thermometer

Why IT Asset Managers Reject Tools

What does Modern Medicine and IT Asset Management have in common? For more than 100 years, doctors dismissed the invention of the thermometer because they feared the new technology would make their jobs obsolete.

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Judge Wants Bone-Crushing Discovery

Beware When Judge Wants ‘Bone-Crushing’ Discovery

When a Federal Judge wants ‘bone-crushing’ discovery into data breach, we are entering a new era of increased accountability which will impact IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Asset Disposition. Learn how to close the ITAD gap and be prepared.

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IT Asset Disposition ITAD

What is IT Asset Disposition ITAD?

What is IT Asset Disposition? IT asset disposition, also referred to as ITAD, is the process of disposing of unwanted electronic equipment in a responsible manner. Successful ITAD programs mitigate risk, minimize cost, and maximize value recovery.

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SAM Thinking is like Horseshoes

How SAM Thinking Widens the ITAD Gap

Software publishers won’t sue if you are short a license or two. When it comes to SAM and ELP, close enough is good enough. This mindset might explain why the ITAD Gap gets ignored. SAM managers must be vigilant and relearn what it means to reconcile.

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Black Swan

An ITAD Black Swan is looming. We can ruin this prediction by raising awareness of the ITAD Reporting Gap vulnerability. While a Black Swan is a surprise when it occurs, experts will later conclude the event was likely. Learn how to keep your company from being one of the turkeys.

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ITAD Reporting Gap in ServiceNow

Measure the ITAD Reporting Gap in ServiceNow

ServiceNow is a fantastic tool for IT asset management. Inventory discrepancies that happen during disposal phase of the IT lifecycle represent the ITAD Reporting Gap. Here is how to use ServiceNow to measure the gap so ITAM can effectively manage and ultimately close the gap.

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ITAD reporting gap

ITAD Reporting Gap

There comes a time in the lifecycle of every IT asset when it must retire from service. In a perfect work, ITAM should be able track 100% of assets from acquisition to disposition. We don’t live in a perfect work. The inventory discrepancies discovered during disposal phase represent the ITAD Reporting Gap.

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Armored Bank Truck

What is Chain-of-Custody Worth?

What has more value, an armored bank truck, or a van delivering old computers to a disposal vendor? Chain-of-custody, by itself, is about as helpful as a helmet in a motorcycle crash. An effective process that prevents a disaster from happening in the first place is far more effective. Until you prove a disposal vendor has your equipment, you are responsible for it. Unless you prove it, your organization is legally exposed.

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golden hour

The “Golden Hour” of ITAD

There is a “golden hour” at the onset of an incident when well thought out planning and effective response can make or break the situation. Very much like in medical trauma care or criminal investigations, there is a “golden hour” of IT asset disposition (ITAD) when well thought out planning and effective response can keep an incident from becoming a costly disaster.

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disposal tags

Disposal Tags are Like Seat Belts

Not too long ago, everyone rode bikes without helmets, no one wore seat belts, and smoking was touted as ‘good for you.’ Over time, safety data helped change public sentiment and seat belts became a standard feature in modern vehicles. Disposal tags do not save lives, but they are the most effective way for a company to safeguard itself against costly mistakes of ITAD.

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Risk of ITAD

Rethinking Risk for IT Asset Disposition

Today, IT asset disposition is considered low risk. Understandably, most view the chance of a retired computer causing an expensive breach as a remote possibility. ITAD is becoming a plaintiff lawyer’s dream come true, but not for obvious reasons. The biggest risk of ITAD is not data security per se. It is the governance of ITAD. Companies are unprepared to defend their ITAD programs and demonstrate their compliance with regulatory obligations.

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Sarbanes-Oxley

Data security deserves Cyber-SOX

Love it or hate it, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) was enacted as a reaction to major financial scandals which shook public confidence and cost investors billions of dollars. The high-profile data security breach of Equifax has certainly shaken public confidence. The announced 143 million records compromised has prompted some to call for a “cyber Sarbanes-Oxley.” A Cyber-SOX could have similar benefits for data security that SOX had for financial security.

