IT buying trends revealed by the 2018 State of IT report from Spiceworks indicate that many organizations are planning to spend the same or slightly more on hardware in 2018 than they did in 2017. According to the report, 44% expect their IT budgets to grow this year, while 43% expect the IT budget to remain the same.

Whether their IT budget increases or remains the same, enterprises expect to spend 31% of their budget allotment on new IT hardware. When you compare this trend to previous years, it seems obvious that we have entered into an IT hardware buying cycle, as businesses look to take advantage of new technologies and improved computational power.

SEE: IT Hardware Procurement Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Hardware rotation

Drilling further into the 2018 State of IT report reveals that 32% of the expected IT hardware purchases will be for new desktop and laptop personal computers. This buying trend is particularly strong for enterprises self-reporting as small businesses of under 100 employees. Larger enterprises are opting to spend more of their IT budget acquiring cloud-based services.

Whether the reason for this uptick in IT hardware spending is attributed to end-of-useful-life replacement or business growth requirements, the simple fact is that enterprises are expected to replace old IT hardware with new IT hardware at an increased pace in 2018. That, in turn, means these businesses will be decommissioning and disposing of older hardware at an increased pace.

SEE: Special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free TechRepublic PDF)

In years past, disposing of old IT hardware may have been handled as an afterthought. But in an era where data plays a vital role in every enterprise’s ultimate success, data security requires a formal and standard procedure for decommissioning IT hardware. The risk of a data security breach from nonchalant disposal of old hardware is too great for any company to ignore.

Enterprises, regardless of size, must standardize their procedures for decommissioning and disposing of old IT hardware as part of their comprehensive data security protocol. Businesses looking to jump start their security procedures in this regard should check out the Hardware Decommissioning Policy from Tech Pro Research, TechRepublic’s premium sister site.

The policy will help you build a framework that your enterprise can use to create standardized security procedures to protect data and reduce the costs associated with mishandling IT assets as their useful life expires.

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Your take

What precautions does your company take to ensure that its hardware is safely disposed of? Share your advice with fellow TechRepublic members.