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Does your company have IT equipment that has reached its end of life? Or, maybe, your company wants to rebuild its data center in order to obtain a more efficient and reliable infrastructure. If so, implementing an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) program allows for its reuse in a way that is safe, efficient, and sustainable.
So, what is ITAD?
ITAD is an industry term and practice built around reusing, recycling, repurposing, repairing, or disposing of unwanted IT equipment in a safe and environmentally responsible way. An ITAD company will provide solutions to handle redundant IT assets through secure data destruction services, such as wiping, shredding, or degaussing.
Initially, ITAD was a one or two-person operation. Someone with a truck would come to your location and haul all your decommissioned IT equipment away. Over the years, it gradually transitioned to include recycling, as well. In 2022, the market is now mature and companies realize that the materials used in IT Assets can generate a return while simultaneously benefiting the environment.
Benefits of an ITAD Program
Partnering with a trusted provider of advanced data sanitization and destruction services enables organizations to ensure data safety while exploring options for disposition and re-marketing for incremental value.
The right ITAD partner will have the resources and facilities to create customized solutions to meet the specific needs of a company based on the equipment they need to retire and their specific compliance guidelines. For instance, some companies do not allow materials such as hard drives and SSDs to leave their property without the data being erased to a set criterion. In this case, you can wipe the drives yourself and have a trusted ITAD partner verify the data wiping for you. OR, if you find the right ITAD partner, they can perform the data wiping on-site, freeing up your time to deal with other IT-related issues.
As an example, Ocean Tech, a trusted provider in the ITAD industry, uses a hardware and software solution, called WipeOS, to permanently wipe data from hard drives, servers, computers, and laptops. WipeOS also acts as a device discovery tool that collects machine details for comprehensive reporting.
Incorporating WipeOS into your network to sanitize data from data-bearing assets will eliminate the risk of a data breach. A single WipeOS appliance in a Local Area Network or data center environment can provide wiping of HDDs/SSDs and other storage media and diagnostics of device hardware. It offers the ability to wipe drives prior to decommissioning and before they leave the security of your facility.
Disposing of Seemingly “Good” Equipment
In today’s modern world, there are many reasons for a company to maintain up-to-date software and hardware. The number one reason is to achieve the full capability of computer systems. Out-of-date hardware is typically not compatible with the latest software, and out-of-date software is usually not fully supported. Should vendor support be required, it could result in major problems. Gaining a competitive advantage is another great reason to keep your hardware and software up-to-date.
This is where an ITAD solution should be implemented. Companies with hyper-scale data centers have stringent performance requirements and may consider an older server inadequate to keep in service, and yet, it may be perfectly acceptable for another company. In this case, a company with less strict requirements can gain access to used equipment that is far more advanced than anything they have the resources to buy new. Thus, hard drives from these data centers can be tested, have their data erased, and be serviced and re-marketed to benefit other organizations rather than adding to the growing amount of e-waste.
ITAD is the personification of the circular economy, and for obvious reasons, it represents the epitome of reuse and recycling. As mentioned above, IT equipment is re-marketed so companies can buy new material with the proceeds, and the material skips the landfill.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns are top of mind for many leaders, and corporate initiatives are increasingly improving e-waste management to protect human health and the environment.
From a compliance perspective, an ITAD solution is crucial to reaching a company’s sustainability goals and taking green efforts to the next level. It’s simple: As IoT and the cloud grow, and as companies increase their prioritization of environmental responsibility, so too will the need for corresponding ITAD services.
In finding a trusted security-minded partner with a large nationwide footprint and the resources to develop the best ITAD program for your company, leaders of data centers, major OEMs, and businesses of any size can rest assured that their IT equipment is retired responsibly.
To fully ensure sustainable practices, find a partner that works with R2-certified recyclers and audits them on a regular basis.