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How to Prevent Employee Theft

How to Prevent Employee Theft of Your Retired IT Equipment

As businesses struggle with strained budgets, information technology departments are becoming overworked and understaffed. This combination of factors has led to an alarming vulnerability in the security of company data resident on equipment destined for retirement. Before you dispose of IT equipment, consider these possible revisions in policy and procedures that could protect your company against data leakage.

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8 Lessons Learned

8 Lessons Learned from 8,000 Projects

Google, “hacks to improve” and you will find a million shortcuts to improve almost any aspect of your life – your credit score, public speaking, or memory to name just a few. Finding ways to make your organization’s IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) program effective is not as easy, so we created them for you. We learned these “hacks” by studying our last 8,000 projects and observing how the most effective clients approach the management of ITAD.

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MVP Multi-Vendor Platform

Not a Faster ITAD Horse

In 1900, had Ford asked someone how to improve personal transportation, I’m sure they would have appreciated a better and faster horse. Most people could not have imagined the transportation transformation brought on by the car or airplane. Much like the cars and airplanes then, most people have not yet imagined how a multi-vendor approach can transform ITAD.

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undoing project itad style

The Undoing Project, ITAD Style

I’m a fan of Michael Lewis. If you don’t know him, he’s a very talented author who is best known for The Big Short and Moneyball. His latest book, The Undoing Project, explores the extraordinary work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. How does The Undoing Project relate to ITAD? First…

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Promote-importance-of-ITAM

Consider ITAD a Security Threat

ITAM benefits by treating ITAD as a data security threat. Educating senior management about the risks will secure IT asset managers the resources needed to prevent an ITAD-related breach. To ensure adequate safeguards are in place, IT asset managers should consider treating ITAD as if it were an inevitable security incident.

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5 mistakes not to make

Five ITAD Mistakes Not to Make

Organizations constantly replace outdated computers and countless types of electronic devices to keep up with technology and enhance worker productivity. This rush to upgrade, however, creates a challenge: large numbers of excess electronics must be managed and disposed of properly.

When an organization fails to maintain proper oversight mistakes happen. Outsourcing can actually increase the risks and leave organizations with a false sense of security.

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preparing to switch ITAD vendors

Preparing to Change ITAD Vendors

We always hope relationships will last forever in business, but that is not always the case. Anyone involved with IT asset disposition (ITAD) knows how once-trusted vendors can become unresponsive, get acquired, get into trouble, or simply go out-of-business.

The reality is, you need to be prepared at any time to switch ITAD vendors. Even if you are not forced to switch, there comes a time when change might be necessary.

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daughter does not get a vote

My daughter doesn’t get a vote

My daughter Olivia is like most first graders. She is confident and adventurous and, at times, defiant.

When risks are low, I prefer she learn from experience. The school of hard knocks can teach valuable lessons.

When it comes to security and safety, however, the cost is too high to let her learn the hard way. As parents, we instruct but lay down the law.

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final check-out

Final Check-Out

How do you sum up what Retire-IT does in two words?

When I was working on this summary, I called it the “Final Check-Out.” My nine-year-old son Ryan sings it better than I can write it.

Ryan saw it and immediately asked me if it had to do with the “Final Countdown!” Remember that Swedish rock band Europe and their one-hit wonder? Don’t ask me when he got into 1980’s big-hair glam metal. Actually no, he’s not. He heard it on a GEICO TV ad.

Why do I think Retire-IT can be explained as The Final Check-Out?

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football-fumble

College Football Resembles ITAD

What does ITAD have in common with college football? Both have a problem with players celebrating too early.

For some unexplained reason, college football players continue to drop footballs before crossing the goal line. Players from Clemson, California, Utah, and Oklahoma recently dropped the ball voluntarily before they got into the end-zone.

