When your business upgrades its IT or decommissions a data center, all of those retired IT assets are no longer necessary. That’s everything from your servers and computer stations to printers and tablets that have to go.

All of this IT may no longer be valuable to you, but it can be very useful to someone in need of lower-cost, refurbished technology. That’s why retired IT has value. How do you maximize that value? It takes a lot of research.

Research the Current Market Values For Your IT

What’s the first step to take when you’re looking to get the top value from your retired IT? Assign someone to take the time to research values online. Use sites like Back Market, Amazon, and even NewEgg to see what people are selling items for. If your employee can find recently completed auctions on eBay, check prices there, too.

Come up with ranges for items based on their conditions. If you have something you feel is in excellent shape, someone else may not view the condition the same. They may notice a smell chip on the corner of a smartphone’s screen that you missed. You’ll want to have a little leeway on value to prevent being disappointed. 

The other thing to remember is that needs change. The laptop you’re selling may have been in demand a month ago, but you didn’t sell it before that changed, so it’s not the case now. There will be fluctuations of that nature, so you need to be prepared to take the highest reasonable valuation at that moment in time.

Determine the Best Way to Dispose of Retired IT Assets

Once you’ve come up with the current market values, you have to decide the best way to dispose of those unneeded devices. Are you going to sell them on your own? Would you rather work with someone with the expertise needed to properly recycle what has no value, sell what does, and break down items to ensure all parts are considered when it comes to resale?

You could also consider donating unnecessary computers, phones, monitors, printers, copiers, tablets, etc. to an organization in need of them. Computer donations can be helpful for schools in low-income districts. Cell phone donations can make a huge difference to women trying to start a new life away from abusive partners. The value of the donation you make is a tax write-off at the end of the year, so that can be of great value to your business.

The remainder of your assets needs to be recycled. You can’t just throw things in the trash. Computers and other IT assets contain heavy metals like lead. They have gold, silver, aluminum, and many other metals that can harm the environment. Instead, they could be recycled and reused to make new electronics.

Make Sure You’re Focused on Security Above Everything Else

If you are planning to sell computer parts or entire devices, are you prepared to wipe data correctly following the government rules that apply to your industry? Some of the classifications include:

  • Top Secret – Government-level records meant for few to see
  • Controlled Unclassified Information – Legal information, financial records, tax records, etc. related to a government agency
  • Non-Classified – Not government-related

But non-classified doesn’t mean it’s not treated carefully. Non-classified materials usually have additional regulations governing the data destruction requirements and recycling or reselling. You’ll have:

  • FACTA and GLBA for banks, credit unions, and other financial industries
  • FISMA for public companies and state and local agencies
  • HIPAA for medical and health IT
  • PCI DSS for credit and debit card processing

Those are just a few and digital media is used to house most records now, so the destruction of data is essential when an item is no longer needed. 

Destroying data may involve degaussing (only useful with hard disk drives aka HDD and other magnetic media), physical destruction by shredding or crushing the hard drive, and solid-state drives (SSD) the chips have to be destroyed. NSA requires SSD to be destroyed to particle sizes of no bigger than two millimeters or incineration at extremely high temperatures. 

Another option is to use special software that wipes the data by rewriting it with random binary digits. This process makes it impossible to recover anything and is often used when items will be resold.

When you’re planning to resell your IT, you need to make sure that the device can be reused. It may require having hard drives taken out and destroyed and a new hard drive installed to ensure items are working properly. Refurbishing is useful in bringing items to like-new condition, which maximizes their value. 

This becomes an important part of carefully establishing value in your IT. You might have a laptop that stopped working, so you don’t think it has value. There could be components within that are still useful. All of those computer parts can be worthwhile, so you need to have expert knowledge when valuing your unnecessary technology.

Once you know what has value and what needs to be disposed of, it’s time to establish your plan. This is where you have to be very careful.

Work With an Expert in Electronics Recycling

Be realistic, too. Do you have the time or manpower needed to value and sell your retired IT assets? You have to have a knowledgeable IT team to properly destroy or wipe data. If you fail to do this properly, you open the door to millions of dollars lost in government fines and penalties and class action lawsuits. It might be cheaper to have your personnel try to do it correctly, but is it worth the risk?

ERI has facilities across the U.S. that specialize in ITAD services. Our team will come to your business, build an itinerary of assets you want to recycle, and determine which of those have value and can be refurbished and sold. We’ll get you top dollar for your retired IT assets, and the money you make helps cover the cost of our industry expertise. 

Strict laws require hospitals and medical practices to properly destroy patients’ electronic medical records when IT is no longer needed. HIPAA laws protect patients from having their information shared with anyone outside of their approved list. ERI was tasked with helping a large children’s hospital destroy data on more than 1,000 retired IT assets and get top dollar for those assets.

How did we tackle this project? We set up secure recycling bins at multiple locations on campus. These locked containers were filled with unnecessary devices and shipped using real-time tracking to the nearest ERI facility. There, we destroyed data following HIPAA and PHI regulations. Within 120 days, we’d gained over $22,000 for the hospital from those devices. 

There was no fear of data left behind or devices ending up in another country where it could create issues for the community’s soil or water through improper disposal. ERI can help you with your retired IT remarketing goals. Reach us online or by phone to learn more.