Plenty of companies can relate to this: heaps of old IT equipment sitting in a room somewhere, needing to be disposed of. It might not seem like a pressing issue when weighed against tight deadlines and sales targets, however it should be top of mind nonetheless. It’s also not a difficult task to carry out.
IT asset disposal typically comes down to two options: redeploying it somewhere else within the business, or getting rid of it altogether.
If you are in the process of disposing it, or have already have chosen to get rid of it, here are a few things to keep in mind before taking action.
#1 Sensitive data *must* be secured
Every computing device within your organisation will contain data relating to your business. When you get rid of it, that data simply must be removed to the point where it’s not recoverable at all, even with advanced data recovery software.
The question you need to ask, then, is “Will my chosen IT disposal company provide assurance that my business data is secure, by removing it from the equipment I give them in such a way that it can’t be recovered?”
Doing this means you’re secure against outside attacks that could leverage the data on those old computers. Also, that you’re compliant with new laws like POPI (see point #4).
#2 Not all IT asset disposal companies are the same
Disposing of IT assets must be done in a specific way to guarantee any business’s peace of mind. But not all companies that say they specialise in it do it properly. Some might only recover what’s valuable from the assets they’re provided, and illegally dump the parts that aren’t.
You need a company that specifies exactly what they do with your old IT equipment. Ideally, you want one that offers a Certificate of Compliance that you can show your auditors, too.
The last thing you need are illegally dumped assets tracked back to you by their serial numbers. That would mean you’re liable for heavy fines, as per government legislation. See point #4.
#3 What is the environmental impact?
IT equipment components are typically not friendly to the environment. If simply dumped off somewhere, they can cause environmental harm.
The right IT asset disposal company takes this into account. They ensure all equipment is broken down into its component parts and disposed of in a way that does not harm the local environment.
Ask any potential asset disposal company to provide this specific guarantee. Also ask if they provide certification of their processes in this regard.
#4 Legal compliance
Legislation like the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) demand that personal information is protected insofar as it’s humanly possible. That means it covers things like IT asset disposal, too.
As such, the internal processes of any company involved with IT asset disposal simply have to be compliant with that legislation. If not, they open their clients to the risks of being found non-compliant, which can mean hefty fines.
There is also NEWMA (the National Environmental Management: Waste Act) to think about. It’s a piece of legislation enacted back in 2008 that requires the proper disposal of hazardous materials.
When looking into potential partners for IT asset disposal, be sure to ask the compliance question. Avoid any companies that return your question with blank stares.
#5 Can you recover any value?
It’s always nice to get a little something back when disposing of old assets, but it’s not always possible. However, knowing that for sure is a bit of a gamble: what’s junk to you might be super useful to someone else.
What you need is a disposal partner that at least offers to look at what you have to establish its worth.
It never hurts to ask, basically. And of course, you want a disposal partner that offers this possibility, and to avoid any that don’t.
Keep these in mind
Keep these five considerations in mind when looking to dispose of your old IT equipment or in search of an IT asset disposal partner, and you’ll be well on your way to getting rid of your old stuff, the right way.
If you are thinking about disposing of your old IT equipment or would like to find out more about the process, you can get in touch with Tarsus Dispose-IT’s experts via this email address, or give their switchboard a call on (010) 140-0877.
Alternatively, you can fill out this form and someone from Tarsus Dispose-IT will be in touch.