Your Checklist for Selecting the Right IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Service Provider
There are a number of key features that your IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) service provider should possess in order to provide a reliable and secure service.
When it comes to ITAD providers, there’s a temptation to view them all as an uncomplicated, generic service that is only differentiated by price. However, don’t let the idea that it’s just a ‘man with a van’ turning up to remove old IT assets fool you.
The reality is that ITAD is at the heart of a series of important regulatory and environmental laws which makes selecting the right provider a vital step in terms of overall compliance. In particular, adhering to data protection laws while managing e-waste are crucial aspects of how the ITAD process has developed over the last decade.
Additionally, having an ITAD strategy which is aligned to the circular economy in terms of reusing or reselling IT asset parts will not only give you a further return on your IT investment, but it also showcases your corporate social responsibility (CSR).
With this in mind, the following is our checklist to help you select the right ITAD service provider.
- Truly Global Reach
To reduce the administrative burden of hiring multiple ITAD providers, you should select one which has a proper global reach. Furthermore, this global reach should offer the same list of services, standards, and certifications in each territory.
Lastly, your ITAD provider should offer an IT Asset Recovery and Redeployment Service to cater for the increase in remote and home working. This greatly reduces the cost of servicing remote workers in terms of their IT assets and devices in HR, Legal and Financial departments.
- Process Portals
As there are many facets to ITAD, this often nuanced and process-driven function should be clearly demonstrated and easily reported back to the client. Therefore, online portals allow customers to log in and see in real-time, the various stages of each ITAD process from a full track and trace of IT assets leaving a client’s premises to video capturing of equipment being destroyed. The integration of an ITAD companies portal via EDI & API to your own system should be a key factor in reducing administration updates to your internal system.
As your IT assets contain vast amounts of data relating to your organisation, the security which your ITAD provider has in place should be paramount when it comes to your choice. In this context, security includes the Onsite Chain of Custody, safe GPS tracked transportation and storage of IT assets pre-destruction, data shredding and degaussing, a range of erasure options, all of which are recorded by a video which links to an IT asset’s serial number.
- ISO Certified
ITAD service providers need to show that their systems and processes operate to the highest levels of international standards. We recommend that ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 are the standards required to cover quality management systems, environmental management systems, and international occupational health and safety standards. Such compliance is proof that your ITAD provider operates to a single set of global standards across all territories.
- Certified Recycling
Due to the component parts of many IT assets, recycling is not a ‘tick-box’ exercise but a serious commitment to the environment both in terms of the finite resources that the earth has and the toxic legacy that improperly disposed of IT assets pose. Your provider should have a Zero Landfill Policy along with local and international standards, such as R2, eStewards, and WEEELabex. This not only protects the environment but also the people which are employed during the recycling process.
When it comes to cost, there are two ways to evaluate a price. Obviously, the first way is to look at the headline figure i.e. how much money it will cost per year. However, there are also the financial returns that you get when your IT assets are disposed of properly. In short, a reputable ITAD provider should strip all old IT assets down to their component parts with the aim of reusing the parts or reselling them on the ‘as new’ global parts market or responsibly recycling them. By doing so, you should get a return on your old IT equipment if refreshed every 3 years which needs to be factored into the headline price.
- Donations and Employee Purchase Buyback Schemes (EPP)
With the circular economy in mind, your ITAD provider should have a donation scheme in place for clients who would like old IT assets to be refurbished, erased and then donated to schools or other worthy organisations.
Also, EPP schemes are useful for organisations to sell refurbished devices to their staff at a reduced rate. For this to happen, it is important that the ITAD provider has an online presence that can facilitate e-commerce on behalf of their clients and the ability to ship the product safely and securely to their staff.
This checklist is a solid starting point for a conversation that you need to have with your prospective ITAD service provider. Furthermore, the checklist should not be seen as a series of unconnected points which stand in isolation from each other. It’s highly unlikely that an ITAD provider will be ISO certified yet operates poor processes and systems. Moreover, such ISO certifications would make it more likely that they are committed to e-waste management too.
In our experience, we believe that the above list sets the global standard when it comes to a safe, secure, and ethical IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) service.