Buried Alive, Office Edition. How to manage your business’s IT equipment during transition

June 20, 2024

We open with scenarios familiar to many: surplus IT equipment is stuffed into a utility closet and ignored until it’s absolutely necessary to handle it. Or maybe your office is moving and the old equipment is not coming with you. These scenarios come with their own sets of complexities and headaches, but with careful planning and the right approach, they can be managed effectively.

Whether you’re in HR, IT, or another management role, it’s likely you’ve encountered the issue of unused IT equipment. How do you ensure your company’s data bearing equipment is safe and secure during transit or disposal? And just as important, how can you make sure you’re not causing a negative environmental impact?

No matter the reason behind your mounting piles of tech, the handling of company hardware can be overwhelming. If equipment is not actively in use or no longer functional it can be especially tempting to either leave it for the next employee or find the closest dumpster.

However, you should be aware that the world’s generation of electronic waste is rising five times faster than documented e-waste recycling1, and leaving the issue to be dealt with by someone else in the future increases the potential for improper disposal. Whether or not your organization has goals around sustainability, effective IT asset management can be a positive addition to any impact report.

ReturnCenter understands the importance of efficiently managing hardware during transition while prioritizing data security and environmental sustainability. Our suite of services is designed to alleviate the burden and streamline the process for professionals facing these challenges.

Here are some practical ideas for dealing with office moves, closures, or surplus equipment:

Assessment and Inventory: Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of all hardware and IT equipment. Take inventory of what needs to be retained, recycled, or securely disposed of. Considerations should also be taken for software. Identifying software assets no longer in use will allow you to cancel them, avoid subscription fees, and reduce costs. This step lays the foundation for an organized and efficient process moving forward.

If your teams use an application like ServiceNow for asset lifecycle management, you may find related historical data as well as other tools to help you manage your software and hardware needing attention.

The ReturnCenter app for ServiceNow extends this capability by allowing ServiceNow users to schedule the transportation of hardware assets to any of the destinations we talk about further in this blog.

Data Sanitization: Prioritize data security by ensuring all sensitive information stored on devices is properly sanitized or destroyed. Remove hard drives, utilize data wiping software or engage a certified data destruction service to safeguard against data breaches.

Options for your IT equipment

Reuse and Repurpose: Explore opportunities to reuse or repurpose equipment within the organization. Consider reallocating devices to other offices or departments where they can continue to serve a purpose, thus maximizing their lifecycle and reducing unnecessary waste.

The ReturnCenter Box Program is ideal for moving equipment from one business location to another with custom boxes, prepaid shipping labels and a dashboard for central tracking.

Donation: For equipment that is still functional but no longer needed, consider donating it to charitable organizations. This not only benefits the community but also reduces electronic waste. It’s important to remember that data sanitization continues to be vital in this scenario. If you’re looking for recommendations on this process, get in touch.

Recycling: Properly recycle any obsolete or non-functional equipment to minimize environmental impact. Partner with certified e-waste recycling facilities or IT asset disposition companies to ensure responsible disposal in accordance with regulatory standards. SERI and e-Stewards are two organizations leading the way in proper electronics recycling.

Engage ReturnCenter: Leverage the expertise and resources of ReturnCenter to streamline the process of handling company hardware. Our box program offers a convenient solution for retrieving and shipping individual IT assets, ideal for remote users or dispersed office closures.

Alternatively, our Onsite IT Equipment Pack and Ship service provides comprehensive logistics support, including packing, pickup, and transportation, tailored to your specific needs. Choose from a range of white-glove services, such as palletizing and tagging, for added security and peace of mind. Learn more.

With a little help, the process can be easy

Navigating office moves, closures, or surplus equipment can be challenging, but with careful planning and the right support, it can also present opportunities for growth and optimization. By prioritizing data security, environmental responsibility, and efficiency, professionals can successfully navigate these transitions while setting the stage for future success.

At ReturnCenter, we’re committed to simplifying the process and empowering businesses to manage change with confidence. No matter your scenario, our comprehensive services are here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help streamline your transition and ensure a seamless experience from start to finish.

 If you’d like to read more about creating effective offboarding policies surrounding IT, check out our recent blog “Mastering Remote Offboarding: Best Practices for IT Asset Managers.”

  1. Global E-Waste Monitor 2024