The data is now in from our large scale market survey conducted on behalf of Arrow Electronics on the subject of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) trends. The results validate a popularly held view among IT industry practitioners that ITAD considerations continue to be a top concern for all size companies. In fact, knowledge of ITAD best practices continues to evolve and improve among C-suite and IT Executives. However, as one might expect the issues and concerns between the two groups vary somewhat.
Our research also indicates that all companies, regardless of size, are more likely today than in the past to budget for the ITAD process. In addition, corporations are becoming more aware of penalties arising from improper disposal of IT assets, which has led to an increased implementation of formal ITAD strategies. While the most important factors for creating an ITAD strategy have remained the same over the last few years (data security concerns, commitment to “Green” business practices, and mitigating legal and financial risks), companies are far less likely to apply their ITAD strategy outside of North America. It is also clear that companies who have developed a formal end-of-life ITAD strategy are far more likely to have an ITAD provider handle their IT assets when compared with companies who do not have a formal ITAD strategy.
Companies using a 3rd party service provider to manage their end-of-life IT assets are currently very satisfied with their providers. When choosing these providers, ISO industry certifications are particularly important, with R2 and e-Stewards being the most important environmental standards. Due to their equal level of importance and credibility, most companies feel that R2 and e-Stewards should be combined into one standard.
While most companies have a data security policy regarding their end-of-life assets, data security concerns are still prevalent. Data security concerns are particularly high among companies with a formal ITAD strategy as well as companies who use 3rd party service providers. Most companies use multiple tactics to alleviate data security concerns, which includes using 3rd party service providers. However, with nearly 2 out of 3 companies selecting a method such as “Delete the file directory on the hard drive” which does not fully eliminate the potential for data security breaches, there remains some uncertainty as to which methods are truly effective.
With most companies adopting a BYOD policy that allows employees to bring at least one device to work, there has been a dramatic increase in the implementation of policies to ensure that company data on BYOD devices is secure during active use. The vast majority of companies are also implementing policies to ensure that company data on BYOD devices is eradicated once those devices are no longer active on the company network.
Corporate social responsibility/sustainability has also become increasingly important, with approximately 93% of companies expected to have a program in place by the end of 2015. Companies who currently have a corporate social responsibility/sustainability program in place typically report their program’s progress in their annual report and/or other forms of corporate communication, both public and private.
The cloud is having a significant impact on the purchase of IT assets, with a majority of companies purchasing more assets to support the cloud. Some of these additional assets purchased likely include tablets, whose use continues to increase. As a result, ITAD practices and policies will continue a critical topic among C-suite executives and ITAD Managers.