An IT asset’s lifecycle typically consists of four stages: procurement, onboarding, maintenance, and retirement. Most IT managers focus on the first three stages when considering their assets’ security, management, and longevity. When an asset is not actively used, it is often forgotten, leading to potential data disasters that put your business and sensitive data at risk.
Whether you’ve purchased hard drives in bulk or are taking them out of production; safely storing and tracking the inventory until they can be utilized or destroyed is critical for asset management. Unfortunately, the procurement and retirement stages of the asset’s life cycle are most often overlooked. In many cases, the hardware is stored in an “asset graveyard,” usually located in a forgotten room or box until faced with an audit, data breach, or theft.
The Asset Graveyard
Asset graveyards have the potential to expose your hardware to natural data disasters, including static electricity, shocks, water, and dust, which can leave them vulnerable to data degradation or “bit rot.” An ideal storage location should be secure, free of moisture, fragments, and void of sunlight. Storing in close proximity to powered machines should also be avoided due to the strong magnetic fields they emit, causing possible data corruption or malfunction to the external hard drives.
Rule of Thumb for Storage
While proper storage protects your critical information and inventory from environmental data disasters, monitoring and tracking can offer protection against theft or misplacement data disasters. A general rule of thumb is to store physical drives for no more than five years for optimal performance and data retention. In that time, the hardware could become lost or stolen due to organizational changes such as personnel handovers, company relocations, and improper disposal. Keeping track of the asset’s location, its contents, and an accurate inventory count offers your best defense against the human aspect of a data disaster.
The Ideal Solution
Through the creation of a governance program, your organization can avoid hardware data disasters and provide your team with clear instructions in the proper storage, maintenance, tracking, and security of your hardware, no matter how long it is stored. Safeguard your hardware with a storage system that is heavy-duty and padded to withstand shocks and environmental risks, like our newest asset management solution, Smart Cabinet. Combined with our real-time RFID-enabled tracking, you will have the peace of mind knowing the location of your offline assets at all times and the assurance of a safe and secure environment.