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What is IT Asset Disposition?

Last updated: 16 Aug 2021

Technology has now become an indispensable part of any business, even those that don’t directly deal in technology-related products. We use hardware and software to run our businesses, interact with customers, and most importantly store data— much of which is sensitive or private.

But all IT hardware has a lifespan that eventually comes to a close. Either the device itself stops working, or your business decides to upgrade to a more modern alternative that offers more capabilities, power, and other desirable traits. Whatever the reason, there comes a time in every business when hardware must be disposed of properly. But is it as simple as throwing old laptops and hard drives into a dumpster?

In fact, proper disposal of IT assets can be much more complicated due to a series of factors ranging from environmental sustainability to data security. That’s where ITAD services providers come in. ITAD, or information technology asset disposition, is an entire industry in its own right, helping companies properly dispose of technology in a way that doesn’t compromise their data security or harm the environment while keeping costs as low as possible.

What is ITAD?

IT asset disposition is the disposing of IT hardware and other equipment that is no longer needed, but it goes beyond simply throwing away old gear. Proper ITAD also ensures that materials are properly wiped and that all regulatory standards for proper data security are followed throughout the disposal process.

ITAD also deals with environmental and sustainability concerns, as old hardware can damage ecosystems and add to the total plastic and other waste on the planet without proper disposal or recycling.

That’s why businesses and organizations trust professional IT asset disposition service providers such as Transpere— to help ensure that all of their obsolete or unnecessary hardware is disposed of in a way that’s safe, secure, and sustainable.

Why Does ITAD Matter?

As technology evolves at an ever more accelerated rate, so does the technological waste that comes from upgrading hardware or migrating to new systems. That makes proper disposal of that hardware a more pressing matter than in the past, when companies could be using the same technology for years and even decades.

Meanwhile, computer hardware and other peripherals now contain more heavy metals, chemicals, and potentially harmful materials that could affect the environment if not disposed of properly.

Finally, ITAD is an important security concern, as well. Data privacy is one of the most important aspects of the relationship between consumers and the businesses they trust with their personal information, and regulatory bodies have also made this security a priority. The right ITAD services provider will be able to ensure secure disposal of all hardware while minimizing environmental impact and costs.

The Growth of IT and Data Security

Another reason why ITAD has become such a top-of-mind issue among many businesses is that as the entire world has become more tech-driven, the IT and data security segments of businesses have grown. IT sales have risen in almost every category across the board, and that trend is only expected to continue in the future. In the last year alone, people and corporations spent over $700 billion on technological devices. In the same period, they spent nearly $4 trillion in IT-related purchases. Much of this spending has been centered on data centers, where 2021 spending reached over a quarter of a billion dollars.

Overall, this means that businesses can’t afford to be caught without a plan for hardware asset management and IT asset disposition. Planning for the full life cycle of your company’s technological investments has never been more important than it is now.

The ITAD Industry at a Glance

As the requirement for robust IT asset disposition has grown among businesses around the globe, an entire industry has grown around it to serve the needs of these varied businesses. Businesses worldwide have entered the ITAD industry to varying degrees of success, depending on the quality of their services and their ability to maneuver the various aspects of ITAD that matter most.

One of the most high-profile entries into the industry was Arrow ITAD. This subsidiary of Arrow Electronics emerged after the company acquired a string of ITAD services providers, including Converge, Intechra, Flection, and TechTurn. But they soon stumbled into issues with customizing their services based on the unique needs of each client, and eventually exited the industry altogether.

Meanwhile, other companies have proved more successful in serving the ITAD needs of their customers. Ingram Micro is a global technology company that offers ITAD in addition to their suite of logistics, training, and supply chain services. Ingram Micro ITAD has shown that large companies can sometimes be effective at managing ITAD.

Another popular choice is ITRenew, who focus on maximizing the lifetime value of IT assets— from purchase to use and through to disposition at the end of its useful life.

Here at Transpere, we combine the resources of a large organization with the personalized services of a more agile company. We specialize in efficient, low-cost and effective asset disposition that’s made us one of the most popular choices for small to medium sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. One of the reasons we’ve become such a trusted source of ITAD services is our commitment to data security.

The Rising Risks and Costs of Data Breaches

Perhaps the most significant driver of investments in proper IT asset disposition has been the risk of data breaches. As piracy and data-based attacks have reached all time highs, companies have been searching for effective ways to fight back. Unfortunately, many don’t realize that many data breaches come after supposedly useless hardware has been thrown away.

The worst part is that no company is safe. While the high-profile breaches all come from major companies with recognizable names, stats show that hackers actually prefer to pursue small to medium sized businesses because their data security is likely to be less robust.

One of the ways that some small or medium sized businesses miss out on data security is in their IT asset disposition process. Hard drives aren’t wiped, computers aren’t erased, and secure data ends up sitting somewhere in a warehouse where anyone can pick it up and use it for malicious purposes. Proper ITAD services will take care of this, reducing risk by fully wiping data from any disposed devices.

