful IT Asset Management program is challenging, no matter how one approaches it. This is according Xperien CEO Wale Arewa.
The IT department normally takes ownership of the program and then has the impossible task of interacting with the many stakeholders including Procurement, Environmental and Risk Management, Logistics, Finance, Compliance and Security.
Firstly, the IT department would need to present its requirements to Procurement. Environmental and Risk Management would then need to ensure that equipment is processed correctly, preventing any unforeseen environmental nightmare that could have dire consequences for the company.
More importantly, Environmental and Risk Management would need to ensure compliance to environmental regulations and ensure that the equipment is disposed of properly. Electronics often contain highly toxic heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
As data security is the biggest driver of IT Asset Disposition, there are many regulations to consider such as Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (PoPI 2013), the National Environmental Waste Management Act 2008 (NEMWA 2008) and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA).
“Data breaches often mean a public relations nightmare, a distrustful customer base, a disgruntled board and uneasy stockholders. Regulatory non-compliance is just as bigger risk and can be devastating; it’s a huge reputational risk,” he warns.
IT Asset Disposition is a methodical process of securely disposing of retired IT equipment, companies must implement a systematic process for inventory reconciliation, remarketing and responsible recycling of decommissioned IT assets.
The benefits of a well-defined and secure ITAD program can reduce logistical costs, eliminate data security risks and recoup value from obsolete technology.
Arewa says An ITAD service provider like Xperien, with a national footprint and efficient transportation logistics, can help reduce other supply chain costs between processing facilities.
With a proper ITAD program in place, a service provider can support day-to-day scheduling, timely communications and coordinate changes and special instructions to facilitate the safe and secure removal and destruction of old IT equipment.
“It is essential for data security and the protection of personal, proprietary and confidential information that data is permanently destroyed, deleted or erased from devices,” he adds.
A strong ITAD program considers the product stream, the volume and logistics to determine where hidden revenue can be found from obsolete electronic equipment investments.
“When it comes to financial considerations, ITAD service providers can resell equipment to lower costs and they can often yield large sums that pay for the entire asset disposition program,” he concludes.