What Is IT Asset Disposition And Why Is It Important?
Continuing to use technology past its prime may be less expensive than replacing it, but it comes with plenty of other problems. That’s why IT Asset Disposition is such an important part of your ongoing IT processes.
Do you have old technology that needs to be replaced?
Sticking with old technology may save you some money in your IT budget, but its lack of functionality and security can slow down your business and put you at risk.
That’s what IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) has become a critical service over the course of the past decade. Even though hardware spending dropped over the course of 2020 due to the pandemic, it remains an area of spending worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year. All that hardware eventually gets too old and needs to be replaced.
That’s where ITAD comes into play.
What Is ITAD?
Put simply, ITAD is the practice of knowing how, when, and where to dispose of IT hardware. This is important because, eventually, all hardware (and software) becomes so old it’s dangerous to continue using.
This is generally known as “end of life”, the point at which there is no longer any type of support offered for the given technology. No support means no updates, and no updates means no critical patches or fixes. Without security updates and bug patches, you open yourself up to a number of risks:
- Ongoing downtime
- Malware infections and security vulnerabilities
- Exposed private data
How Can You Tell When Your IT Assets Need To Be Replaced?
There are many ways to tell that it may be time to upgrade your technology:
- It’s Outpaced By Current Versions: While the mere existence of a newer OS or new model in the line-up doesn’t mean you should automatically upgrade, it is an indication that you will have to do so sometime soon. When a newer version is released, it means the clock is running out on how long the providers will continue to support the version you’re using.
- It’s Slowing You Down: You may be noticing that your competitors have far surpassed your capabilities and are able to provide clients with features and products that you are unable to offer. If you are finding it hard to keep up with your competitors, it might be time to consider how new technology can enhance the work you do.
- Fixes Don’t Last Long: The older technology gets, the more support it will need. That means paying more and more for support to come in and get it running again, the returns on which will quickly diminish.
Questions You Need To Answer About Aging Technology
Does Your Hardware Function Properly? As step number 1, it doesn’t get much easier than this:
- Can you turn it on?
- How long does it take to start up?
- How long does it take to execute tasks like opening applications?
In a nutshell, you need to know whether your hardware is holding you back, making you wait, and slowing your business down.
Is The Software Up To Date?
Now that you’ve determined how functional the hardware is, the next step is the software. Even if this technology hasn’t been turned on in a week, there will likely be some updates that have to take place.
Updates are important because they correct existing errors and mistakes in software, and patch potential flaws that could leave it vulnerable to security threats.
One by one, open up each program you would plan to use on a regular basis. If there are updates that need to be installed, a pop-up window will likely open on start-up. However, if the previous owner turned off that automatic function, you’ll need to manually check for updates, which can be done in the program preferences.
What Is The Status Of Licenses And Warranties?
After double-checking that everything is up to date, the next step will be to confirm the status of any existing licenses and warranties.
Depending on the type of business, there may be specific software needed for daily operations. The bottom line is that if you need it to get work done, you should know whether you can use it.
IT Asset Lifecycle Management Is Critical
Lifecycle Management will increase your business’ productivity by helping you make informed decisions on IT needs and services. The key is that it helps you make better purchasing decisions by looking at various resources and their lifecycle stages.
For example, if a particular asset is about to expire, and if you already have that asset in your inventory, you have more lead time to order and replenish. If not, you know that you will have to determine an alternate solution as soon as possible. Inadequate lifecycle management can lead to a range of problems, including:
- Unsecured technology that is vulnerable to security threats
- Increased downtime due to lag, lost work and more
- Gaps in technological capability due to unforeseen issues
What Are The Benefits Of Lifecycle Management?
- Effectively Predict Your Needs: By knowing when your current technology will reach “end of life”, you can easily plan ahead.
- Make Informed Purchases: With proper notice, you can research your next purchases and upgrades without having to rush.
- Proactively Maintain An Optimal It Environment: By keeping track of all your IT assets, you can ensure that each aspect is replaced at the perfect time to ensure a seamless transition.
Do You Have Someone To Handle Lifecycle Management And ITAD?
Need a hand tracking your IT assets’ lifecycles and replacing them on a seamless schedule? Outsource IT Solutions Group can handle it for you. If you need help in managing your assets, allow us to assist.