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Liquid Technology 2020 Predictions: The Future of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery - Why End-of-Life IT Processes Play a Vital Part in Operational Preservation

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By James Patrignelli, Director of Sales, Northeast, Liquid Technology

The Future of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery - Why End-of-Life IT Processes Play a Vital Part in Operational Preservation

In the always-on world of technology, business continuity has become vital to the success of critical applications and companies involved in a huge variety of sectors, be it healthcare, finance, telecommunications or otherwise. As we look to the future, business continuity, or a company's ability to plan for, mitigate or even avoid disasters and their associated operational disruptions, will only grow in importance as data and application access becomes increasingly critical and businesses face unprecedented exposure to disrupting events.

Events that pose a threat to continuity can range from weather-related disasters and outages to more reputational incidents such as hacking issues or lawsuits, but all can pose critical setbacks if they take down business functions. In fact, in the past two years, over 50 percent of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and the vast majority (81 percent) of these interruptions caused the business to be closed for one or more days. At the same time, 80 percent of businesses that suffer a major disaster such as hurricanes, fires or cyber breaches go out of business in 3 years, while 40 percent of businesses that experience a critical IT failure go out of business within one year. As more data is being passed around in the age of IoT (the Internet of Things) and 5G and more day-to-day capabilities are being created and utilized in the online sphere, the threat of digital disruption grows larger.

Atlanta's 2018 municipal ransomware attack serves as a striking example of how digital interruption can bring vital operations to a screeching halt. In this case, residents of the populous metro area could not access vital functions, such as paying for traffic tickets or water bills, and the airport (one of the world's busiest) went without what has now become a critical function of personal communication, work access and more: WiFi. This attack was one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks mounted against a major American city. As a result, it highlights a critical truth about the contemporary online world: while the digital realm grows and offers new advantages every day, vulnerabilities are being amplified and interruptions are becoming increasingly damaging. Now more than ever, continuity and protection against disruption are paramount.

This begs the question: how prepared are businesses for operational disruption? Disaster recovery plans can take many forms and often include pre-set policies, tools and procedures. However, one often underestimated, yet particularly critical facet of recovery lies in managing end-of-life assets and equipment disposition. IT Asset Disposition (otherwise known as ITAD) can protect businesses from the damaging effects of disruption and safeguard business continuity in a number of ways, and should always be part of an effective disaster recovery plan.

To help avoid system failures, devices and equipment should be kept up-to-date to ensure proper function. Many businesses do a good job tailoring their equipment and operational frameworks to growing requirements, and many are taking leaps like moving to a cloud-based environment to keep pace. However, where many fail in this turnover process is with asset retirement. When incorporating more contemporary technologies, the older models and assets should be treated with as much care and consideration as the new ones. Creating proper ITAD procedures allows businesses to regain as much value as possible from old equipment while remaining compliant and environmentally ethical with their e-waste. Although, complex considerations like value windows, levels of demand, Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) and more come into play here, complicating the process for many companies. Yet, businesses who choose to go without proper ITAD procedures risk losing value and efficiency when incorporating new equipment.

Compliance with federal, state and local laws is another big reason to invest time incorporating good ITAD practices into disaster recovery and business continuity plans. It can be difficult to navigate strict and rapidly-evolving regulatory compliance requirements pertaining to both ethical e-waste disposal and data security, but the dangers of neglect here are high. In fact, in 2018, the U.S. reported 1,244 data breaches, resulting in more than 446.5 million exposed records. Events like these can compromise or even destroy public trust, which in turn leads to financial dips and sometimes bankruptcy for smaller businesses that cannot absorb the impact.

Remaining conscientious and creating strategies that align with these regulations are key for preserving that public trust and creating a positive reputation.

Luckily, there is one simple way to ensure compliance and security on all fronts while simultaneously making sure that businesses garner every possible continuity and recovery benefit that IT asset disposition offers: allying with an ITAD specialist. ITAD specialists are expertly positioned to meet any and every business demand as companies look to incorporate ITAD into their disaster recovery plan.

When choosing a partner, enterprises should ensure that the company has R2, ISO 14001 and e-Stewards certifications to make sure that all requirements and local, state and federal data and environmental regulations are rigorously upheld. The company should guide businesses through complex chain-of-custody proceedings and deliver data destruction and erasure procedures to manage any data concerns.

At the end of the day, partnering with a specialist that offers ITAD as its core competency is every business's best bet. When continuity is safeguarded during the critical end-of-life asset phase, a company can rest assured knowing it is more seamlessly and wholly protected for the future.

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About the Author

James Patrignelli

James Patrignelli, Director of Sales, Northeast, joined Liquid Technology in 2011 as a Senior Account Manager. James works with executives to develop and implement end of life IT asset management programs for Fortune 500 companies with a focus on data security and maximizing the return of IT hardware. He has worked in the IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) field since 2005 and has advised CIOs, CTOs and data center managers across the globe about best practices for end of life IT asset management. James currently oversees sales for the New York, Boston, and Chicago and has completed several projects throughout the states, Europe, and Asia. James received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management Information Systems from the University of Connecticut and studied overseas in Italy for his second degree in International Economics. When not assisting executives in executing proper asset disposal, James is either spending time with his three children or running.

Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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