IT Recycling Rising Despite Security Concerns
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The greening of businesses is on the increase, with IT asset disposal on the increase globally despite data security topping the list of concerns for those considering such a program.The greening of businesses is on the increase, but those looking at responsible disposal of IT assets also need to consider data security and regulatory requirements.

According to an IDC study which looked at 1000 companies in Canada, Germany, France, UK and the US, the IT asset disposal sector is undergoing a “major transformation,” evolving from a relatively new sector to one with established processes and metrics.

It found companies that don’t currently use IT disposal services cite cost (31 percent), data security (25 percent) and preference to donate/resell systems (20 percent) as the top three factors influencing their decision.

Doug Hillary, director, Business Solutions Group, Global Services at Dell, said that while many businesses are serious about proper IT asset disposal, there is considerable work to be done to help small companies understand the need for, reliability and affordability of disposal methods.

The survey found small companies are far less likely to use IT disposal services than medium- and large-size companies. An estimated 11 per cent of companies with less than 100 employees intend to use a third-party service, compared with 65 per cent of those with 10,000 or more employees.

It also found the adoption of third party providers to undertake the recycling services is on the rise, with approximately one third of companies in the survey outsourcing the service.

North American companies were more likely to cite data security as their top motivation for using third-party IT disposal services while European companies rate requirements or mandates, such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, as the key driver for their decision.

Other key findings

· 40 percent of organisations in North America opt for donation as a method of disposal, with the preference evenly distributed across organisations of all sizes.
· Banks (63 percent) are more than twice as likely to use third-party disposal services compared to professional services (22 percent), education (25 percent) and retail organizations (26 percent).

· More than half of financial services, health-care and retail organisations cite data security as their primary reason for choosing an IT disposal provider.

· When asked to identify their number two reason, the issue of not knowing how to choose a qualified provider was a significant factor (15 percent).