HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

IT Offboarding

Offboarding may seem like a trivial process because the employee is leaving the company, but that is not the case. Creating a smooth IT offboarding process is very important to safeguard your company against possible security risks. To learn more about IT offboarding, its importance and how to create a successful IT offboarding process for your company, keep reading.

What Is IT Offboarding?

IT offboarding is a crucial part of the employee offboarding process. It involves revoking access to your company systems, retrieving company tools and reminding the employee to abide by the IT offboarding policies in the company.

Why Is IT Offboarding Important?

Employees leave for different reasons. Some might be disgruntled and some leave on a good note. Regardless of the situation, a good IT offboarding process saves the company from complications that might come up. IT offboarding:
  • Protects company data. A proper IT offboarding process ensures that exiting employees can no longer access the company’s infrastructure. Hence, the company’s data is protected. An employee having access to company information after their departure could lead to the circulation of confidential information that puts the company at risk.
  • Mitigates legal and security threats. Some employees may still have access to the company’s intellectual property (e.g. passwords, documents, etc), and this is harmful to the company. This data can be used against the company both knowingly and unknowingly. A good IT offboarding process ensures these risks are mitigated.
  • Eases the transition for the replacement. Most companies reroute the emails and access of exiting employees to their replacements to keep historical data and information that might be relevant for the replacement.
  • Saves money. A bad IT offboarding process can lead to a loss of money for the company. The consequences of intellectual property theft and security breaches are very costly.

What Needs to Happen During IT Offboarding?

IT offboarding can have a lot of moving parts, but the key is to understand what needs to be done and who needs to do what.

Secure Company Data

Once an employee’s exit is confirmed, all company data the employee might have access to should be backed up. Confidential information in the employee’s possession should be shared with the manager to prevent the loss of information.

Revoke Access to Systems and Applications

After the IT team is notified about an employee’s exit, they should check their records and the managers’ records so they know what the employee had access to (hardware, software, peripherals, network assets, domains, etc). All accesses should be revoked and shared with the replacing employee, or deactivated or reset to default. It is important to check with all stakeholders before this is done.

Retrieve and Inspect Company-Owned Devices

Once the technology assets in the custody of the exiting employee have been compiled, the next step is to retrieve them. Company-owned devices could include laptops, mobile phones, access cards, tokens, etc. When the IT team retrieves the items, the ownership should be changed to either the default administrator or the replacement employee. Some companies allow exiting employees to take ownership of their company-owned devices. If this is the case, the devices should be wiped out before approval, after which the transfer of ownership can be done. If there is any device damage, the IT team should notify the HR and finance teams so the deductions can be factored into the employee’s final paycheck.

Regularly Review Access Logs

To ensure that all accesses have been revoked and nothing slips through the cracks, the IT team should regularly review access logs after the employee leaves the company.

Tips for Effectively Conducting IT Offboarding

To create a smoother IT offboarding process, follow the tips below.

Tip 1: Develop a Documented Process With Stakeholders

The IT team should work with other stakeholders to develop a process and ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, work with managers to find out all the accesses people on their team have.

Tip 2: Create a Collaborative Checklist

As soon as an employee’s exit is confirmed, the HR team should work with the IT team and other stakeholders to create a checklist leading up to the exit date. This ensures all vital tasks have been completed.

Tip 3: Facilitate Communication Between HR and IT

Once an employee’s exit has been confirmed, it is important to inform the IT team to prevent any lapses. Losing track of one employee can cost the company thousands of dollars in a security breach.

Tip 4: Maintain a Database of Company Technology Assets

Create a database of all company assets, including serial numbers and the employee in possession. This makes it easier to offboard employees, especially when the exit is immediate.

Tip 5: Automate as Much as Possible

Automating the process reduces errors and improves efficiency. For example, to automate the de-provisioning of employees’ access to applications and equipment, you can connect your HRIS to your IT ticketing tool, company directory and security platform. If this is done, once an employee’s profile is deactivated on your HRIS, the workflow is triggered and the employee is automatically deactivated on the other platforms.

IT Offboarding Checklist

It is helpful to have a checklist when offboarding an employee. Here are some important steps for your IT team when offboarding employees:
  1. Confirm the reason and timing of the offboarding so the team can respond to the risk level appropriately.
  2. Identify all company-owned devices and accesses the employee has.
  3. Retrieve company-owned devices.
  4. Review access levels of all systems and change ownership, reset or deactivate.
  5. Transfer data and assets to the replacement employee or keep them safe.
  6. Revoke access to software after ownership/access is transferred.
  7. Inform all stakeholders.
Adeteju Adeleye

Adeteju Adeleye

Adeteju is a People & Culture Manager with about 5 years experience across the financial services and technology sector. Her experience cuts across the entire employee lifecycle. However, her strengths lie in Employee Engagement & Experience, HR Strategy and Talent Management. She is very passionate about her job and the people she works with. When she’s not working, you can find her watching movies, listening to good music or having a good time!
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Frequently asked questions
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