According to Synergy Research, in 2018 the global cloud market hit $250 billion (£196bn), with a 32 percent annual growth. As demand for cloud and data storage continues to increase, it comes as no surprise that the market size for this industry is expected to double in less than four years.
This expected growth in technology is exciting; however, the increase in consumption of resources needs to be balanced with materials recovery efforts. IT equipment and electronic devices often contain hazardous components such as lead, mercury, silver, and brominated flame-retardants. Additionally they may contain small amounts of precious metals such as gold and copper.
Constant analysis is needed to determine what materials these products are made of, and what their proper paths for disposition are. This has created an endless world of new processes for IT and Data Center Managers.
Here are some of the best ways organizations can help assure your ever-changing IT disposal program is flawless.
Understand your global inventory
When managing your IT asset disposition (ITAD) program at a global scale, one can be faced with an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. It can be difficult to maintain this inventory of assets when they are physically in different locations, and to understand how each location handles IT asset removal. You ultimately cannot manage what you cannot measure so internal transparency and communication is important.
Additional challenges may include,
- Ad-hoc approaches at each facility
- Inconsistent and undocumented processes
- Undefined job description/ownership
- No central control or reporting
- Lack of training
- Managing multiple vendors (and multiple ways of doing things)
Companies are taking a closer look at e waste recycling and ITAD vendor’s infrastructure. Having a better understanding of their ITAD and data destruction services will help ensure the protection of their corporate interests, as well as their compliance with relevant regulations.
When managing multiple vendors (and multiple ways of doing things), standardization between different sites can be useful to ensure each site is consistent in their reporting and tracking, and in their considerations for data security, environmental responsibility and maximum value resale.
However, standardization is difficult when the disposal is managed separately at each location. This fragmented opaque situation is no longer acceptable today. Fragmented programs allows for security loopholes and can leave no documentation of how equipment was disposed of and data destroyed.
Review your ITAD vendor’s auditing process
When working with an ITAD organization on a global scale, their sites may not always align perfectly with yours. In addition, most regulatory statuses governing data security and environmental compliance are regional or country specific. In order to meet these needs, IT asset disposal companies will audit and manage subcontractors to support logistics in these locations.
It is a good idea to understand the subcontractor vetting process and ensure your IT disposal vendor has a robust subcontractor network across the globe. The auditing program should encompass the following attributes:
- A detailed questionnaire (With questions that cover compliance, safety, health, environmental and sustainability topics)
- A formal on-site visit to the prospective subcontractor facility
- Access to audit details for each subcontractor
- Regular on-site audits, in addition to written audits
These audits should consider health and safety, environmental performance, business performance, social responsibility and security. Managing downstream vendors and subcontractors is not a small task and should be taken very seriously.
Ensure legal compliance in all regions
Another reason why standardization is so important is to ensure compliance with the myriad of local, regional and international legislative requirements for data security and e-waste disposal and documentation. Ensuring full accountability in your global reverse supply chain is important.
These secure and defined processes supported by a comprehensive IT infrastructure can offer the transparency and evidence for corporate compliance, regulatory and risk management requirements. It is important to be up to date on all related laws and requirements to avoid unnecessary fines, fees, penalties or negative exposure related to improper disposition.
There is much involved in building a successful global IT asset disposition program. However proper planning and due diligence will help you gain efficiencies, and will make you better able to meet corporate and legislative compliance requirements.
Learn more in our most recent white paper, which discusses a framework for structuring a global ITAD program.