This is the first of two articles on ITAD. Recently, many companies have undertaken large deployments and purchases of equipment in order to enable employees and students to efficiently work from home. As lockdown rules are starting to be relaxed all over the world, it’s really important to ask “what is going to happen to all the extra equipment deployed during these hard times?” Hopefully, this article will help you understand how ITAD can help in some key areas.
The increased need to organize upgrades and repairs of remote workers’ IT equipment is a challenge we will all face. As more equipment is spread across several locations, the logistics become very time consuming and may be hard to manage. So, looking for a third-party vendor could make a lot more sense than doing it yourself.
Since ITAD services are classified as Essential, many of them are still providing services such as sending out labels and boxes, preparing and packaging equipment for return, arranging for the pick-up and delivery of equipment or decommissioning a data center. For companies looking to continue their larger IT refresh projects, ITAD firms are still able to collect and process larger quantities of equipment, tailoring services in line with social distancing, hygiene, and safety requirements. This can also be incorporated into your Joiners, Movers, Leavers’ policy — updating ownership status of IT assets at the key points of a staff member’s employee lifecycle. Even without the added restrictions of COVID-19, a permanent increase in working remotely will require additional processes and capacity around the lifecycle management of hardware devices.
Despite their ability to continue providing services, several ITAD companies have already folded. Those remaining still have the same challenges as the rest of the world and are working with fewer employees than usual and incorporating social distancing measures at their facilities. In addition, facilities need to be cleaned much more often which can lead to lower efficiencies and longer lead times. It’s important to bear this in mind when considering what SLAs can be offered internally to the business.
Working from Home
The sudden spike in working from home means organizations have substantially more hardware than they did three months ago, particularly laptops, monitors, and mobile phones. Whether due to the potential for further “lockdowns” or simply that people and businesses have realized the various benefits of remote working, it’s likely that much of this “extra” equipment will become part of business as usual going forward.
Not all companies will choose or be able to adopt widespread remote workers, and even those who do, will have certain employees that will either want or need to return to the office. This means it’s likely that firms will find themselves with excess equipment. If that’s you, what are your options?
Reducing Potential Purchases
Some companies will wish to reuse their own equipment within their employee base in order to reduce the need for new hardware purchases. Refurbishing and reusing equipment is already becoming popular as some buyers struggle to source new equipment due to increased demand and disrupted supply chains.
Some companies wish to resell their excess equipment to help generate some return on their IT investments. Many ITAD providers have access to international channels through which they are able to sell equipment in order to generate the best possible financial returns. As well as cutting costs or making you money, using the right ITAD provider can help you to cut waste. Most SME’s and large corporations already have waste reduction goals. Many of them work to prevent “waste electrical and electronic equipment” (WEEE) where possible and to reduce the disposal of it in line with the WEEE Directive. ITAD is an important piece of this puzzle and it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s imperative to deal with used assets appropriately and securely.
While most ITAD companies do not provide money back for recycled goods so it’s important to keep a keen eye on scrap markets, as they will determine whether service costs rise and whether firms will see a return from their used assets.
Thorough cleansing of data from used IT assets is highly important to both a company’s and client’s security, and it will ensure that they don’t fall foul of the various international data protection regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA. This is an area in which companies cannot afford to slip. While the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has pledged to be more flexible due to the current climate, data breaches can lead to significant financial penalties; not to mention a loss in client trust and damage to the company’s brand.