IT Asset Disposition – ITAD

IT Asset Disposition – ITAD Introduction

What is ITAD? In this article, we’ll be exploring the various aspects of ITAD meaning as we delve deep into the world of IT Asset Disposition.

One of the main driving forces of IT and electronic asset purchasing and use is that these devices are typically designed with a short service life. This approach enables equipment manufacturers and software vendors to push new and improved hardware and systems at relatively short intervals, inducing buyers to trade in their old infrastructure for the newest and latest gadgets. It also leads to the depreciation of IT assets — as they grow older, they decrease in value and/or usefulness.

What Is IT Asset Disposition (ITAD)?

What is ITAD?

IT asset disposition or ITAD is the set of commercial operations and processes that focus on getting rid of obsolete or unwanted equipment in a safe and ecologically responsible manner.

Acquiring shiny new stuff at frequent intervals is all well and good, but the gadgets they replace have to end up somewhere ultimately. For organizations and individuals who upgrade their IT hardware and electronic equipment, the question then arises of what to do: Sell the old devices? Give them away to charity? Dump them on a landfill? Or recycle?

What is Hard Drive Disposal Service
These burning issues lie at the heart of the discipline known as IT asset disposition.

In another shade of ITAD meaning, IT asset disposition is a business model in which vendors and service providers specialize in streamlining the disposal of IT assets while minimizing costs and maximizing the returns that their clients can gain on the process by refurbishing, reselling, or recycling the old material. This enables clients to minimize their losses due to depreciation and regain value from the disposal of IT assets.

An additional aspect of ITAD meaning centers on removing information residing on technological systems for organizations looking to cleanse their data or relocate their operations. To this end, ITAD vendors like Shred It Mississauga may provide storage media sanitization, data destruction services, hard drive destruction, and a range of options for secure hard drive disposal.
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Why is IT Asset Disposition important?

For most organizations, replacing existing business equipment and IT assets has implications that go beyond simply gaining access to the latest technology.

Data security is one major consideration. Given the advanced state of modern data recovery software and data forensics techniques, it’s possible for external actors to retrieve information from storage hardware, even if devices have been subjected to data wiping or overwriting by HDD shredder utilities or system-specific Secure Erase or Secure Delete functions.

Business and personal computer systems and digital storage devices routinely play host to sensitive documents, photographs, videos, and assets such as customer details, financial information, passwords, industrial processes, and intellectual property. Any of these items can be of immense value to cybercriminals, saboteurs, identity thieves, hackers, and fraudsters.
What Is Hard Drive Disposal

Denying these bad actors the opportunity to retrieve information from discarded equipment emphasizes the urgency to remove data from the hard drive and digital storage media in an unrecoverable manner before sending any equipment with data storage capacity on the next phase of its journey to disposal. This gives ITAD meaning as an essential part of data governance, and the IT asset disposition market offers secure disposition techniques that can ensure this.

Another aspect of IT asset disposition is the environmental factor. Electronics and IT equipment generally contain metals and other substances whose release into soils, water, or the atmosphere can be toxic or hazardous. There are state, local, federal, and even international laws governing the safe disposal and handling of such pollutants, as well as regulatory compliance frameworks that apply to specific industries.

Unless organizations properly dispose of ecologically sensitive materials, they may find themselves in contravention of these statutes and liable to hefty fines, lawsuits, or even jail time. In addition, compliance breaches can lead to bad publicity and damage to your brand reputation.

Hard Drive Shredding

The correct disposition of ecologically-sensitive materials and components often requires specialist knowledge, which an organization may not have. So the expertise of IT asset disposition companies can be a vital hedge in keeping businesses in line with their environmental obligations.

Donating old equipment to charitable organizations, educational institutions, or other recipients is an avenue of the disposal of IT assets that can reap benefits for the donor regarding their public image and contribution to sustainable business practices.

Likewise, by reselling or recycling old IT assets, businesses can reduce waste and conservation of resources in the “circular economy” while enhancing their position in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and recouping value to offset the depreciation of IT assets.

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How does the IT Asset Disposition work?

A 2019 benchmark report’s market guide for IT asset disposition indicates that while almost half of the survey respondents hold onto their desktops for five or more years now, 51.7% of respondents are still refreshing their devices every four years or less. This refresh rate is shortening for laptops, with respondents expecting 67.2% of retired laptops to be four years old or less. The shortest laptop refresh rates are in the banking and finance sector and among companies providing IT services or software.

We’ve already alluded to the major IT asset disposal procedure avenues, namely: resell, refurbish, recycle, destroy, and dispose of in an environmentally conscious and legally sanctioned manner. Let’s look at these and other options in more detail.
e-waste recycling


Especially for smaller-scale enterprises, frequent investments in new IT and office equipment may not be economically viable. One ITAD option that can extend the life of existing hardware is refurbishing -- replacing or repairing select components and software to squeeze one or two more years of life out of otherwise serviceable devices.