ITAD is not college football. Nobody cheers or jumps for joy when an ITAD project is successfully completed. Then again, not many people notice when IT asset managers celebrate ITAD too early. Unlike college football, mistakes often go unnoticed.

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Your ITADs have you by your assets

  IT asset disposition vendors (ITADs) have a dirty secret they don’t want you to know. Organizations rely on ITAD vendors for data destruction, remarketing, and end-of-life recycling. Of course, ITADs are also entrusted with chain-of-custody reporting to document what was disposed. Sadly, some shield themselves from liability by not providing complete chain-of-custody information. One…
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nobody cares

Nobody cares about ITAD

  Nobody cares about ITAD until everyone cares. Everyone cares when it is too late – when an old computer is found missing or when there is an unfavorable audit. Be ready before everyone cares. Disposal tags are the perfect way to start. Tags are simple, easy, and highly effective. Instantly add tags to an…
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Green Question Mark

Don’t let fake recyclers hijack Earth Day

Three years ago, Jill Vaske of Redemtech blogged that “Earth Day May Be Worst Day of Year for E-waste.” Her post is no longer available online (Redemtech was acquired by Arrow), so here is my quick summary… Earth Day is a tremendous idea for increasing awareness of environmental issues. Unfortunately, fake recyclers exploit Earth Day…
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RFP CYA

RFP or CYA?

How do you know if your RFP process is an exercise in CYA? An effective request-for-proposal (RFP) process is designed to bring structure to procurement. Mature organizations use RFPs to learn how various vendors approach a project to maximize value and minimize risk. The process enables better decision-making by allowing benefits and risks to be…
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GTTM going through the motions

GTTM and ITAD

GTTM (Going Through The Motions) is a serious condition characterized by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Someone is described as “going through the motions” when they make a feeble effort to do something. GTTM appears to be a cousin of apathy. Leading apathy researchers define GTTM as doing something unconsciously versus doing something…
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15 Minutes save 15 million dollars

15 minutes could save you $15 million

Spending a few minutes shopping for car insurance might save you a few hundred dollars. Not investing a few minutes to examining exactly how your organization manages IT asset disposition can cost millions. Today there are more than 600 certified disposal vendors. Outsourcing is not the same thing as effective management. Who you choose is…
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shameful act of retiring missing assets

The Shameful Act of Retiring Missing Assets

My mother taught high school science for over 30 years in inner-city Columbus Public Schools. She constantly complained (privately and publicly) about unethical administrators who lost sight of the mission to educate children. Many of my friends and family are educators, so I’ve grown accustomed (and somewhat deaf) to hearing about evil school administrators who…
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Retire versus Dispose

There comes a time in the lifecycle of every asset when it must retire from service. An asset may be removed from active service and retired for a variety of reasons, whether stolen, damaged, replaced, etc. IT asset management systems require each asset have a status. For example, with Symantec Altiris (CMDB Solution is installed),…
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The Preventable Breach

Privacy breaches can grab worldwide headlines when hackers access millions of customer records. It can be an endeavor for experts to determine the source and a technical challenge to prevent future attacks. On the other hand, when an employee takes 55 retired laptops over a six-year period, the source of the breach is not sophisticated,…
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How Encryption Creates Vulnerability

Let me first clarify, encryption is absolutely critical. It would be foolish for any organization not to encrypt laptops and other mobile assets. Unfortunately, a policy of encryption can actually lead to a breach when the need for safeguards is ignored. Coca-Cola recently revealed it had 55 laptops stolen over a six-year period by an…
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Seven steps Coca-Cola should take to prevent another breach

Last week, Coca-Cola revealed it had 55 laptops stolen over a six-year period by an employee who happened to be responsible for the disposal of the equipment. Inadequate security controls enabled a trusted insider get away with stealing so much equipment for so long. Here are seven steps that Coca-Cola should take in order to prevent a…
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Coca-Cola should have prevented, detected disposal breach

