Keeping Compliant the Benefits of A Formal IT Asset Disposition Policy


ITAD is a crucial business priority. New research explains why.

4 July 202212 mins
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Having an ITAD plan has become a crucial priority, according to IT leaders in a new IDG Research Services survey

Those companies with a formal ITAD policy in place are more than twice as effective in maximizing resale value of old IT assets, according to IDG Research Services.

As organisations continue to produce, manipulate, and store data, the responsibility intensifies to properly manage and maintain it. Meeting everchanging compliance regulations and security requirements are now part of daily IT operations.

At the same time, technology continues to advance, causing organisations to upgrade their IT assets and decommission old ones. Yet how companies handle IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) can play a significant role in determining the overall effectiveness of the IT organisation’s ability to adequately protect the business.

The case for a formal ITAD policy

ITAD is a predetermined process that organisations utilize to properly decommission and dispose of their entire array of IT assets. A proper plan for ITAD includes the need to control data on IT equipment throughout its use, internal transfer, and disposal.

There are two primary reasons why having a formal ITAD policy makes sense. First, it’s important to consistently track IT assets and ensure efficient use throughout their usable life. The amount of capital invested into these assets over time justifies ensuring that the business is getting the most return on its investment, which includes disposition.

The second reason — and often the driving force behind developing a formal ITAD plan — is the ability to effectively ensure that the organisation is complying with a growing number of regulations and compliance issues. IT assets are increasingly subject to both environmental and data privacy regulations at all levels of government, both in the U.S. and overseas. Having a formal and enforceable policy in place plays a pivotal role in standardizing practices across the organisation.

A global survey conducted in March by IDG Research Services among 311 IT leaders reveals that enterprises are far more effective in protecting data when a formal ITAD policy is in place.
Specifically, 80% of respondents with ITAD in place cite effectiveness versus 57% without a formal plan in place.
The same statistics surface when comparing how well companies are able to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

Most IT leaders recognise the value of having an ITAD plan, with almost two thirds (64%) placing a critical or high priority on it, and 62% saying its importance has increased over the past two years.

The significance of ITAD is even more pronounced among senior leadership. For example, 78% of VP titles and above cite IT asset disposition as a critical or high priority at their organisations, compared to 57% of respondents at the manager level. This difference suggests those in executive business positions are more familiar with and concerned about the risks of not having an ITAD policy, as discussed later in this paper.

There are also differences to note when comparing respondents among various geographical regions. For instance, the change in importance of ITAD strategy is most prominent in APAC, where 75% say the need has increased over the past two years versus 63% in EMEA and only 50% in the U.S. Potential reasons for these differences include varying age of IT assets, the regulatory landscape in each region, and the fact that many companies in the U.S., for example, may already have an ITAD policy in place (60% of U.S. respondents cite having an ITAD policy for two years or more, versus 47% in EMEA and 44% in APAC).

As the data threat landscape continues to evolve and regulations compound, it’s likely that having an ITAD policy will continue to increase in importance. For those companies that are operating without one or are disposing of IT assets on a piecemeal basis, the risks to the business will also increase.

Visit Iron Mountain and discover how its Secure IT Asset Disposition solution can help:

  • Build and manage your IT asset disposition practices with a proven, certified process
  • Tailor the program to align with your objectives and compliance requirements
  • Meet sustainability initiatives, while complying with internal and external regulations

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