The majority of businesses are aware of the importance of IT asset disposal when it comes to protecting company data and remaining compliant with the GDPR data destruction requirements.
Secure data erasure has never been more essential in today’s digitalised businesses. However, ITAD consultancy has evolved to extend beyond data destruction, meeting the demands of an ever-advancing sector and providing additional support services to stretched IT teams.
As any CISO will tell you, juggling the multiple specialist fields that fall within their remit, is no easy feat. It is a delicate, and ever-changing juggling act to manage cybersecurity, compliance, social values and environmental responsibility, whilst persistently maximising productivity and operational efficiency.
How do today’s IT asset disposal services differ?
A fully circular model.
Maintaining a robust line of cybersecurity defence, data destruction services still remain central to IT asset disposal companies, whether this involves data centre decommissioning or off-site data erasure following a regular refresh cycle.
However, today’s leading IT asset disposition companies take a fully circular approach, delivering professional data security whilst taking account of the entire disposal ecosystem – ensuring minimal impact on the environment. With a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ ethos, zero-landfill policies drastically reduce harmful e-waste – this totalled an estimated 57.4 million tonnes in 2021.*
In recent years, technology has earnt a reputation for being difficult or impossible to repair or refresh – in turn, creating a throw-away culture that contributed to our e-waste epidemic.
Thankfully, this led to new manufacturer regulations; the ‘Right to Repair’ is a vital piece of legislation within the EU’s roadmap to achieving an entirely circular economy by 2050. ^
Whilst refurbishment may imply that a device is simply not as good as new – modern ITAD services are challenging this thinking.
Longevity and performance have been proven to be directly comparable to a brand-new machine, whilst extensive testing for each device and extended warranty options often exceed the manufacturers. Whether sold or redeployed internally, device restoration will extend its lifespan and maximise the overall lifetime value.
Take a laptop as an example – 90% can be upgraded including the storage, RAM, chips and even the external appearance. Keyboards, skins, screens, buttons and mouse trackpads are all replaceable. Although some soldered parts, such as the motherboard, are not possible to remove, promising start-ups like Framework are emerging. Focused on the right to repair, in 2021, they launched a fully upgradable notebook – this even includes the CPU.
Those IT asset companies with a circular computing model at their core, close that circle with their own resale outlet. Buying direct from an ITAD supplier offers additional peace of mind that the device has been remanufactured and individually tested to the highest standards and comes with its own warranty. Many aren’t aware that when it comes to refurbished equipment, both seller and buyer must comply with data protection legislation; an ITAD re-commerce provider will ensure there are no future data security issues to worry about.
Re-commerce is a highly cost-efficient way for businesses to meet the current financial challenges faced by businesses as renewed devices can be up to 70% cheaper than a comparable, new device. The reduction in your corporation’s carbon footprint will also be substantial – One remanufactured laptop prevents an estimated 316kg (700lb) of CO2 from entering our already damaged atmosphere. + Take a large enterprise, their regular refresh cycle could easily involve 1,000 laptops – this would equate to the equivalent of taking over 80 cars off the road for an entire year. +
Technology recycling should only take place as a last resort when there really is no further use for that asset. But ultimately, there comes a time when redundant IT equipment needs to be responsibly recycled. After expert engineers have undertaken full and secure data erasure, the individual components can be remanufactured into new devices, preventing mining for new finite resources and of course, e-waste.
By recovering your assets through an ITAD provider, you effectively sell your redundant IT assets, receiving a residual payment for the recycled components.
Having built strong trade relationships over the years, the more experienced IT disposal services know the resale market inside out and therefore know the optimum time to sell, so you receive the highest return for your technology.
Mobile device recycling.
We are all constantly connected; while maximising our productivity, it also means that right now, most of us have a data-rich smartphone within arm’s reach. All too often upgraded mobile devices are left to gather dust in the desk drawer or worse, passed down to other family members when no longer required. It’s one of the biggest ITAD mistakes is that a factory reset will remove all data. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. ITAD mobile device recycling uses the industry-accredited, Blancco software, a 100% verifiable audit trail that will guarantee that your data is unrecoverable.
