When it comes to IT asset disposition (ITAD), or the process of recovering and safely disposing of IT equipment and business technology no longer in use within corporate enterprises, in theory the data center should be no different than any other area of the business.
The data center, like all areas of the corporate enterprise, has IT equipment that is periodically replaced and must be “disposed of” in accordance with e-waste recycling regulations. This equipment typically has sensitive information stored on the internal hard drives that must be protected from unauthorized access in compliance with information security and data privacy laws when it’s being retired. Whenever and wherever possible, the decommissioned IT equipment is remarketed with the proceeds used to cover the various costs of disposition including reverse logistics, data erasure and asset processing. So, data center ITAD and enterprise ITAD seem comparable, right?
Well, they’re not. Using “general ITAD” for data center is like going to a general practitioner for a brain trauma. Sure, your family doctor will understand the full anatomy and likely be able to at least hypothesize, but we’re talking about the center of your nervous system, which is really what the data center has become in today’s world of cloud computing, big data and everything-as-a-service. For something so important, wouldn’t you ultimately see a specialist?
Surprisingly, relatively few companies seek out and use a specialized hardware decommissioning solution for their data center ITAD needs. There are myriad reasons why, but most commonly:
- They don’t know that one exists, which isn’t a surprise because not many do. At least ones that are truly specialized in practice, not in name only.
- Data center decommissioning is in a relative infancy stage compared to ITAD for corporate IT. In fact, cloud startups launched within the past five years or so may just now be preparing for their first major technology refresh, and the decommissioning process may be completely foreign.
- In more traditional businesses where data center is fast-growing, operators may turn to their IT asset management counterparts in corporate IT and be guided to use incumbent solutions. But general ITAD solutions were developed decades ago for processing general business equipment offsite at an ITAD vendor facility. Along with existing data security methods, including data erasure technology, these conventional solutions simply weren’t cut out for the mass scale and high-capacity storage in today’s data centers.
- Data center requirements are not broken out separately in the procurement and RFP process.
No matter the reason, there’s no avoiding the reality: data center ITAD is a completely different ballgame that needs to be played by its own set of rules. Among other, the data security requirements are vastly different, logistics more challenging and the value recovery opportunity much greater. At risk is your data, IT ROI, sustainability and data center productivity.
All of this is the subject of a presentation I will be giving at the IAITAM ACE Conference in Las Vegas next month: Data Center ITAD: Different Rules for a Different Ballgame. If you plan on being in Vegas, I hope you will attend. I’ll provide best practice recommendations and recap the key areas that most impact ROI from data center decommissioning. Our Director of Product Development and data erasure guru will also present It’s Your Data: Erase it When, and Where, You Want.
Based in Silicon Valley, ITRenew had the advantage of witnessing firsthand the early stages of the data center boom. We worked in collaboration with leading cloud companies to design a solution specifically for data center decommissioning; built on the backbone of our Teraware software platform. Unlike other solution providers in our industry, we weren’t married to the conventional processes of ITAD companies we acquired or to the legacy code of standard data erasure tools. So, we could start over with a completely fresh perspective focused on solving the decommissioning challenges within the most hyperscaled, technologically-advanced data centers that exist.
While ITRenew now has the best data center ITAD solution and enterprise-grade data erasure software out there, as a company we’re always challenging the status quo and looking for better ways to do things. That’s why I’m personally excited that ITRenew has hired Jim Harris as vice president of global sales. Jim is a veteran of data center and the IT industry. His experience will be instrumental in helping ITRenew continually enhance its data center decommissioning services and bring our specialized solution to market on a global scale. I invite you to read the press release and Jim’s blog What Does Data Center Growth Mean for IT Asset Disposition? for more insight on this key hire.
Jim will be joining me and our team of data center ITAD specialists in representing ITRenew at IAITAM. We hope you will stop by booth 2, we’d love to learn more about your data center situation. If you’re not able to attend the show and would like a scripted copy of my presentation, please contact us and we’ll be happy to email you. Thank you, and see you Vegas.