The growth of the cloud, the emergence of hybrid working and remote collaboration along with the soaring quantities of data-rich Internet of Things devices means that IT asset disposition no longer solely concerns the disposal of end of life IT assets. Today’s ITAD companies assist their clients with far more than secure data destruction services or data centre decommissioning. With sustainability at their core, many complete repairs and upgrades so devices can be redeployed, and when they cannot be, assets are sanitised and recycled so they can be remanufactured.
As our use of data increases, it is essential to secure a long term, trusted affiliation with a reliable ITAD partner. This will help you manage your hardware lifecycle both sustainably and efficiently; alleviating pressure internally, reducing administration and boosting your IT budget. As ITAD specialists know data protection and e-waste legislation like the back of their hands, it will also provide substantial peace of mind when it comes to your legal compliance.
But how do you choose an ITAD partner? How can you assess whether they will meet your needs?
Questions to ask your ITAD supplier.
Whilst the term ITAD may be the same across the industry, not all IT asset disposition companies are equal, many offer different services. You’ll find it beneficial to spend time thinking about your specific needs as a company along with any detailed questions to ask your ITAD supplier. The questions below will help you as you start to consider your individual requirements as a business.
Do you provide full lifecycle management?
Within such a detailed and complex field, a reliable client support structure is essential. A full-service partner will work with you through the lifecycle of your end-point hardware. Whether you are managing your refresh cycle or undertaking a large data centre decommissioning project, you will need to ensure that your ITAD support can tailor their service to your individual needs and circumstances – no two businesses are the same, after all. Flexibility is key; it is highly important that your new provider can adapt, and quickly if needed.
Data wiping services should do more than protect company data, dispose of redundant IT equipment and keep you compliant, they should be there to help make your life easier, too. In the true sense of the word partnership, leading IT asset disposition companies will help you with hardware asset planning. They’ll consider lifecycle management from a piece of equipment’s initial deployment, throughout its ongoing maintenance, updates, repair, all the way through to its inevitable eventual disposal.
Are you experienced in asset recovery?
While the focus throughout should remain on security and compliance, IT asset disposition companies will simultaneously be working to return meaningful revenue to your firm’s IT budget, helping you to sell your redundant IT assets, either as an entire asset or as separate components.
As experts in supply chain management and resale markets, your ITAD experts can advise whether you would secure a better residual return for your asset as it is, or whether it could make more if parts were harvested and resold as components to the remanufacturing industry. As it is a growing sector of the circular economy, the latter may generate a higher value for your business with efficient asset recovery becoming an unexpected revenue stream. Larger corporations could recoup tens of thousands of pounds, every year; therefore, it is important to find a provider who will research both options and advise you on the best time to sell.
Do you have a circular mindset?
The future of IT hardware is circular. Sustainability is becoming an important part of boardroom conversations as increasingly ethical consumers are demanding it. Look for an environmentally friendly ITAD provider with a strong ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ ethos.
Whilst a regular refresh cycle drives efficiency, assets can be upgraded and redeployed internally as a cost-effective way to refresh your hardware, saving you significant sums. When internal redeployment isn’t possible, components with such little use should be reclaimed.
With record quantities of e-waste being generated and with a staggeringly low 17% currently being recycled, businesses should ensure that their end of life IT assets are being handled properly. Most UK IT asset disposition companies offer a zero-landfill policy.
Which industry accreditations do you hold?
Verified external accreditations have rigorous certification programs – they show that the ITAD provider has been officially recognised as a credible, knowledgeable authority. These stringent certifications show that the correct processes and industry best practice is followed at all times, guaranteeing your data security.
The leading accreditations to look out for are ADISA (Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance), ISO 27001, the international standard for information security and when it comes to e-waste, ISO 14001, Environmental Management. However, it is also crucial to look for credentials that are specific to your industry and the types of services you require.
Larger organisations that outsource ITAD are likely to require on-site data erasure for business continuity purposes. In this case, your ITAD specialist should meet the CPNI standard for secure onsite data destruction services. Similarly, the CAS assessment demonstrates compliance with IS5; which is essential for any UK Government institution. Some IT asset disposal companies go above and beyond when it comes to gaining accreditations, so when looking for new support, it is certainly worth checking out their accreditations page.
How do you demonstrate regulatory compliance?
You should also ask your potential ITAD partner about their own workflows or what technologies they use? How stringent are their internal processes and checks to prevent human error?
All IT asset disposition services should be fully up to speed with all EU and UK GDPR data destruction requirements, the WEEE legislation and any amendments, as they are governed by them also. They should provide an IT asset disposal accreditation certificate for each asset to demonstrate your ITAD chain of custody. But to prevent data security issues, the importance of data governance extends beyond compliance at national, political or economic borders. Can the ITAD service demonstrate compliance with your organisation’s specific sector regulations? Can they meet the demands of ITAD in the financial industry or ITAD in the healthcare industry, for example?
Do you offer mobile device recycling?
The UK has the second-highest smartphone penetration rate, globally, (78.9%*) Email correspondence using a smartphone was the most frequent internet activity*. That’s a lot of data.
When it comes to our business assets, it’s vital that your smartphones and tablets form part of your company’s IT asset disposal policy. Your data is not erased with a factory reset – a very common ITAD myth. So, it is good to make sure your IT asset disposal company has mobile device recycling as a service.
How secure are your own facilities?
Whilst it would be fair to assume that ITAD businesses operate from highly secure facilities, it is never a bad idea to check. Is there 24/7 security? Are there state of the art cameras both internally and externally? If your assets are to be transported by their specialist technicians from your workplace to their ITAD facility, do they have their own fleet of GPS-tracked vans?
It is your legal responsibility to protect company data at all costs, so in short, do not be afraid to undertake thorough research when you are looking for an ITAD supplier – ask questions and even for client references.
Once appointed, a statement of works document can specify the responsibilities of the ITAD service, how you will work together, and how all processes including data erasure, upgrades, redeployment, recycling and remanufacturing will be managed. It is important to look for a provider with a demonstrable track record and clients that have remained with them for many years. However, one of the most overlooked considerations is that ITAD is a long-term partnership that requires an ongoing commitment to trust, full transparency, security, quality and the utmost confidentiality at all times.
With responsiveness and reliability, tier1 provide comprehensive environmentally friendly ITAD, helping businesses avoid any future data security issues.
Find out how our data destruction services can support your organisation – contact us on 0161 777 1000 or visit tier1.com
ApTo Solutions, Horizon Technology, HubSpot, Cyber Crew, EOL IT Services, Seam Services, Super Micro,