Media and IT Asset Disposition: your guide to selecting a vendor

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Tapes that are no longer needed. Smartphones that have reached the end of their lifespan. Unnecessary storage equipment. Laptops being replaced.

Media and IT asset disposition your guide to selecting a vendor

Use this Buyer’s Guide and accompanying checklist to assess your requirements and evaluate potential vendors through a series of questions covering the three core aspects of a comprehensive media and IT asset disposition program:

  • Media and hard drive destruction
  • E-waste recycling
  • IT asset remarketing

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Executive Summary

The combination of an increasingly mobile workforce and rapid technology improvements means organisations must work harder than ever to keep their employees equipped with the newest hardware and devices. This situation leads to a near-constant upgrade cycle — and, perhaps even more troubling, forces companies to contend with a large surplus of old and outdated equipment.

Commonly referred to as electronic waste (e-waste), these unneeded laptops, servers, smartphones, storage media and other items illustrate the importance of a comprehensive media and IT asset disposition program. However, to be effective, these programs must consider far more than the simple disposal of unwanted IT equipment. They must include three components: security, visibility and environmental sustainability.

Hard drives and other electronic media must be sanitised prior to disposal. If it’s not, you can’t be certain that your data is not susceptible to theft or accidental disclosure. And in order to comply with government regulations and corporate sustainability initiatives, final disposition must be performed with the environment in mind. A lapse in either area could lead to fines, penalties and damage to your organisation’s reputation.

It is for these reasons that companies turn to external providers to help them dispose of ageing, obsolete or decommissioned IT equipment in a secure, environmentally conscious way.

Use this Buyer’s Guide and accompanying checklist to assess your requirements and evaluate your current and potential new vendors. Determine where your vendors sit in terms of the three core aspects of a comprehensive media and IT asset disposition program:

  • media and hard drive destruction
  • e-waste recycling
  • IT asset remarketing

Media And Hard Drive Destruction

Tapes that are no longer needed. Smartphones that have reached end-of-life. Obsolete storage devices. Laptops that are being replaced. Copiers that are exchanged for newer technologies. These old IT assets have one thing in common: they all contain confidential data that must be protected during destruction and remarketing processes. And they’re taking up space in your facilities right now.

3.5 The average number of devices Fortune 500 companies assign employees1


Current And Potential IT Asset Disposition Vendors

Consider asking them the following questions:

  • In addition to typical IT equipment, can you destroy a wide range of media, including CDs, employee badges, thumb drives and more?
  • Can you create an inventory of materials designated for destruction and track them as they move offsite and throughout the disposition or remarketing process?
  • Will you use a secure and auditable workflow to transport my items offsite?
  • Does your transportation process include a fully documented chain-of-custody?
  • Will my media and IT assets be destroyed by fully-vetted, in-house employees?
  • Do you offer data erasure and degaussing services with current international regulations, including the e-Stewards Standard?
  • I have some items that I can’t move offsite due to compliance concerns. Can you destroy these at my facility?
  • Will I receive documented proof that my assets were securely destroyed or remarketed at the end of the process?

E-Waste Recycling

The best media and IT asset disposition programs should go beyond the simple destruction of anything that is no longer needed. They must also address, and go to great lengths to mitigate, the impact of the destruction process on the environment.

  • Driven by government regulations and internal initiatives, organisations are sharpening their focus around how they manage e-waste. They realise that sustainable disposal practices play an increasingly critical role in their ability to support environmental stewardship and uphold compliance obligations.
  • It’s important to work with a media and IT asset disposition vendor that makes security and the environment top priorities. Be sure to ask potential providers the following about their environmental practices:
  • Will you destroy the data on my assets prior to recycling them?
  • Can you de-manufacture my e-waste into its component parts and recycle each piece in the proper manner?
  • Are you able to confirm for me that my e-waste will never be exported, incinerated or sent to a landfill?
  • Do the same security and chain-of-custody measures you employ during the media and IT asset destruction process extend to e-waste recycling?
  • Does your recycling program comply with the e-Stewards Standard?

In 2016, The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to have reached 93.5 million tons1