IT asset disposition (ITAD) is a set of practices to allow for the refurbishment, reuse, disposal, and/or recycling of IT equipment in a secure and environmentally conscious manner. Personal and business devices often end their life in a landfill; however, beyond being wasteful from both cost and environmental standpoints, this also poses serious data security concerns. Whether it’s for mobile devices, office electronics, data center equipment, or personal computers, the ITAD process ensures data is securely erased and equipment is disposed of in a way that minimizes unnecessary costs and environmental impact.
WHY IS IT ASSET DISPOSITION IMPORTANT?
Modern technology is constantly connected, which means that even seemingly innocuous devices, such as televisions and speakers, should be properly disposed of to prevent data breaches. However, robust IT asset disposition is much more important in some cases than others. For example, companies that operate in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare, finance, technology, and government, are obligated to adhere to strict ITAD procedures. Properly handling customer and employee data is an ethical responsibility. What’s more, compliance failures may result not only in legal consequences and hefty fines but also irreparable damage to these organizations’ reputations.
WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED WITH IT ASSET DISPOSITION?
The IT asset disposition process will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the type of equipment and whether you’re handling it internally or with a vendor. However, any ITAD process should prioritize:
CHAIN OF CUSTODY
Whether your devices are being transferred among departments at your organization or to a vendor, you’ll want to maintain documentation of exactly who is in possession of the equipment and when. This will prevent any unauthorized personnel from accessing IT assets during the disposition process and, if data is compromised, make it easier to determine how it happened.
SECURE DATA DESTRUCTION
Ensuring data is securely and permanently erased is perhaps the most important step in the ITAD process. As any IT asset manager will attest, this is never quite as simple as it sounds, and specialized data destruction methods are needed to ensure complete security.
IT assets undergoing disposition are likely to be in various functional and cosmetic conditions. Rather than simply recycling all of your equipment, it can be much more cost effective to assess each device individually and put it on a customized disposition path. For example, reusable devices can be sold to control costs or even redeployed with updated operating systems.
SHOULD IT ASSET DISPOSITION BE HANDLED INTERNALLY OR THROUGH A VENDOR?
Small organizations with limited IT assets and an IT professional on staff can likely handle the disposition process themselves, although they often find it beneficial to partner with a trusted vendor. However, for medium-sized and large organizations—even those with IT asset management departments—it’s usually best to work with a reputable ITAD company. Finding a partner that specializes in your industry is important, as it will have protocols in place to ensure data security that aligns with regulations. A vendor partnership is also often the most efficient and cost-effective solution.
PARTNER WITH AN INDUSTRY-LEADING IT ASSET DISPOSITION COMPANY
At Cascade Asset Management, we have been a trusted provider of IT asset disposition in the most strictly regulated industries since 1999. We hold advanced credentials, including NAID AAA Certification and are well known for providing the most secure, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions, as evidenced by our customer satisfaction rating of more than 99%.
To learn more about what IT asset disposition is and why it’s important for your organization, contact Cascade Asset Management today.