ITAD companies are specialists in the handling of no-longer-needed IT assets. These ITAD specialists are able to dispose of unwanted IT in a secure and environmentally friendly manner. This equipment, such as laptops, hard drives and monitors, cannot simply be thrown away, rather it must be securely decommissioned and disposed of by a specialist company, in order to ensure your data is safe and any recycling is carried out properly.
A clear ITAD process should be part of any modern business strategy, mitigating any risk to your data security whilst enjoying a host of other benefits that the service can bring, from monetary rebates to showing off your security and environmental credentials to your clients.
We recommend that you establish a partnership with a dependable ITAD partner, but which one to choose?
Take a look at our top 10 things to look out for from your future ITAD provider.
Firstly an ITAD specialist company will have a high level of experience in the industry, with excellent knowledge and expertise. Carrying out ITAD services requires high attention to detail, and an ITAD company should have well established processes to carry out these services with complete security and high efficiency. Look out for companies which can provide case studies breaking down the processes they use for given services. A well-established company will be more likely to conduct their business in a highly professional manner, and are likely to have a good level of customer service.
These companies understand what their clients require and look to complete the required services in a manner which most greatly benefits their clients. After all, successful ITAD specialists typically maintain long-term partnerships with their clients to achieve continued mutual benefits.
Today more than ever, data security is crucial to the continued success of businesses of all sizes. Regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can deliver huge fines to companies which don’t look after their data properly. Despite the underlying threat of the regulation however, GDPR is a positive step forward. It sets out to address the rules surrounding the privacy and security of personal data, and these rules are easy to abide by once you have the correct processes in place.
When choosing your ITAD company, you should make sure that they are carrying out their services in a highly secure manner. This means providing industry-approved data destruction services, complete tracking of assets, utilising highly secure facilities and so on. ITAD specialists often make use of unmarked, GPS tracked vehicles for additional security whilst assets are being transported.
Following on from security, an ITAD specialist must be fully aware of, and adherent to all regulatory guidelines. Many people are aware of GDPR but perhaps not the intricacies of how the regulations apply to areas such as the handling of data bearing devices and the treatment of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) etc.
We would like to stress the importance of choosing an ITAD specialist who is able to provide you with a service which includes audits, certificates, and ultimately full documentation of their work in order to prove your regulatory compliance, should you need it in the future.
Further proof that an ITAD company is one which you can rely on, can be found in their certifications. A good ITAD specialist will hold a range of certifications, showing that they have been audited by a professional body and found to be in accordance with given legislation.
A certification from ADISA (Asset Disposition Information Security Alliance) shows that the ITAD provider has had their ITAD processes checked and found to be in order. The ADISA awards include higher categories to show where a company has been found to carry out their ITAD services at a particularly high standard.
Other highly relevant certifications include Cyber Essentials, ISO 9001 and 14001, SafeContractor, NSF mark, BSI standards and Blancco partnerships.
AWhen carrying out their services, a good ITAD company will provide full documentation of the services they are carrying out. This will include tracking of the goods for instance, through to certificates of destruction for each asset – verifying that the item has been wiped, destroyed or recycled in a method agreed upon in an initial contract. Overall you should be left with a full audit trail for each and every IT asset involved.
Given that ITAD specialists handle electrical equipment at the end of its lifespan, these companies are morally obliged to ensure their services are as green as possible. Waste electronics can cause severe damage to the environment, and this can occur even when a company believes it has deposited its e-waste with a trusted recycler. Often such waste can end up being exported to countries such as Ghana, where it may end up being burned in huge scrapyards to extract small amounts of sellable materials. In the process, the surrounding environment is being heavily damaged as well as the health of the workers involved.
A good ITAD specialist will look to minimise their environmental impact, for instance operating zero to landfill policies and utilising highly reputable recycling partners. These ITAD companies may also make use of additional green processes such as using solar power to help power the services they offer.
Following on from these sustainable practices, a reputable ITAD provider will be able to provide a remarketing service for those assets which are reusable. Many companies find themselves with large amounts of IT assets which they no longer have any use for, perhaps due to a blanket upgrade of their IT infrastructure, leaving the previous items redundant to their organisation.
These items, however, may be far from the end of their working lives. A good ITAD partner will work with you to identify which assets no longer need, collecting them from you as soon as they become redundant in order to remarket them as quickly as possible, thus extracting the maximum return from their residual value.
