The Ultimate Guide to IT Asset Recovery

The idea of IT asset recovery usually surfaces when a company issues corporate-owned IT assets—such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops—to its employees and later has to retrieve the IT assets due to an upgrade or the employee leaving the organization.

Recovering corporate-owned IT assets is critical to ensuring data security.

Mobile reCell’s software-driven solution allows companies to recover more IT assets, ensure valuable corporate data remains secure, and reduce the time spent on IT asset recovery—all while keeping devices out of landfills.

To succeed in IT asset recovery, you’ll need to know more about the steps that go into the IT asset recovery process.

Continue reading or navigate the links below to learn how to implement a transparent, secure, and sustainable IT asset recovery process.

What is IT Asset Recovery?

IT asset recovery is the strategic process of reclaiming corporate-owned IT assets to maximize the value of those IT assets through employee purchase programs, reselling, or responsible recycling. IT assets include smartphones, tablets, laptops, Internet of Things (IoT) devices or any other wireless asset with a serial number or asset tag unique to the individual asset.

A strategic, software-driven IT asset recovery program ensures data security for your valuable corporate data, automates historically manual processes, maximizes the residual value of retiring or idle IT assets, and keeps your IT assets out of landfills.

Companies requiring an IT asset recovery program include:

  • Companies issuing corporate-owned IT assets to their end-users or employees.
  • Companies with a disparate workforce, whether it is across America or around the globe.
  • Companies in any industry, but highly regulated industries are a perfect fit for a strategic IT asset recovery program.


IT asset recovery is important because every unrecovered asset poses a data security risk for your organization. With access to company emails, files, and other sensitive materials, unrecovered—or rogue—IT assets leave your valuable corporate data vulnerable to threats. Every IT asset Mobile reCell recovers complete NIST-compliant data erasure and receives a Certificate of Data Destruction, allowing your company to rest assured that your data is no longer accessible with that asset.

A robust IT asset recovery software provides visibility into the IT asset recovery process, allowing you to track an asset from the time the shipping company takes possession of the asset to its resale through a secondary marketplace.

Without a corporate-owned IT asset recovery program in place, retired IT assets might end up in a drawer or IT closet collecting dust. Stored away idle IT assets can typically be converted into usable capital for your organization, which allows you to advance mobility programs and adopt new tech trends with a smaller cash outlay.

Why Companies Should Upgrade IT Assets

There are many reasons why companies choose to upgrade—or refresh—their mobile IT assets, but some of the most common reasons include: increasing IT asset security, reducing the demands on IT support, and improving end user productivity.

Increase IT Asset Security

Getting IT assets enrolled in a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) environment is easiest when an asset becomes eligible for an upgrade. Deploying a UEM software to all company-owned IT assets is important because the software enables companies to:

  • Enforce passcodes and policy restrictions.
  • Update operating systems and deliver security patches.
  • Deploy and manage applications across devices.

Reduce the Required IT Support

Older IT assets are more vulnerable to security risks like malware and cyber attacks. Due to standard manufacturer warranties providing limited coverage, older IT assets are often no longer supported by manufacturers’ software updates. Once an older model IT asset no longer receives software and security updates from the manufacturer, the valuable corporate data on that asset becomes vulnerable and exposed.

Some of the most common reasons older IT assets require more IT maintenance include battery failure, inability to meet the requirements for new software updates, and insufficient storage.

Repairing older IT assets results in higher IT support costs and lost time due to troubleshooting, which can quickly diminish savings. Older IT assets have a higher likelihood of device failure, leading to downtime during the workday for employees, which is why we recommend retiring older IT assets when upgraded models are available.

Improve End User Productivity

Newer IT assets increase end-user productivity and tend to have faster operating speeds.

A processor lies at the center of a mobile IT asset and serves as its foundation. The device processor’s specs determine whether an asset functions at a high, moderate, or reduced speed. However, speed isn’t the only important feature within processors.

Processors also affect battery efficiency, multitasking, and mobile IT assets’ ability to perform functions when the screen is shut off—like automated push notifications and running background applications.

Enabling your workforce with new device features allows employees to sync notes between their phones and computers, keep tabs on your competition, utilize the Do Not Disturb feature, and increase overall end user productivity.

Mobile reCell can partner with your IT team to identify the IT asset refresh drivers that make the most sense for your company. Our team of experts will walk through your existing IT asset workflows and provide best practices based on years of experience optimizing our customers’ IT asset recovery programs.

