Eight Steps to Improve Your IT Asset Disposition Program
An effective IT asset disposition (ITAD) program ensures that redundant assets are disposed of securely and sustainably. So, how can your organization develop a better ITAD program?
1. Understand the Importance of a Defined ITAD Program
First, recognize the value of a strong ITAD program. Beyond environmental concerns, improper disposal can result in data breaches and hefty regulatory fines. Furthermore, recouping residual value from retired assets can boost your bottom line.
2. Conduct a Comprehensive Inventory
Begin by taking stock of all IT assets. A detailed inventory helps in:
- Defining the scope of your program.
- Estimating the residual value.
- Planning for secure destruction.
- Ensuring accurate reporting is available for the entire lifecycle of all IT assets.
3. Establish Clear Policies and Procedures
Develop standard operating procedures for asset disposition:
- Define which assets can be refurbished, resold, redeployed or recycled.
- Establish a compliant and documented process for data destruction. Industry standards like NIST 800-88r1 provide guidance for data destruction.
- Decide on the methods of destruction, such as degaussing, shredding, or data erasure, a software-based solution. Degaussing and shredding renders storage media unusable. Data erasure enables safe reuse of storage media, which extends the lifecycle of the media.
Make sure your IT team understands the importance of ITAD. Offer training on procedures and best practices. A well-informed team minimizes risks and enhances the effectiveness of the disposition program.
Ensure your ITAD process aligns with current laws to prevent potential legal complications. Regulations, both environmental and data-related, can evolve and should be reviewed regularly.
4. Prioritize Data Security
Ensure all data is completely and securely removed. Engage with vendors who offer certified data destruction services. Always get a certificate of data destruction as proof that data has been securely erased.
5. Choose Vendors Wisely
Partner with a certified ITAD vendor who:
- Adheres to environmental regulations.
- Has a transparent chain-of-custody process.
- Offers refurbishing, reuse and recycling services.
- Provides certificates for data destruction, responsible recycling, market value and sustainability reporting.
Implementing a compliant, data safe ITAD program is possible only with proper budgets and resources.
7. Aim for Sustainability
Choose environmentally friendly disposition methods:
- Encourage refurbishing and repurposing assets.
- Collaborate with ITAD companies that incorporate sustainable processes into their operations and provide sustainability reporting.
- Avoid landfill to prevent harmful toxins from entering the environment.
8. Continuously Review and Adapt
Like all other IT processes, ITAD shouldn’t be static. Regularly review your program, obtain feedback, and make necessary improvements.
A robust ITAD program not only mitigates risks associated with obsolete IT assets but also contributes to an organization’s financial return and environmental and social responsibility goals. By adopting a strategic approach, staying updated with regulations, and collaborating with credible vendors, your organization can enhance its IT asset disposition, adding value and fostering trust.