Every day your company uses more electronic equipment and creates more data. Employees connect to it through their smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as through the systems infrastructure used to run your business.
It’s hard to keep track of who’s using what and how long an individual piece of equipment or system needs to stay in circulation. There are certainly risks to keeping anything longer than its accepted lifecycle, but there are also hidden costs to consider when managing your IT assets.
According to 1E, a software automation company that tracks software usage statistics, an estimated $30 Billion (around £20 Billion) is wasted each year in software licensing fees for applications that are no longer in use. That’s about 37 percent of a company’s annual IT budget. Statistics compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) note that over 4.7 billion pounds of electronic equipment was disposed of in the United States alone in 2009, but that’s only a portion of the devices and equipment that needs to be recycled. What type of risk are you exposing your company to by holding on to software you don’t use or equipment that’s out of date?
1. Assess – Determine how and where your employees are creating and managing information. Consider a third party audit or assessment to discover where you could reduce risk and costs.
2. Develop – Create a legally credible retention schedule for all your data, equipment and systems infrastructure so you can track when to move data to a long-term archive and turn off legacy systems. Your schedule should also include when you can end of life and destroy equipment under IT asset management.
3. Implement – Put in place a companywide, strategic IT asset and data management plan that addresses how you will purge data at the end of its retention schedule, but also how you’ll minimise your costs as data and systems infrastructure ages out of regular use when you make a planned technology change.
4. Manage – Create a plan that addresses the ongoing people and infrastructure costs to manage your company’s data, equipment and systems infrastructure.
5. Audit – Conduct regular audits of your data, equipment and systems infrastructure to help protect you from unplanned and spiraling IT expenses caused by storing anything beyond its retention period.
Iron Mountain can help you plan your IT asset management and data management strategy. Our solutions are geared towards assisting you at each stage of the information lifecycle.
To cut the costs associated with legacy systems still under retention, our Restoration Services can help move your backup tapes and catalogs offsite while still providing you restore-ready access to the data when you need it most. And for your devices and systems infrastructure that are ready for disposition, our IT Asset Destruction Services can help develop a proper, secure program to recycle, remarket or destroy devices and systems infrastructure past their prime.
All of these services can help you reduce the risk of managing your IT assets and data and can help you reduce the costs associated with managing backup, recovery and destruction on your own. Learn more about in the legacy data lifecycle in our recent article, The Legacy Data Lifecycle: From Migration to Restoration to Disposition.