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?
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.
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.