How ITAD Keeps Data Safe

Expert ITAD companies such as Transpere are highly trained in the safe removal of data during the disposition process. There are several methods used in this process, and each has its own benefits. Sometimes multiple methods are used together in order to ensure full data security. Here are some of the most common methods.

Degaussing

When it comes to hard drives and data storage devices, magnets can be extremely damaging. ITAD companies use this to their advantage in a process known as degaussing. Degaussing is the process of using a high-powered magnet that interferes with the magnetic field of a storage device, destroying any ability to read the data contained on it. This process is completed by a machine known as a degausser, and there are a range of them available depending on the type of device whose data needs to be erased.

One of the most desirable advantages of degaussing is that it ensures 100% un-recoverability of data. A properly degaussed hard drive ensures complete destruction of all sensitive data entirely. As a result, degaussing is often the preferred method for how to destroy a hard drive when it comes to the most sensitive possible data.

Physical Destruction

Another form of data destruction is the actual physical destruction of the hardware it’s stored on. Hardware can be shredded, melted, or destroyed by any means that ensures that the media itself is completely unreadable and can’t be salvaged. When it comes to being the most certain that data has been destroyed, complete physical destruction offers the highest level of certainty.

Software Overwriting

Software overwriting is the process of eliminating data by writing new data over the top of it. The process of overwriting uses the storage once occupied by the original data to make space for the new, erases anything that was leftover or at the very least making it 100% unable to be read or accessed. Also known as data wiping depending on the context, data overwriting can be an effective way to remove sensitive data from a hard drive or other device. In some cases, a single overwrite can be enough to properly eliminate data on a device. In other cases, companies may wish to use multiple overwrites for an added guarantee of complete data destruction.

Choosing an ITAD Services Company

While the importance of proper IT asset disposition should be clear by now, the next question is who you can depend on to execute it on behalf of your company. The best ITAD service providers provide a combination of traits that ensure your ITAD process is smooth, low-cost, and meets all of the metrics that matter most to you and the regulatory bodies that govern proper data security and environmental impact by businesses. Here are some of the key traits to look for when choosing an ITAD provider for your business.

Technology

In this article, we mentioned some of the key technological tools that ITAD providers use in proper asset disposition, from degaussers and physical device shredders to storage equipment and data wiping software. Ensure that any company you partner with has access to these tools, ensuring that your ITAD process is handled with the utmost care and completeness from start to finish.

Convenience

Every business and organization is different, and that means unique facilities, hardware, and asset disposition needs. The right ITAD partner should have the capability to adapt to your unique circumstances. Some companies will be able to handle ITAD offsite, while others will be limited to what can be completed on the premises. Devices such as mobile device shredders and degaussers can be essential for this purpose. Meanwhile, mobile services allow businesses to have more clear oversight into the process as it happens.

Sustainability

One of the most important elements of proper IT asset disposition is sustainability, which ensures that hardware that’s disposed of won’t have a major environmental impact. Choose an ITAD services provider that’s committed to sustainability and who will help you recycle hardware that can be recycled, reuse that which can be reused, and properly dispose of potentially harmful chemicals the right way. Not only will this help you stay on the right side of environmental regulations, but it will also help ensure that your business is one that can be proud of its commitment to the environment.

Guarantee

The best data destruction services providers will provide a guarantee of full data destruction. At Transpere, we provide you with a nationally recognized Certificate of Destruction, as well as a chain-of-custody document to show full compliance and provide transparency about every step of the process.

Cost

Let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of managing IT asset disposition— cost. All businesses must constantly be aware of the cost of all efforts, including asset disposition. A data destruction services provider should save you money, not cost you more than if you handled the project yourself. By partnering with a trusted company, you don’t need to purchase equipment, sign expensive and restrictive contracts, or waste time and resources that could be better used growing your business.

At Transpere, we’re trusted by thousands of companies and organizations, from small and medium-size businesses to over 80% of all Fortune 1000 companies in the U.S. alone. These companies trust us for our convenience, affordability, privacy assurances and guarantee of full, complaint data destruction. Want to learn more? Contact us today!

How can we help you?

IT Asset Disposition
  • Secure Data Erasure & Drive Destruction
  • Chain of Custody Management
  • Logistics
  • De-installation & Asset Removal
  • Asset Processing
  • Value Recovery
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Managed IT Services
  • Data Center Services
  • Migration Services
  • Cloud Services
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) Solutions
  • Procurement, Deployment, and Managed Services
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Data Destruction
  • Data Destruction and Erasure
  • Onsite Data Erasure
  • Mobile Hard Drive Destruction
  • Remote Data Erasure
  • Sensitive Data Destruction
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Decommissioning
  • Data Center Decommisssioning
  • Onsite Data Wiping
  • Fully Traceable Chain of Custody
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Refurbished Hardware
  • Procurement
  • Logistics
  • Custom Imaging
  • Remote Work Infrastructure
  • Asset Management Portal
  • Warranty and Support
  • End-of-Life Services
Learn more
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