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Getting Into PC-Disposal Services

November 22, 2017

Getting Into PC-Disposal Services

By Larry Walsh

The good folks at HP say the average age of a personal computer is currently 4.5 years.

Consider that for a moment. Walk into any office, and chances are the desktops in the cubicles and the notebooks in the conference rooms are vintage machines that entered service when Windows 7 was in its prime.

While people can say, “the PC is dead,” it remains the primary business computing tool. And the presence of aging PC fleets means that a lot of machines need replacement.

A lot can happen to a PC over the course of 4.5 years. What happens most is PCs collect data—lots of it.

The average PC hard drive is a repository for gigabytes of data. Users will save files locally and have copies of files from shared drives. These files contain everything from contracts to price lists to product designs to payroll figures.

Ingram Micro’s IT asset disposition (ITAD) services offer solution providers a valuable resource for addressing this thorny issue. Ingram Micro will process used, out-of-service PCs, ensuring proper and thorough obliteration of sensitive data and disposal of toxic components. Ingram Micro issues certificates for each machine, validating the disposal and data removal process. It’s the safest, most secure and environmentally sound process for disposing of PCs.

How sensitive is locally stored data? How great is the need for proper ITAD services? Consider these breaches.

  • The Cancer Care Group, a private physician practice based in Indianapolis, paid a $750,000 penalty in 2012 after someone stole an employee’s laptop containing more than 200,000 patient files.
  • Coca-Cola warned 74,000 employees in 2014 that its personal records were compromised after a former IT staff member stole several laptops slated for disposal.
  • In 2015, SterlingBackCheck, a New York-based employment screening service, notified more than 100,000 job applicants on whom it did background checks that a stolen laptop resulted in the compromise of their personal data.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notified 28 million former soldiers, sailors and Marines in 2006 that their personnel records were compromised following a laptop theft.

Despite the obvious need for better, more secure disposal of IT assets, most solution providers overlook the opportunity to provide this service as a value-add to their customers. Of the SMB-oriented resellers that The 2112 Group assessed through the Growth and Maturation Incubator program, performed on behalf of Ingram Micro, most offer PCs and servers for sale but don’t offer disposal services.

ITAD services aren’t sexy. They’re the equivalent of the mattress and refrigerator removal offered by retailers. The difference, though, is that those products don’t contain toxic materials and sensitive data. IT asset owners often underestimate their risk of exposure in disposing of decommissioned equipment. And that makes IT asset disposal a difficult sell for solution providers.

To help solution providers better understand and sell IT asset services, The 2112 Group and Ingram Micro produced a guide, “Asset Recovery and Disposal as a Service.” In this guide, you’ll learn about the necessity of offering ITAD services, how they work, how to engage with Ingram Micro in the sale and delivery of these services and the value delivered to customers.

The PC isn’t going away anytime soon. And users will continue to store copious volumes of sensitive data on their PCs. End users need a safe and secure means of disposing of their decommissioned machines, and that means is Ingram Micro’s ITAD services.