Businesses evolve and technology becomes obsolete. Whatever the size of your business, technological advancements will mean that computer hardware will need to be changed to ensure you remain competitive.
It is a careful balancing act for CFOs and CIOs – maximising the ROI of your IT assets, whilst maintaining productivity, building business operations and staying within budget. However, getting the most out of an IT asset often means that tech is kept longer than it should be, impacting efficiency, your data security and IT maintenance budget. In fact, slow workstations are estimated to drop productivity by 2.75%. That adds up to 5.5 days per year* – the equivalent of giving your employees an additional week’s annual leave.
Studies show that organisations that refresh their hardware every three years enjoy operating costs that are 60% lower than companies that refresh every six.
Every asset in your business holds a value. That value doesn’t end when it is no longer viable, some of its value remains and could provide a hidden revenue stream. If you could recover the value from IT hardware and simultaneously promote your organisation’s sustainable credentials, most would agree that it would be a positive business practice. However, many organisations fail to implement an asset recovery strategy – and by not doing so, are simply writing off additional capital benefits.
What is IT Asset Recovery?
Forming part of your IT asset disposal policy, IT asset recovery (ITAR) or investment recovery is a relatively simple concept where you reclaim the remaining value of end of life IT assets. Residual value can be recovered by redeploying, upgrading, reselling or utilising retailer buy-back schemes. You can also donate or recycle your redundant IT equipment. ITAR helps you keep departmental costs down, increases IT budgets and adds regained value to your bottom line. Used surplus assets don’t add any value to your business, yet they remain as assets you need to store and maintain.
What are the business benefits of IT Asset Recovery?
As you might expect, the primary benefit is to regain capital and in part, the funds you invested in the technology originally. However, as well as improving cash flow, a detailed asset recovery strategy will help you maximise the lifetime value of each asset, increase productivity and drive business efficiencies. By redeploying an older device to other members of the team, you will make cost savings for new equipment you would have previously replaced. You will also not be paying to house, protect and update assets, which no longer serve the business. After all, office space is a costly expense so instead of tripping over that desktop, you could find a more cost-effective use for that space.
An ITAR strategy will also help mitigate some of the data security issues and cybersecurity risks. An IT asset recovery partner will help you protect company data. Industry accredited by ADISA, IT asset disposition services are fully up to speed on the EU and UK GDPR data destruction requirements and e-waste directives, such as WEEE; ensuring your compliance through methodically documented workflows, asset tracking and specialist data wiping techniques. Absent or incomplete ITAD procedures remain one of the biggest challenges in data governance, in a world increasingly reliant on technology and the Internet of Things.
Of course, upgrading or reselling may not always be possible, equipment will not last forever. Even when a device has truly reached end of life, it still retains some residual value. Some components last far longer than others, these can be extracted and sanitised, entering the remanufacturing process and the circular economy. This prevents e-waste landfill, pollution and the need for virgin mining for the precious metals, such as gold and silver – which we already have a plentiful supply of in our existing tech. Needless to say, this all contributes to your sustainability policy and CSR, which is now a key business driver.
If you choose to donate to a charity or school or need to recycle redundant IT equipment, you may also receive some tax benefits. It will also build your reputation through positive PR.
IT asset recovery strategy.
To get the most from your investment recovery program, it is important to create a detailed plan that helps you identify equipment that no longer serves a purpose or useful value. Define your needs from the outset. What does your business really need? A full IT audit can help you identify assets and then track their suitability for the business and projected lifespan. The company’s financial records will come in handy here, too as they show the asset’s purchase history and initial value. If managing this function in-house, IT asset management software can increase visibility by marking your under-utilised inventory.
Effective management of your IT asset recovery strategy.
Almost every device or piece of equipment has a value, however, identification, assignment, sale and environmentally friendly ITAD can be time-consuming and resource-heavy. Some organisations can manage their ITAR strategy internally, but this often requires a dedicated member of the department. The most important consideration here is that the salary doesn’t exceed the value generated through recovery.
Many large to medium companies find it cost-effective to outsource ITAD to a reliable, long term partner who can guide them through the entire process whilst maximising the sum recovered. Specialist IT asset disposition services can help clear a substantial backlog and then continue on an ongoing, frequent basis. This ensures that assets are not left depreciating for another 6 months until the next round of ITAR. Once identified, it is best not to wait to achieve a maximum return.
Although known for secure data wiping services and data centre decommissioning, outsourcing asset recovery to IT asset disposal companies is more convenient, freeing up considerable administration time. Professional data erasure services protect company data and provide a verified ITAD chain of custody and an IT asset disposal accreditation certificate for legal compliance purposes.
An ITAD supplier will help identify which assets can be updated and reused, they can advise on whether the device is worth more to be sold complete, or whether it holds more residual value being dismantled for its spare parts. As experts in a dynamic marketplace, IT asset disposition specialists can leverage their expert knowledge, benchmark and forecast price variations – so you know the optimum time to sell. They have existing relationships with qualified buyers and partners, making the process quick and easy. Not all components can be reused, but most ITAD companies have zero-landfill policies and will ensure the disposal is through the correct channels.
As businesses focus on their digital transformation (DX) and the hybrid approach becomes the new normal, there is inevitably a reduced requirement for on-site equipment and data centres. Therefore, the importance of asset recovery grows alongside DX and the expansion of cloud-based services.
IT asset management is a delicate balance between efficiency and achieving a maximum return on your investment. An ITAR strategy provides a rounded, effective approach that will help you identify surplus IT assets and maximise the investment recovery. If you don’t apply an ITAR model, then all you have invested in a device is effectively wasted when it reaches end of life.
An asset recovery program will assist CFOs and CIOs when it comes to building a more sustainable and cost-effective hardware lifecycle management program. This once unexpected supplementary revenue stream will become a core part of your IT budget planning over time. You’ll be surprised just how much-untapped value resides in storage units, cupboards and office drawers.
The most accredited ITAD company in the UK, EOL IT Services are industry-leading IT asset disposition service. Through our comprehensive range of upgrade, data wiping services, and environmentally friendly ITAD, we help organisations manage their asset recovery strategy, becoming trusted long-term partners.
Find out how we can help your business – contact us on 0845 600 4696 or visit www.eolitservices.co.uk
*The Tech Lounge
Forbes Magazine, NRI Industrial/Hubspot, Horizon Technology, The Tech Lounge, Investigations.com, Business Technology Weekly,