ITAD Strategy Post-Covid 19
The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered how we work, especially with regards to data security and IT asset disposition under the so-called ‘new normal’.
If your organisation has shifted to remote work from the office, whether by choice or by force, your IT assets are dispersed amongst the homes of your workforce. This will drastically change your ITAD strategy and your approach to data security since all of your company’s devices and sensitive data is no longer under a single roof.
A New Status Quo
Before 2020, remote work was a small but growing trend. It’s now commonplace and many offices have subsequently realised the benefits of retaining remote workers – even after lockdowns ease and office work is again permitted.
It’s important that management conducts a thorough analysis of their IT departments to assess their needs and operations through the pandemic. How many company devices were released from the office? Were these devices’ data kept secure? Keeping tabs on all employees’ IT assets is a lot more challenging when they’re all outside of the office, no matter how one approaches this task.
The waters get muddied further when one considers that in many cases, global shortages of IT asset stock resulted in many workers using personal devices for work purposes. Much like using a personal credit card for a business, mixing private and work-related IT assets can lead to all sorts of headaches later on. Were these devices used to download sensitive information? Moreover, were employees adhering to data privacy laws, namely the GDPR?
There’s no denying how profoundly the Covid-19 pandemic has altered our lives, but the shift to remote work hasn’t absolved us of our duty to comply with GDPR, data disposal regulations, or due diligence towards avoiding a costly data breach.
A survey conducted by PWC revealed that four out of five global companies believe that the pandemic will cause a decrease in revenues. As of November 2020, nobody knows if we’ll experience a V-shaped recovery, a K-shaped recovery, or if we’ll go back to ‘normal’. Whatever the case, the extreme uncertainty will most likely lead to halted or postponed investments into IT.
The survey states that 18 per cent of surveyed companies will either defer or cancel digital transformation projects, and a further 39 per cent will defer or cancel IT investments. This obviously doesn’t correlate to less need for these valuable investments, so in order to preserve data security and extend the usable lifespan of existing IT stock, more creative, cost-effective solutions are needed.
A great example of a sensible, inexpensive solution is to take advantage of a circular economy model in which minimal waste is generated whilst IT assets can be better supplied to where demand is, whether that be through resale or refurbishment, for example.
Adapting to Change
Although remote work presents new challenges for organisations, remote work is here to stay. 55 per cent of companies are remodelling and rebuilding workplaces to promote social distancing whilst 47 per cent intend to make remote work optional going forward.
What may have worked ad hoc during the first few weeks and months of lockdown is no long-term panacea, however. With remote work becoming a permanent fixture going forward, organisations must adopt solutions that are effective for the foreseeable future.
There’s no leaving IT assets to chance, whether in the office or at home with a remote workforce. All devices should be properly inventoried and encrypted so that IT staff know where all devices are at any given time and that they are being used responsibly.
Furthermore, your trusted ITAD company should be capable of performing data destruction services within a wide geographic area to better serve remote workers.
No More Hot Desks
Hot desking was a great, cost-effective way of serving multiple workers with minimal spend on IT assets. It’s now a great way of spreading germs and infections, so under the current situation it looks like hot desks will go the way of the dodo.
Even if your workplace is permitted to reopen and workers will come back to the office, your organisation will require dedicated desks, PCs, keyboards, etc. What does this mean for IT departments? More inventory will be required since shared devices are a no-no.
Business automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) aren’t just around the corner, but they’re already here and becoming increasingly commonplace in a post-Covid world. 46 per cent of companies will accelerate the adoption of automation and develop new ways of performing work duties.
A major area in which smart gadgets are expected to really take over in earnest is with touch-activated anything being replaced with touch-free technologies such as voice activation. Perhaps the old water cooler will need to be replaced with a ‘smart’ water cooler to avoid high-contact touch areas in the office, but this technology is expected to drastically change how we approach work by reducing touch points.
IT Asset Disposition
It was necessary before Covid and its need will be even more pronounced in a post-Covid world. ITAD, including hard drive shredding, degaussing, data destruction certificates and inventory management features to better assist organisations with proper, thorough, and compliant data disposal and asset disposition are all essential services. The changes to the workforce will likely change how most organisations approach their ITAD strategy, however.
ITAD is scalable, meaning that organisations with a reduction or expansion of IT asset stock can find services which scale to their current needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Don’t settle for less and keep your organisation’s data secure, no matter whether your IT assets are in the office or in the homes of your workforce.
For more information on how Wisetek can help you create your ITAD strategy contact our experts here
Wisetek specializes in professional ITAD services including Data Destruction, Hard Drive Destruction, Hard Drive Disposal, Hard Drive Shredding, and Degaussing, from its 5 main facilities across the USA.