3 Tips to Increase your IT Asset Recovery Rate

An IT asset recovery rate is the percentage of IT assets recovered out of IT assets eligible for recovery. Typically, the IT asset recovery rate is calculated for a specific project or over a specified period of time, such as one year.

Using traditional IT asset recovery methods, a company can expect IT asset recovery rates of around 30 percent. On average, Mobile reCell’s customers achieve an IT asset recovery rate of about 95 percent—approximately three times the industry average.

How to Calculate an IT Asset Recovery Rate

An IT asset recovery rate is calculated by dividing the number of IT assets recovered by a program by the total number of IT assets eligible for recovery within the program.

For instance, if 950 IT assets were recovered for a company with 1,000 IT assets eligible for recovery, the IT asset recovery rate would be calculated by dividing 950 by 1,000, which equals 0.95. To get the percentage, multiply 0.95 by 100, which is 95 percent.

How to Increase Your IT Asset Recovery Rate

Mobile reCell is delighted our customers typically experience an IT asset recovery rate nearly three times the industry’s average.

How do we do it, you ask?

Three primary components drive our high IT asset recovery rates:

  • Recovery workflow and program design
  • Enabling program visibility
  • Automation of manual recovery processes

Recovery Workflow and Program Design

From our very first call with a customer, we set each IT asset recovery program up for success. We actively contribute to the design of the program and share our expert knowledge and best practices for program success.

Enabling Program Visibility

Our software increases visibility into the end-of-lifecycle process for our customers, and once in place, they can see what happens to an asset once it’s been decommissioned.

Our customers can track which end users are compliant during IT asset recovery and quickly identify who still needs to return their company-issued devices. Then, they can take action on those reports within the software platform, such as sending recovery reminders via email.

Automation of Manual Recovery Processes

Automation of manual IT asset recovery processes also enables high recovery rates. From the start of the recovery process, it is essential to find efficiencies and a reliable data source for determining when an IT asset is rendered unused and eligible for recovery.

Calculating your IT asset recovery rate can help your organization identify pain points and adjust your IT asset recovery strategy as needed. Implementing these three things will give you the best possible recovery rate for your IT asset recovery program.

Selecting an IT Asset Recovery Vendor: What You Should Consider

Modernizing your company’s IT asset recovery process with the addition of a software-driven IT asset recovery partner will transform the way you and your team approach the end of an asset’s lifecycle.

Compiling a list of your company’s increasing IT asset recovery needs is the first step in making an informed IT asset recovery vendor decision. We’ve compiled a list of items to consider when determining an IT asset recovery vendor.

Reusing recovered IT assets allows individuals in the secondhand market—such as education or under-resourced communities—the opportunity to use newer technologies. An ideal IT asset recovery vendor will provide you with a secure chain of logistics and Certificate of Data Destruction for every asset recovered and processed by its team. These certificates can be used to prove compliance when your company is audited for data security standards and regulations.

An effective IT asset recovery strategy also addresses what to do with retired IT assets that may no longer be useful for your company but could be useful for someone else. An ideal IT asset recovery vendor should assist you with reselling IT assets through an established marketplace of buyers. Knowing your idle IT assets’ worth can help your organization maximize return and further additional IT projects by converting idle inventory into usable capital.

Did you know recycling five-hundred mobile devices is equivalent to eliminating carbon emissions of an entire car for one year?

When IT assets are no longer usable and have no residual value, responsibly recycling the IT assets can be necessary.

Assets should be dismantled to recover parts and base components, including precious metals, for reuse with an
R2 Certified recycling vendor.

R2 Certified facilities help protect the environment while also protecting businesses and their customers from data, health, safety, and environmental risks by adhering to specific process requirements.

R2 Certified facilities undergo proper education, implementation, evidence, and audits to obtain and maintain their certifications. Frequent audits ensure certified facilities follow process requirements focused on protecting the environment and companies from which they collect electronics.

Extending IT asset lifecycles benefits the environment because it prevents electronics from becoming e-waste or ending up in a landfill. An ideal IT asset recovery vendor should provide customized environmental impact reports to show your environmental impact in easy-to-understand comparisons and measurements.

Recovering or refreshing IT assets manually can be overwhelming and may lead to burnout for your team. Automating manual processes will rejuvenate your IT asset recovery strategy, as it saves you time, eliminates the risk of errors during large projects, and reduces your organization’s workload in logistics, recovering, and processing.

Choosing an IT asset recovery vendor with a software-driven approach and automation capabilities will decrease the amount of time your team spends recovering IT assets and increase your overall IT asset recovery rate.