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IT Asset Recovery Should Focus on Data Security and Brand Protection

December 26, 2012

IT asset recovery is the process of maximizing the value of unused or end of life IT assets through effective reuse, resale, or recycling. I know I just dropped a lot of “re” words, but it’s the truth. IT assets represent a major investment for most companies, and with an increasing rate of product obsolescence (meaning that electronics now become obsolete very quickly) due to rapid advancements in technology, many IT assets can be resold into secondary markets after they have been phased out.

But IT asset recovery is a little more complicated than that. Most organizations have very specific IT asset management requirements. They can’t just be resold right away. After an IT asset has been selected for retirement, you need to record the serial number and remove the asset tag. More importantly, you also need to destroy or erase the hard drive so that sensitive information does not leak out into the public. In addition to removing company data, you also may need to invest in IT refurbishment so that the device works properly and can be resold at a decent price.

And then, of course, some IT assets are too damaged or too old to be re-purposed. These devices are destined for electronics recycling, a process in which they are shredded and separated into various commodious that are then used to create new products.

The most important thing to note in all of this is that data security and brand protection should be the primary objective. Value maximization is important, but a data breach or legal sanctions due to illegal disposal of electronics can be a much bigger problem. Do your company a favor and do your homework before you hire a company to liquidate your IT assets. Make sure that data security is a priority for your vendors and make sure that they are using a domestic electronics recycler as a downstream for material that cannot be remarketed.

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