Disposal of IT Equipment

For IT assets, whom in your organization determines and sets an asset to retired state? Is it the responsibility of IT or would you allow the Facilities department to set the assets to retired once IT drops it off for disposal? Should there be a segregation of duty.

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Welcome - I’d initially suggest that the Asset Management team owns the action to set the policy with the support of IT Execs, and then work with the infrastructure & facilities teams to develop a specific process. Asset doesn’t have to own each action, because in my view Asset mgmt is stronger when its responsibilities are distributed across the teams who actually control the assets within the specific IT teams. Centralizing all asset activities to the point of setting status on each and every asset records is a poor way of work management with little positive value compared to actively distributing the load to the product owner teams. How many records is one person, or one team really supposed to know and manage vs the relevant team that maintained it day to day for 5 years?

Assets should move to a Retired state through a defined process - there is no single right way - but I want to call out that Retired is likely not the first step for a relevant status as a device moves out of operational state. It’s very rare for equipment to move from a user, datacenter, etc straight to the ITAD vendor truck. They are almost always stored & staged (wiped, etc) before a vendor gets involved with a bulk pickup. Is that equipment retired, or just non-operational?

You’ll also want to confirm if Retired by itself is sufficient for a status, or if you need a related substatus - such as pending disposal, Lost/Stolen, Legal Hold, or actual Disposed. Hardware always has the capability of being brought back to life for other functions so until a given device moves all the way to the ITAD vendor (and get a good COD back), I wouldn’t set it to fully Retired/Disposed.

As for separating duties - I think the key is that there is a trusted disposal vendor in place that is certified to handle IT equipment. The Facilities team may have a vendor that is right for say disposing of batteries, or fluids, or something else – but those guys aren’t the same as a certified ITAD vendor. That said, there can be value from an audit approach in segmenting several of the steps in the disposal process so that no one person can be a single point of failure in being accurate and complete in identifying what is disposed in a given batch. That can be the same or different teams, up to you. But you’ll want to make sure everyone is using the same system to track the work, compare the records, and take accountability for the individual steps.

Hope that helps



I agree with James well rounded advise with some minor deviations for use of sub-status fields. For example we can have a current asset being valid with a sub-status indicating they are out of office for an extended period so we don’t chase them down for software compliance, patching, that might go beyond the normal 30,60,90 day check points. Asset is still with the consuming user, department. Pending decommissioning to me is a primary field indicating the asset is no longer in the hands of the consuming user, department. These and others are finer points that will vary and be debated with each organization on their treament.



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