How does your ITAD plan stack up?

When it comes to information technology asset disposition (ITAD), how does your organization measure up? Is it a chore that gets farmed out when you need to clean out that closet full of non-functional laptops and out-of-date cellphones? Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum where asset disposition is a vital and ongoing process that actually adds revenue to the bottom line.

When it comes to having an ITAD plan, there are generally five different stages of maturity that a firm will go through. Using results from a 2018 survey conducted by Cascade Asset Management, we can get a better idea of how the industry at large breaks down. Do you know how you’re doing? Take a look and see which one most closely feels like your organization.

Level 1 – Chaotic

At this level there’s no control over IT assets. If policies and procedures are put in place, they’re usually created and carried out at the individual level. If the idea of this sort of system scares you, then you’re already in good company and not part of the 1.7% of surveyed institutions at this level.

Level 2 – Reactive

Things are looking better, and now there are a few policies in place regarding information assets and their treatment. The policies are limited however, and carrying out these responsibilities usually falls on the people directly using the equipment. It’s also unlikely that there’s a single, comprehensive list of all the IT assets. It’s a bit more organized, but it still lacks a cohesive, well-considered vision. According to respondents, approximately 22% of firms operate this way.

Level 3 – Defined

Now we start to get into the range of firms working with fully realized policies and procedures, although there’s still room to improve. Level 3 sees fully defined systems of policies and procedures with a central gathering place for all essential data. Data validation is uncommon, and this results in ITAD policy decisions being formed without the use of essential data. It’s not bad, but there’s definitely room to grow. This level represents just under 33% of all the firms that were surveyed.

Level 4 – Proactive

At this level, all the proverbial ducks are in a row. There are complete inventories of assets, repositories for data, and robust systems in place to manage the use and disposal of information assets. Accurate and up-to-date data is driving the decisions that inform these policies, and quality assurance is in place to make sure those policies are functioning as they are intended. It’s reassuring to know that almost 35% of companies surveyed were operating at this level.

Level 5 – Strategic

This final level is a lot like level 4, but now the companies who identified themselves in this rarified group are using ITAD policies to leverage their strategic advantages.  The policies and processes are in place and humming right along, so these firms are using the management and disposal of IT assets to actually add value to the organization. The policies themselves are also continually updated and improved to reflect the industry’s best practices. It’s a hard level to reach, but if you can do it you’re in a club that includes only 8.6% of respondents.

Why does this matter to you?

You may not feel like the management and disposal of your information assets is a big deal today, but even if that’s the case, the times are going to keep on changing. Did you know that the number of people using employer-provided cell phones as their primary phone is rising about 5% every year? Imagine how much data, both personal and professional, could be compromised by one lost phone. Companies providing laptops for employee use are being replaced at ever-increasing rates, which mean that data-rich devices could be end up in a dumpster or pawn shop if you don’t have robust policies designed to scrub and properly dispose of these obsolete machines. The way you operate your business today is different than your methods 5 years ago, so why not get out in front of the next five years and start creating plans today to safeguard the data of your company, staff, and clients?

So what’s in it for you?

Data security is almost always at the top of the list when people consider the benefits of IT asset disposition, but this isn’t the only benefit of having a well-considered set of policies and procedures for disposing of your IT hardware. Some of the benefits includes recaptured costs from recycling, freed-up facility space, reduced environmental footprint, and increased charitable contributions from finding a second life for hardware in schools or non-profits.

If you’re looking for industry-best practices, then you’re in the right place. CDR Global is a leader in effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly data sanitization of IT hardware and assets utilizing the appropriate disposition through reuse and recycling. Take control of the data that’s under your care and let us help you enjoy all the benefits that a serious ITAD policy system can offer.


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