Lifecycle Best Practices: Maximize Hardware Resale and Ensuring Proper Disposal

IT assets are like new cars – they begin depreciating from the first day. Still, there often is some value left when it comes time to retire your hardware.

While maximizing that remaining value is important, it’s not the only consideration: Security and compliance also must be maintained.


Effective ITAD is less about sales and more about process. 

  • Disposal planning should begin at the time of acquisition, informing procurement decisions.
  • Controlling and tracking assets can help maximize lifetime and resale value, including effectively managing refreshes and end-of-life and end-of-service dates. 
  • It takes into account data security and environmental risks at disposal by building the necessary workflows and safeguards.

Whether you do all the steps in-house or turn over some responsibilities to a managed services provider, it’s critical to make sure your ITAM extends to the very end, allowing you to maximize resale values while securely disposing of assets.


Here are some keys to a strategic ITAD program:

Tracking is everything  

ITAD starts with good tracking and reconciliation procedures from requisition and receipt to deployment. Managing your assets with an automated ITAM system gives you end-to-end visibility, real-time valuation of your assets, and a clear view of refresh cycles, planned retirement and end of service dates. 


What to track, what gives back

Which asset classes need to be “managed” varies among organizations, as does remarketing value. Twenty years ago, we’d take a network card from a printer and sell it for $150. That technology, about the size of a deck of cards back then, was a big deal. Today, printers have no resale value.

Hardware that performs mission-critical functions or contains sensitive or proprietary data should be part of your ITAM program. 

Peripherals without data or security concerns fall into the “unmanaged” category: hubs, printers without hard drives and monitors. 


Resale best practices are changing

At one time, companies commonly built their own retail channels on eBay and Amazon or set up websites for IT asset resale. Most organizations refreshed regularly enough to get money back for selling equipment while keeping current, and many channels still exist for equipment resale. Today, the best technology gets picked up by wholesale channels for parts.


Leverage data

Recording all the asset information up to and beyond disposal on your ITAM database gives you valuable information. Not only can the finance department use it to reconcile ledgers, but the intel can be called on to make hardware decisions. Are you seeing a 20% return on one manufacturer’s laptops and 22% on another? Are you replacing technology in a business unit more often because they’re tough on the equipment or in a harsh environment? You don’t know if you don’t track.


Don’t take the risk

Sometimes when talking to companies about their ITAD process, I hear, “Well, I just make a list and sell it to ‘This Guy,’” or “Each location takes care of its own stuff.” 


That is a disaster waiting to happen.

Are your retired assets securely transported and data drives wiped and/or destroyed following certified industry standards? In 2019, IBM reported a data breach costs a U.S. company, on average, $8.19 million. Add to that the indirect costs of reputational damage and customer churn due to the loss of sensitive and confidential information. 

There’s more:  25 states and the District of Columbia have electronics recycling laws or e-waste. Retailer Big Lots paid $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging it improperly landfilled electronics and hazardous waste.  Comcast paid $26 million to settle an environmental suit over electronics disposal.


Go with an expert

Remember, there’s a global secondary market for technologies and different strategies for each line. An expert can help companies plans and execute hardware refreshes so they make financial and operational sense. While providing a secure and compliant remarketing process, the right ITAD partner also can ensure best practices and chain of custody as well as tie into your entire ITAM process, helping to maximize asset value throughout the IT lifecycle to improve reporting, planning and decision making.  


Drop me a line at if you’d like to learn more.


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