Coca-Cola should have prevented, minimally detected, disposal breach Last Friday, Coca-Cola revealed it had recovered 55 stolen laptops taken over a six-year period by an employee who happened to be responsible for the disposal of the equipment. The breach affected 70,000 current and former North American employees. Headlines around the world read “Coca-Cola suffers data…
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no spreadsheet

How to save your staff 100 hours

IT asset disposition is the weak link of information security. According to Gene Spafford, executive director of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, someone can steal retired computers without anyone knowing if there is a lack of security controls. Spafford correctly claims the solution is a process of “positive tracking”…
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Prevention is ideal, but detection is a must

One of the key mottos of information security is, “prevention is ideal, but detection is a must.” IT asset management (ITAM) is an essential part of information security. IT asset managers play a critical role and therefore must evolve ITAM practices to align with security initiatives. The weakest link in information security is IT asset…
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close only counts in horseshoes

Close only counts in horseshoes

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Close doesn’t count in IT asset disposal. One hard drive in the wrong hands can cost your organization millions. If you think your organization is playing games, you are not alone. An article in Harvard Business Review revealed only 97% of retired asset are being tracked. If…
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target

Why Target is Negligent

Target tweeted “if you shopped at a Target store Nov. 27 – Dec. 15” you should check your credit card for suspicious activity. According to Quicken, I shopped at my local Target store 87 times in 2013, so far. I shopped there five times during the period Target is warning us about, and I’ve been…
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2nd Annual ITAD Trends Survey

Thank you to everyone who completed the 2013 ITAD trends survey! It is fair to summarize the findings with just two words:  Dramatic improvement! Here are the top-level highlights: Dramatic increase in the number organizations with formal controls (86%, up from 55%). Dramatic increase in success tracking assets (56% track 90% or more of their…
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deterministic record linkage

Rules-based Reconciliation

An unbroken chain-of-custody is necessary to protect an organization from the downstream risks associated with ITAD. Chain-of-custody is not a catchphrase: It is the foundation for indemnification and transfer of liability. Asset tracking requires verifying the custody of each asset. Only a careful, objective examination of tracking data can confirm chain-of-custody. Unimpeachable chain-of-custody evidence is…
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IT Asset Disposal Should NOT Be a Game of Chance

Plinko is a game of chance made famous by the game show “The Price is Right.” Chips are dropped down a board of pegs. The chips bounce off various pegs until they reach a slot on the bottom. No matter where you drop a chip, it will end up in one of the slots at…
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cognitive dissonance

Corporate Cognitive Dissonance

Organizations want to believe they are doing enough when it comes to IT asset disposal. Naturally, none want to believe they aren’t, especially when it comes to privacy protection. Too often, however, cognitive dissonance prevents an objective assessment of actual achievement. Unfortunately, organizations unwilling to examine the facts are unwittingly increasing their liability and legal…
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right question

The Right Question

If your daughter tells you that she answered 100 questions right on a test, what should you say? What is the right question to ask? The wise parent asks how many questions were on the test. The same logic applies to IT asset disposition. What’s missing is what matters. Without independent verification management will receive…
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Stop sharing

Stop Sharing

Mothers encourage us to share. In fairness to mothers, they probably aren’t thinking about retiring IT assets when they tell us sharing is a good thing. Sharing inventory with a recycler is like a teacher giving the answers to a student before a test. Teachers don’t share answers with student for a reason. Teachers don’t…
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do not ruin your it retirement

Don’t Ruin Your Retirement

Organizations constantly replace outdated computers, servers, laptops, copiers, and countless other types of electronic devices. This rush to upgrade creates a major challenge when it comes to management of the retirement of these assets. One missing device can trigger significant financial consequences. Without adequate controls, employee theft and recycler fraud can go undetected. Years of…
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