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IT Asset Disposition: A Review of the Services, Market, and Considerations

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Editor’s note: if you are simply looking for IT asset disposition services, please contact us to get a quick quote

What is It?

data recovery from hard drive ITAD
  • IT asset disposition definition

Disposition is just another way to describe selling or disposing of something, though disposition can also refer to how something is arranged or placed in relation to other things. 

You may have seen it referred to with the common ITAD acronym before. This is simply short for information technology asset disposition, or IT asset disposition for short. 

In the IT asset disposition industry, we define it as: 

“The processes by which information technology assets, such as computers or servers, are transferred, repurposed, sold, disposed of, or recycled. It can also refer to the companies and their services which assist other organizations with the aforementioned processes. 

IT Asset Disposition Companies

There are literally hundreds of certified IT asset disposition companies; we have written a prior blog linked above on who some of the most well known and reputable companies are. Each company has their point of expertise and regional footprint. 

As we mention in that blog, there are a list of good questions to ask and services to consider alongside your needs and priorities. 

An important aspect to consider is the company’s finances. It’s an unfortunate reality that a lot of ITAD companies are practically insolvent. Given the nature of the business, these companies should have sufficient capital to pay clients for IT hardware. However, many ITAD companies fail to provide payment on time, sometimes for months. It’s crucial to inspect this aspect of an IT asset disposition vendor before committing to a big project. 

Global IT Asset Disposition Market

IT asset disposition market

From Research and Markets: 

The global IT asset disposition market size is predicted to reach $21.2 billion by 2026, up from $14.5 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 7.9%. 

North America represents the largest share of the global IT asset disposition market, while China, Japan, and India show the highest growth potential.

Some of the things holding the industry back are a low awareness of ITAD services and a fear of service costs. A large number of companies do not allocate funds for these processes, which prevents them from seeking out these services, despite the fact that IT asset disposition services are often able to provide a profit center as opposed to additional expenses. 

Certified IT Asset Disposition

ISO certificate

There are two primary certifying bodies in the IT asset disposition industry. 

Certifying Bodies

The first is R2, administered by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, or SERI. The second is E-Stewards. 

The process to become R2 certified takes about a year for a company to complete. A company must be certified to an approved environmental, health, and safety management system, which serves as the foundation that R2 builds upon. The R2 certification process involves going through SERI training resources and implementing all R2 process requirements, often with the help of an R2 trained consultant. 

Additionally, facilities that broker, test, or repair IT equipment must be certified for a quality management system by an accredited organization. 

Companies are expected to collect comprehensive evidence of their processes, such as data destruction, testing, downstream recycling, and chain of custody documents. 

Certification Retention

From there, a 3rd party auditor will continually review the company’s processes alongside these documents to ensure that any non-compliances with the standard are identified and resolved. If an organization fails their audit, they lose their R2 certification.

The auditor will review downstream vendors, the environmental management system, the health and safety management system, legal compliance, data security and sanitization processes, and the quality management system. 

The process to become e-Stewards certified is quite similar, and for most intents and purposes the certifications are equivalent.

IT Asset Disposition Near Me

You do not need to find ITAD services near you specifically. Many companies will come to you; while we don’t know the exact timetables of other companies, for a large data center take out, exIT has been on site the following day to begin a disposition project. 

If you do need to find a vendor near you, then Google maps is fairly good at showing you local businesses that mention ITAD on their website. 

Additionally, the R2 directory and e-Stewards directory can both be filtered by location. 

IT Asset Disposition Policy or IT Asset Disposal Policy

The purpose of an IT asset disposition policy or IT asset disposal policy is to establish the processes which allow an organization to meet predefined rules, restrictions, regulations, standards, and other compliance considerations. 

For example, an organization might establish their hard drive IT asset disposal policy with a requirement that all data is securely erased with a certificate of erasure before any data leaves the premises. 

IT Asset Disposition Services

server move on pallet

There is a fairly wide range of IT asset disposition services available

  1. Electronics Recycling
  2. Buyback of used IT equipment
  3. On or off-site Hard drive & SSD data erasure
  4. Hard drive shredding
  5. Network discovery
  6. IT asset valuation
  7. Data center decommissioning
  8. Data center migration
  9. Lease return management
  10. Data center consolidation
  11. IT equipment repurposing or redeployment

Identifying a Secure Vendor

IT asset disposition vendors

How secure are IT asset disposition services? How do you know if the vendor you chose uses secure IT asset disposition processes? 

Nobody has performed a study of every ITAD company and their data security record. However, the media often broadcasts data leaks any time that a snafu happens.

A quick Google search of “IT asset disposition company responsible for data breach” will yield you pretty much nothing. 

With that said, one of the important considerations is the ownership of a given IT asset disposition company. 

Many vendors of foreign origin are not trustworthy. China, Russia, and other similar countries run quite a few IT asset disposition companies in the US. It’s important to do a background look up on a company to see what the actual leadership is. 

To make sure you’re using secure IT asset disposition services you can also check county court records, property tax records, county tax records, have an attorney do a search for federal lawsuits, get a business credit report, and do a background check on any public leaders of the company. 

Trustpilot is a pretty good resource to look for reviews, and Google My Business reviews can be helpful as well. 

If you are looking for a vendor with over 30 years of experience and references from some of the biggest names in tech, please reach out below.

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July 12, 2024