I post constantly about data security and sustainability, love when a good use-case highlights these concepts in action in IT, and here’s a great, simple example.

I was onsite in early March at NextUse‘s facility in the Greater Boston area, absolutely slammed structuring and executing IT Asset Disposition projects for their clients.

As the pandemic drags on and remote work changes the office environment forever (hopefully, for workers’ sakes), clients who prioritize data security, like in the financial and healthcare industries, when they are retiring IT assets, have been increasingly coming to NextUse as one of only 6 US-based ITAD vendors with comprehensive digital data security-specialized NAID AAA certifications from i-SIGMA.

I’ve been helping NextUse with their digital marketing and ITAD project management program for the last couple of years, and have been educating IT and business decision-makers about how the ITAD industry works, what the certifications (or lack thereof) mean, helped by the Morgan Stanley debacle (https://lnkd.in/eV77bgyg) which showed how costly ($120M) it can be for even the largest, best resourced organizations to have epic fails when retiring data-bearing assets.

NextUse is at the point where, as more clients prioritize data security to avoid potentially tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and lawsuit settlements, my volume of digital marketing has dropped sharply, and I hardly ever get to discuss the almost equally important aspect of ITAD: reusing as many devices in secondary markets as possible, before resorting to recycling where needed.

So, in early March I overheard one of the data lab technicians mentioning to one of the sales team that their elaborate sanitizing, tracking, and reporting software indicated that they had just sanitized a drive for the second time. They had first sanitized this drive for a client in 2020, then sold that drive to a new customer in 2021. The drive had just come back for data destruction again in 2022, from a different, unrelated client.

I spoke to the tech after, learned how common that is, and was blown away that, while the precious metals to build drives are sourced from countries with terrible human rights track records, and the amount of energy, water, and materials needed to produce new drives is not sustainable, NextUse was quietly keeping functioning drives in use with clients that need them, while protecting their previous owners from any risk of data loss and the resulting costly compliance violation of privacy regulations.

Original article here