Most companies have heaps of money lying around in their storerooms, writes Xperien CEO Wale Arewa. They don’t realise that the old computers and other retired electronics could easily be converted into cash. This could mean bigger bonuses for staff or just help many companies survive in these challenging times.
This is a good time to clear storerooms out and start the new year with a clean slate. However, disposal of IT assets must be done professionally, it presents unique challenges and has potential costs that companies seldom consider.
Scrapping these outdated PCs, laptops, monitors and other IT equipment without proper consideration for data protection processes and regulations or the proper elimination of data, could be disastrous for any company.
Many businesses run their year-end asset disposal and data destruction campaigns but very few understand the principles of IT asset disposal (ITAD). Although CIOs are primarily responsible for the IT Asset lifecycle, very few know how to meet legislative compliance whilst reducing total cost of ownership.
IT disposal has legislative requirements, compliance to Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), the National Environmental Waste Management Act 2008 (NEMWA 2008) and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA).
Most businesses struggle to manage IT assets effectively because they do not have a clear picture of the assets they have deployed. Consequently, they probably pay unnecessary insurance and other charges due to inaccurate IT asset inventory data.
Controlling and having insight into a company’s IT assets is critical. In order to manage these IT assets more efficiently, drive down costs, increase productivity and reduced risk, one needs clear and comprehensive visibility into the whole lifecycle of an IT asset with a spotlight on IT disposal.
Circular economy initiatives help businesses keep IT assets in use for longer, extracting the maximum value from those electronics while in use. They can then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their useful life.
Erasing and then reallocating electronics within the company maximises value from IT purchases. This equipment can be entered into the circular economy, older electronics can be erased, refurbished and reused without carrying forward any residual data. They can be sold, reused internally or donated to charities.
In addition, components can be recaptured for use in future electronics and will simultaneously reduce the amount of e-waste produced. This could also provide affordable options for second-hand buyers or create sustainable jobs in the refurbishment of electrical components.
Whatever option one considers, on-going use or outright asset disposal, it’s critical to ensure data is erased properly so that data security and privacy is never compromised. Complete and verifiable data erasure complies with data protection and privacy regulations and ensures that company data is never exposed to unauthorised users.