With a strong understanding of their industry, leading IT asset disposal companies offer a variety of support services for both new and existing IT infrastructures, helping to reduce administration time. For example, as asset management can be time-consuming, many choose to outsource IT auditing, asset tagging and documentation processes.
From the more traditional ‘collect and dispose’ ITAD to threshold management and post-warranty support, a lifecycle service can build, image, store and deploy your infrastructure as and when you need it; streamlining your asset management.
Questions to ask your ITAD supplier.
It can be challenging to find the perfect match; a reliable provider that meets the needs of your business and also shares the same ethical approach. It’s important to find an adaptable company that can tailor its IT asset disposition services to the individual requirements of your business. Not all ITAD services are equal, so it is important to ask the right questions:
Accreditations & awards.
Whilst more data erasure services will hold the industry standard accreditation, ADISA, you might look for a provider who has gone the extra mile. Noteworthy accreditations include ISO 14001 Environmental Management, ISO 9001 Quality Management and BS EN 15716. A leading ITAD business will also be certified by CPNI, be a member of NAID Europe and have achieved Gold Partner Status with Blancco.
Five-star customer reviews and industry awards provide external, third-party endorsement and authentication regarding the level of expertise, quality of service, value for money and crucially, their brand reputation.
On top of having all the relevant certifications, you can trust an ITAD firm that has years of experience under its belt and has many long-term customers. The asset disposal industry has changed a great deal so it is important to know that your new ITAD partner has decades of sector experience and is fully up-to-speed at all times.
You’ll know that it’s crucial to dispose of data-bearing assets both securely and ethically to ensure you remain compliant with the EU and UK GDPR and Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. However, legal regulations are highly complex and governmental legislation are constantly evolving. It can be very reassuring to have someone on your wider team that knows the legalities like the back of their hand, preventing data governance challenges, or worse, a costly data breach.
When refurbishing or recycling any end-of-life IT assets, it’s essential that you receive a full ITAD chain of custody to substantiate your compliance. Each device should have its own IT asset disposal accreditation certificate.
Alongside sustainability, corporate social responsibility remains important for many business leaders, so it can be helpful to ask about opportunities to donate your redundant IT equipment to a charity of your choice or to donate your residual value.
Forward-thinking ITAD services work within the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance framework, ESG. They work alongside educational institutions, the prison service or other social enterprises, helping to change people’s lives – whether this is assisting the next generation of SMEs to succeed or offering training or rehabilitation programmes to ex-offenders.
Ethical disposal of your business technology can be rewarding in more than one way, building your own brand’s CSR reputation.
Whilst the importance of data destruction in our digital world remains vital, the comprehensive, circular computing model delivered today by the UK’s leading IT asset disposition services has extended far beyond the name ITAD, would suggest.
Far more than just four letters, leading providers have adapted their own services to meet the changing needs of the information technology industry.
ITAD is no longer just a data protection or waste legislation compliance requirement, an environmentally friendly ITAD service will provide substantial cost savings and help grow your business; after all, ethical values are now a leading business driver. A modern ITAD has sustainability and societal impact at its core, helping you to demonstrate your participation in the circular economy along with your environmental and social responsibility.
With over 25 years’ experience, tier1 are the UK’s leading circular economy IT asset disposition organisation, championing reuse over recycling and dispersal over destruction.
Find out more about our sustainable approach to environmentally friendly ITAD and asset recovery; discover how hardware refurbishment, re-commerce and lifecycle management could support your enterprise – contact us on 0161 777 1000 or visit tier1.com
Purple Security, IT Pro, Exit Technologies, Re-tek, Ocean Technology, Health and Safety Executive, Cybersecurity Ventures, Whatsabyte, WEEE Forum, The European Parliament, Nerd Wallet, ICT Reverse, Seed Scientific,