A top ITAD specialist will recommend this approach, as it delivers maximum value to you whilst simultaneously reintroducing to market an electrical item which would otherwise have been destroyed and recycled. Remarketing an asset is undoubtedly the greener option, removing the negative environmental impact that goes into manufacturing a new IT asset.
Your chosen ITAD company should carry out complete data erasure on the asset, using industry-approved software wiping methods (see #8) before removing any identifying marks or labels which might connect it to its previous owner, and then re-sell the items through a variety of channels in order to recoup its maximum value. Many companies are surprised by the residual value of their assets, and a good ITAD provider will encourage them not to leave their assets lying unused once they have become unnecessary or redundant.
The leading ITAD specialists will be able to offer you a high percentage of the achieved value back to you as a rebate. This can be used to offset the value of other services they provide, or instead, they can simply return the money as a simple rebate. Many companies are able to make a net profit from this service.
8. Comprehensive data destruction
A vital aspect of reliable ITAD work is of course the provision of highly secure, process-driven IT destruction. Quite simply this is the identification and erasure of data found on IT devices, and can be carried out in a number of ways. ITAD specialists will be able to offer the secure destruction of devices such as hard drives and USBs, which can potentially hold highly sensitive data.
A reliable ITAD specialist company will offer data destruction through the use of data erasure software, this is a highly reliable process which involves overwriting the data on a media bearing device with meaningless data, rendering the old data forever inaccessible. The process is carried out by sophisticated software and companies which choose this option can feel assured that their data is being completely wiped in a highly secure manner.
Verification is carried out post erasure for complete data erasure success. In the event that a device fails this identification check, a good ITAD specialist will proceed to carry out the data destruction using a physical method, such as degaussing (passing a powerful electromagnet over the device), punching (puncturing the device to render it inoperable), or simply passing the item through a powerful shredder.
Leading ITAD specialists will be able to offer IT asset destruction services either on or off site for your convenience. They will utilise highly experienced engineers for these services, who have been trained to deal with the disposal of your equipment with extreme care and maximum security.
Onsite destruction services, when carried out by a top ITAD company, will involve the dispatch of a team to your company’s location, where they will carry out the destruction method of your choice at your own facility. They will be able to complete this quickly and conveniently, at a times that suits you, also providing you with full documentation once the process is complete.
If you prefer to have your unwanted assets removed from your premises for secure off-site disposal, your ITAD partner company will collect your equipment from you before transporting them to their destruction facilities in fully tracked, unmarked vehicles. A reputable ITAD specialist will make every effort to ensure the safety of your data bearing assets from the very moment they take collection of them. The transport of your assets through to their destruction at your ITAD company’s facilities will be a tracked process, meaning you know where your items are at every stage of the journey.
Ultimately you should be able to trust that your chosen ITAD specialist is capable, dependable and operating with your best interests at heart. Check on their website to see if they have any testimonials or case studies which can give an insight as to what other companies think of them. Perhaps they have received awards or have glowing online reviews. ITAD companies may not be able to disclose many of their clients, due to the confidential nature of the work being carried out, but by referring to their certifications, case studies, security and environmental credentials and so on, you should be able to build up the picture of an ITAD provider which can be relied upon.
Lastly, we recommend choosing an ITAD provider which can offer a high level of convenience to you. They will be able to carry out their service at a time which suits you, whether that is on an evening or the weekend. Ideally they will also have an easy system for tracking your services. A customer service portal can be a quick and convenient way of managing all aspects of your service, and can provide a home for all your documentation. It will allow you to track all of your assets, download reports, and perhaps even identify the environmental benefits of your chosen services, with concrete figures you can even share on your website or with your shareholders.
When IT assets are involved, it is extremely important to ensure all of the risks are covered. By following the points above you can be certain you are receiving the service of a leading ITAD specialist. You will have identified a company which demonstrates a commitment to security, compliance and sustainability, giving you complete peace of mind. You will be sure that the cost of the service will be worth every penny, and that you are ensuring the security of your company data.
About Restore Technology
Restore Technology are the UK’s leading ITAD provider. We provide an unmatched level of service for your end of life IT equipment, at cost effective prices. It is for these reasons we are the chosen ITAD specialist for a wide array of FTSE 100 companies, NHS bodies, small to medium businesses and more. Get in touch here to find out how we can deliver the most reliable and comprehensive ITAD services for your company today.