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Blog Series: ITAM in a perfect world. Post #5 Dispose Process

Blog Series: ITAM in a perfect world. Post #5 Dispose Process

The nice thing about living in a perfect IT world is that you don’t have too much to worry about. The hardware and software needed to perform duties somehow miraculously comes and goes and when you no longer need something, it mysteriously goes back from where it came.

In the real world

The IT Asset Manager needs to perform the minor miracle of keeping the users of IT Assets happy, while making sure the technology is kept up to date and the organization is getting the most out of the hardware and software assets they acquire. During the Dispose process, they also need to make sure external regulations affecting the disposal of IT Assets are also adhered to.

lifecycle graphic

Some key considerations when defining your disposal process…

  • The dispose process is typically performed annually or semi-annually. Ad-hoc disposal occurs of course but when it happens, it should still follow the formal dispose process.
  • As long as the IT Asset is in your organization’s possession, even if it’s not being used, you still have the fiscal and contractual responsibilities tied to it.
  • You should only dispose IT Assets that have been retired. Important steps during retire need to be completed before it can be disposed (i.e. software harvesting)
  • Additional configuration (i.e. reload OEM software) may be required prior to disposing the asset, activities that are not typically completed during the retire process,
  • When disposing IT equipment, Disposal/Recycling companies can assist in satisfying regulatory responsibilities. The terms and conditions of this relationship will be defined in the disposal contract (Contract Management) and must be included in your ITAM plan.
  • Instead of being disposed, leased IT Assets are returned to the leasing company, and in many cases follow the same lifecycle transitions with more importance on the timing of the actual return. Leased assets that are not returned within the predetermined lease period can incur lease penalties adding to the overall cost of the IT Asset (TCO).


Return ProcessDispose Process


Even if the Dispose process signals the end of the IT Asset’s lifecycle, information about the IT Asset is still important and should not be archived or purged quickly. It’s essential that the information remain accessible to all stakeholders based on business policies and practices.

Well, there it is…

The 5 Fundamental ITAM Processes in a perfect world; and here on earth where things are absolutely imperfect.

The fundamental processes give you a basis from which to begin to look at ITAM from a processes perspective. It is certain that you will nuance your processes to meet the needs of your specific organization. Above all, it is critical to take a top down approach to ITAM. How will it server the business in meeting operational and business objectives? You must start there.

My next post will talk about that specific question: when should your organization fund an ITAM project?

Reach out if you have questions about this blog series, I’m here to help and take advantage of our complimentary ITAM health check, it will gives you real feedback on the current state of ITAM practices.


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