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Articles & Insights • 3 min read

What is IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), and why is it important? 

IT teams at small, medium, large and enterprise organisations aren’t strangers to the amount of hardware needed to support day-to-day operations. But what happens to unused, decommissioned or retired IT hardware? It’s not as simple as tossing the equipment in the trash or recycling bin — this is when IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) comes into play.

What does ITAD stand for?

ITAD is an industry term used for IT Asset Disposition. This practice includes safe and responsible disposal of unused or unwanted IT equipment. When disposing of IT hardware, organisations must consider the security and environmental impacts. ITAD ensures that company data is wiped safely and properly destroyed or recycled. Companies can handle ITAD services in-house or work alongside an ITAD provider, depending on their needs.

What IT assets can be recycled through ITAD services?

Almost any device can be recycled through ITAD, including servers, storage, computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.

Why is ITAD important?

As technology evolves, so does business demand and hardware requirements. As you can imagine, the reliance on electronics has dramatically impacted our environment through increased e-waste. When IT equipment enters landfills, it can harm the surrounding environment due to toxins, including mercury, lead, lithium and more. In addition to safeguarding our environment, ITAD has several other benefits.

Limits the amount of IT equipment and e-waste entering landfills

There are several ways ITAD businesses ensure equipment stays out of landfills. Instead of disposing of all IT hardware, trained technicians remove and refurbish used parts of systems whenever possible. If certain devices can’t be refurbished, ITAD vendors will responsibly recycle equipment and verify devices aren’t sent to landfills.

Supports a circular economy

The circular economy model encourages using materials and products for as long as possible. Reusing, repairing, refurbishing and extending the life of products reduces waste and unnecessary production of new materials. In some cases, ITAD companies may refurbish or reuse hardware that’s in good condition, further supporting the circular economy.

Circular Economy Infographic | Service Express

Protects against security vulnerabilities and data breaches

ITAD providers follow specific regulations to ensure secure data destruction on decommissioned IT equipment is properly removed and destroyed. If critical data isn’t erased due to industry standards, there’s potential for identity theft or data breaches. The failure to properly destroy data can cost companies money, time and resources in the long run.

Assists with transportation and logistics

ITAD vendors typically handle the logistics of transporting your equipment from one location to another, redirecting the time spent managing the migration.

ITAD and the IT life cycle

The IT life cycle is a process that consists of several equipment milestones, including procurement, deployment, maintenance, repair and decommissioning. Although ITAD is toward the end of the life cycle, that doesn’t mean it’s not as important when looking at the whole picture.

IT Asset Life Cycle Infographic | Service Express

What to look for in an ITAD partner

No one wants their company, customer or partner data in the wrong hands. That’s why it’s essential to find a reputable and experienced provider who will help you every step of the way.

Since the ITAD process is complex, multi-faceted, and often includes sensitive information, you’ll want to verify the following: 

  • Demonstrated experience.
  • Appropriate accreditations and certifications
  • Knowledgeable regarding compliance and security regulations
  • Transparent with its disposal and recycling processes
  • Properly trained and experienced technicians

Establishing a partnership with a reputable ITAD vendor not only protects your organisation from potential threats but will also help make strides to support sustainability goals and a circular economy.

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