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Many factors may dictate how long you keep office equipment. The business is changing location, it’s time for software upgrade, or a merger or acquisition takes place. Suddenly, new hardware comes in, and old servers, workstations, storage, and other computers reach their end-of-life.

Deciding on the best way to dispose of outdated or unwanted assets requires careful planning and knowledge to protect your company’s data and reputation. It’s also important that assets are disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Making the wrong IT asset disposal decision has consequences beyond just taking up unnecessary storage space or filling a dumpster. Computers, smartphones and cameras allow you to keep a great deal of information at your fingertips, but when you dispose of, donate, or recycle a device, you may inadvertently disclose sensitive information which cybercriminals could exploit.

Finding the right path

IT asset disposition is a multi-stage project that starts in the IT department and does not end until every unused and unwanted asset has been wiped clean of all company and customer data and is either recycled, destroyed, or resold.

None of this can happen without a thorough audit. Unless you know what assets the business owns, the complexity of such a project makes it difficult to make the correct decisions. 

Although many organisations believe that they can handle this in-house, it’s not something to be undertaken lightly or without expert assistance. After all, IT asset disposition is not just wiping hard drives and removing the devices from an inventory spreadsheet. IT must also remove the hardware from project and employee records, sever associated leases, and transfer or cancel software or cloud licenses. They must also dispose of the equipment safely, in an environmentally responsible way.

Rather than attempting to do this in-house, a better option is to work with a vendor like Iron Mountain to undertake a complete IT asset audit and locate all hidden IT equipment containing sensitive data. Once complete, Iron Mountain can set up a multi-prong asset disposition strategy that can boost your company’s bottom line.

Settling on the right goodbye

There are several ways to dispose of old equipment. The first, which can put money back into your IT budget, is IT asset remarketing or sale. While your old laptops, servers and workstations may not be powerful enough for your business, there are plenty of other businesses that can use your old IT assets and will pay for that privilege. Iron Mountain can sift through your old equipment, completely wipe it, so it’s free of any recognisable data, price it for sale, and help you turn old equipment into cash.

Some of your equipment may be too old to repurpose and disposing of it or recycling it is a better option. With the international regulations becoming more stringent for both options, it’s crucial that your process meets or exceeds regulations, so your organisation doesn’t face fines or worse. 

Iron Mountain’s Secure e-Waste and IT Asset Disposition (Secure ITAD) services ensure compliance, eschewing international recycling as well as landfill dumping. The service starts with data sanitation, making sure that all data has been either transferred or backed up and then wiped clean. Hard drives are destroyed too, since it’s impossible to remove data from a drive completely.

Iron Mountain ensures your company brand and information is protected through: 

  • Our 99.4 per cent No Landfill Rating
  • E-waste recycling services
  • IT asset remarketing
  • Hard drive, media and tape destruction
  • Enterprise IT asset disposition programs
  • Printer and computer disposal and recycling

By the end of working with Iron Mountain, your organisation will be free of its outgrown assets, and your data security will be intact. As a result, the IT department will be unburdened to do what it does best: Help the business operate efficiently.

More about Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is the global leader in innovative storage and information management services, storing and protecting billions of valued assets, including critical business information, highly sensitive data, and cultural and historical artifacts. Founded in 1951 and trusted by more than 225,000 customers worldwide, Iron Mountain helps customers CLIMB HIGHER™ to transform their businesses. 

Through a range of services including digital transformation, data centres, secure records storage, information management, secure destruction, and art storage and logistics, Iron Mountain helps businesses bring light to their dark data, enabling customers to unlock value and intelligence from their stored digital and physical assets at speed and with security while helping them meet their environmental goals.


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