Your Post-Covid 19 IT Asset Disposition Strategy
YOUR POST-COVID 19 IT ASSET DISPOSITION STRATEGY
The changes to our working lives post-COVID 19 are making us rethink how we work while firmly embedding an ITAD strategy into every part of the ‘new normal’.
We are all returning to work, but not work as we knew it. Covid-19 has radically altered how organizations operate, and out of all the many changes, there is one common theme. If people are dispersed, the assets which they work on are too. This has huge implications for your ITAD strategy.
A Pandemic Review
As offices open and people return to work, an analysis must be undertaken regarding how IT departments faired during the pandemic. While most companies have a small number of employees who are mobile, most employees are not.
As people were sent home to work with their devices, how secure was the data on those assets? Corporate desktops and laptops – which had never left the office before – were being set up in homes and therefore vulnerable to data breaches and theft. If items were stolen, were they encrypted?
Furthermore, personal devices were being utilized by organizations unable to buy a stock due to a global shortage: was sensitive information downloaded on such devices? Did people see the information that officially constituted, for example in terms of GDPR, a data breach?
While Covid-19 forced an immediate change in our working lives it did not give us an excuse to ignore data regulations while working at home. Do not count on the authorities to give a ‘pandemic amnesty.
According to a PWC survey, 80 percent of global companies think that they will suffer a decrease in their revenues due to the pandemic. Let us imagine that they do not and there is the much-hoped-for ‘V’ shaped recovery; in the short-term, there will still be organizations reducing their IT spend while trying to accommodate the new normal.
PWC state that 18 percent of companies surveyed are deferring or canceling digital transformation projects, while 39 percent are deferring or canceling IT investments. Curiously, only 5 percent of companies are deferring or canceling cybersecurity or privacy investments.
A strain on budgets means less investment in IT stock, which in turn, means a more creative approach to your IT needs. Ultimately, this will feed into the ‘circular economy’ whereby parts from assets are reused, second-hand items are traded, as we reassess our notion of IT waste.
The On-Site Transition
It is not surprising that the PWC survey reveals that 55 percent of companies are reconfiguring worksites to promote physical distancing, with 47 percent making remote work a permanent option.
These two statistics imply that half the typical workforce will continue to work from home. In doing so, companies must properly equip their staff to do so. What worked during the pandemic cannot be a long-term solution.
A laptop at a communal kitchen table does not constitute an office. Desks, phones, devices, even printers, need to be shipped to staff. All items must be put on an asset register and encrypted. Procedures must be in place governing the use of corporate assets and their corresponding data.
Also, your ITAD partner must have the geographical reach to meet the demands of a dispersed workforce.
The End of the Hot Desk
An old office innovation, hot-desking has served many people, especially contractors, well. However, hot desking is incompatible with post-COVID 19 hygiene; therefore, strict allocation of desks and assets will be enforced. Dedicated PCs, monitors, even printers, will mean that more stock will be required.
Along with dedicated desks, 21 percent of companies will invest in new tools to support workforce location tracking and contract tracing. This may be controversial as tracking people under the guise of potential contract tracing, may have civil liberty issues. Such data that is recorded must be legally obtained and securely stored.
Data Hungry Gadgets
Forty-six percent of companies stated that they will accelerate automation and new ways of working. Expect to see more data-hungry gadgets in the office, a further push of the Internet of Things.
‘Touchpoints’, and the fear thereof will be minimized by voice-activated data-driven devices which will attempt to create a touch-free office environment. From doors to projectors, from vending machines to water coolers, the future will see us befriending IoT devices like never.
Of the many implications of the post-COVID 19 workspaces, ITAD is an area that is necessary, both from an investment and a disinvestment perspective. The less you spend on IT devices, the more you must make do with what you have, thus requiring that your ITAD provider has a solid understanding of the global spares market and the ability to maximize your IT spend.
Likewise, the more you invest, you will need an ITAD strategy that protects your investment, and the valuable data which sits on your assets, whether on-site in your office, or in your colleague’s home.