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Removing, replacing, and reselling your leftover IT equipment is no small venture. Taking a picture and throwing the hardware on eBay isn’t going to cut it. There are numerous things to consider, such as your corporation’s sensitive data, environmental compliance, and the logistical headaches that come with IT hardware. These all require specialized services and a competent strategy.
Thankfully, there is a service that can provide the stringent process required for the disposition of leftover IT assets. IT is aptly named IT Asset Disposition, or ITAD for short.
These vendors specialize in helping you to remove your old or unneeded equipment without being environmentally irresponsible or putting your data at risk. They’ll also help to minimize the logistical costs and asset value recovery along the way.
ITAD vendors with a full suite of capabilities should be able to provide the following services:
- Full data center discovery and teardown capabilities
- Transport and equipment logistics
- Data erasure at scale
- R2 Certified equipment disposal and recycling
- Remarketing of IT equipment
- Lease Management and Vendor Negotiation
- Repair and refurbishment of assets
- Reporting, auditing, and certification of data destruction/asset disposal
Data Center Discovery and Teardown
Once your new IT assets arrive, the old ones need to be taken offline and decoupled from the corporate infrastructure. This is an involved activity with a technical, step-by-step process.
Each data-bearing device must be completely uninstalled, stripped of its network access and meticulously accounted for. Networking expertise, specialized contractors and machinery, and in-depth knowledge of data center environments and discovery software are all crucial ITAD service vendor capabilities for data center teardowns.
Scalable Data Erasure
No corporation wants to end up in the news for a data leak, so this bit is critical. Every piece of equipment — from phones and tablets to fax machines—must have its data wiped.
The location of this could be on site or remotely, though this decision can be facilitated by input from your ITAD services vendor. Erasure on site in racks is more secure, but not feasible with rapidity if the drives being liquidated have already been removed from racks and there is a substantial quantity of drives (thousands).
Regulations, speed, and expenses of each option will need to be considered.
In specific industries, data erasure is even more critical due to heavy regulations. For example, financial services companies must comply with the NIST standard of data erasure in some instances.
In the healthcare industry, HIPAA laws are more damning than the sword of Damocles in the event of data security breaches.
Regardless, a good ITAD company should be able to tailor your data erasure needs to whichever drive erasure software/protocol is indicated, in addition to any drive shredding or degaussing policies your company may have in place.
Transport and Logistics
As anyone in the industry knows, servers are heavy. Getting them from one data center to another, or transporting them to a disposal site makes moving look like a cakewalk. They’re also easy to damage and need to be disposed of properly.
A capable ITAD vendor should be able to handle a migration of any size within your schedule. They should also be able to provide you with an audit trail and documentation for the disposal of every IT asset you remove.
While getting capital back from leftover IT assets isn’t a priority for mega-corporations, it certainly helps the rest of us. So if you aren’t a giga-bank that would rather shred everything than get a quarter of the invested capital back, then you may be pleasantly surprised by the returns.
If your assets don’t have significant value, at the very least the ITAD corporation should be able to deduct it from your bottom line expense for their services.
Either way, a newer ITAD company won’t have the breadth of partners to rely on for remarketing IT equipment. As a result, they won’t be capable of recovering the same value for it.
The only easy way to vet companies for this capability is really just to bid out material, which can be time-consuming.
Again, you’ll want comprehensive reporting for assets sold to verify the chain of custody as well as that your returns are appropriate, although many ITAD services vendors will purchase upfront as opposed to on consignment.
Disposition and recycling
Once IT assets have been removed, data destroyed, tagged for remarketing and transported for processing, the IT assets without value must be disposed of.
It’s well established that consumers prefer working with greener corporations; there is value in ITAD services that can responsibly dispose of assets in a safe manner.
This is one of the primary purposes of the industry. E-waste isn’t going away any time soon, so look for an E-Stewards or R2 certified vendor to avoid contributing further to the problem; at the end of the day, you’ll have a perk your customers can brag about.
Reporting and certification
The aforementioned elements comprise the majority of ITAD services. That being said, accountability, audibility, and comprehensive reporting is what lets you sleep at night while someone else handles your equipment.
Before you get into bed with an ITAD company, verify that they are capable of compliance with all of your organization’s sundry policies and regulations.
Choosing your ITAD Services Vendor
While we have peppered in insights for selection of a vendor throughout this article, we also have a more thorough piece on ITAD companies as a whole that you may find of value if you do decide to enjoy the benefit of employing one for your company.
Don’t hesitate to reach out about our ITAD services or contact us for any questions that you may have.
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