Selling old equipment to third-party buyers is an ITAD technique that enables businesses to recoup some of the losses they incur in getting rid of existing hardware bought and paid for at market prices. Depending on how serviceable the equipment is, refurbishment may be a step that the ITAD service undertakes before putting the hardware on the resale market.

Data and Physical Destruction

If the ultimate destination in your disposal of IT assets is to discard them in an environmentally permissible manner, the best way to dispose of hard drives securely is to first render all the data on them irretrievable, then physically destroy your hard drive.

HDD shredder machines can slice hard drives and other storage devices into tiny shards from which data is extremely difficult to recover. For organizations wishing to dispose of storage assets that hold highly classified information, disintegration machines take shredding to the next level, leaving residue so small that retrieving data from the fragments is virtually impossible. ITAD companies like Shred It Mississauga offer these kinds of services.

Services like Shred It Mississauga may also use a hard drive crusher, which achieves its destructive results by subjecting the hardware to a powerful crushing force under very high pressure, often accompanied by a punching mechanism that drives holes into the equipment and drive casings to degrade the material further.

Other physical destruction methods include melting, in which the equipment is either dropped into a vat of molten steel or immersed in a powerful solution of hydrochloric and nitric acids. This is a highly effective disposition technique, but the process requires specialist skills, particularly in handling the acids and safely disposing of the waste products.


In addition to metals, plastics, and glass, IT equipment and electronic goods often contain valuable materials such as iron, aluminum, gold, silver, copper, tin, titanium, and fossil fuels. Recycling procedures can recover these materials, which may then be packaged for onward sale, or used to fabricate new products.

It’s a sustainable practice that helps in reducing the volume of electronic waste or E-waste generated by IT asset disposition while also relieving the strain on scarce natural resources, giving ITAD meaning in an environmental context, and saving energy.

Recycling is often high on the IT asset disposal policy and procedure checklist for organizations that endorse Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, IT equipment recycling should only be undertaken with an eye towards data security and compliance with all relevant environmental and equipment disposal standards.

Setting up an ITAD Policy

To reduce the risk of data security or regulatory compliance breach due to the recovery of information from an IT asset that has fallen off the radar, it’s a good practice for your organization to develop and observe an IT asset disposition policy.

An ITAD policy should be an integral part of the more general framework of your organization’s IT asset management or ITAM program. A successful ITAM strategy helps generate value from your organization’s disposal of IT assets and reduces risk.

Your IT Asset Manager should assume responsibility for managing your organization’s relationship with your ITAD service, ensuring that all personally identifiable information is destroyed before disposition occurs, and reporting the status of your IT assets for financial accounting.

Effective ITAM programs generally involve various departments, including IT, risk management, facilities, environmental health & safety, finance, and procurement. Involving your Chief Information Officer (CIO) and other executives who may be held liable for the improper disposition of IT assets and loss of data during disposal is also a good idea.

Legal Considerations

Several industries, including financial services, retail, and healthcare, are subject to laws and regulatory compliance frameworks that dictate both how information should be handled during the service life of IT equipment and the method of its proper disposal at the end of its life cycle.

Failure to comply with these regulations can expose your organization to the risk of fines, legal action, and even custodial jail terms.

For example, the Disposal Rule of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) has been in effect since 2005 and applies to the disposal of consumer reports or information derived from these reports, such as credit scores, employment background information, check writing histories, and insurance claims. It effectively applies to IT asset disposition for every business in the United States.

Why you should choose TechReset as your IT Asset disposition service provider

In line with your organization’s IT asset disposal policy, a good ITAD company should serve as a trusted partner throughout the life of your IT assets. To begin with, they should be on hand to help you identify cost efficiencies when you procure new equipment and highlight ways to recoup value from the hardware you no longer need.

In terms of due diligence, look for evidence of IT asset disposal best practices and certifications from relevant industry bodies such as R2 and e-Stewards. Administered by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), R2 requires certified ITAD vendors to adhere to a rigorous program of compliance in recycling best practices. The e-Stewards standard requires certified companies to oversee the ongoing management of toxic electronic waste (E-waste) once it leaves their care.
A leader in the ITAD industry, TechReset goes beyond recycling computers. We fully repurpose units to extend the life of IT equipment beyond its first use. TechReset offers on-site device removal, certified audit reporting, and completely secure data eradication through gold standard data cleanse software or physical hard drive shredding.

In the disposal of IT assets and electronic waste, we practice the original three Rs of the ITAD industry by removing, reporting on, and repairing equipment—plus we’ve added a fourth: repurposing what you want to get rid of. TechReset can earn you money for your older computer equipment, helping to offset the cost of new hardware.