Selecting the Right ITAD Partner: Your Comprehensive Checklist

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The strategic process of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) not only safeguards against data breaches and ensures regulatory compliance but also wields the potential to drive wider business objectives.

Brooks Hoffman
Brooks Hoffman
Principal, Asset Lifecycle Management Iron Mountain
December 8, 20237 mins

This includes reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), aligning with sustainability goals, and mitigating environmental impact. To empower you in making the most informed decisions for your organization, we present a comprehensive checklist for evaluating your current or potential ITAD partners across four critical domains: Security, Sustainability, Savings, and Scale.

1. Best-in-Class Data Security

The paramount concern in ITAD is data security. Ensure your chosen vendor meets these key criteria:

  • Do they offer a meticulously documented chain of custody during the transportation process?
  • Are the employees handling your media and IT assets thoroughly screened and vetted in-house professionals?
  • Do their data destruction services adhere to the NIST SP 800-88 standard for media sanitization?
  • Can they carry out on-site data destruction to eliminate any risks associated with off-site data transfer?
  • Will you receive a certificate of destruction (COD) stating that the digital media has been destroyed?
  • Can they create a detailed inventory of items earmarked for disposition and accurately track their journey from transportation to processing?

2. Maximized Savings, ROI & Value Recovery

Your ITAD program should deliver more than just compliance; it should contribute to your bottom line. Inquire about these aspects:

  • Do they have a network of diversified direct sales channels to optimize remarketing value?
  • Will they ensure complete data sanitization on all data-bearing devices before entering the remarketing cycle?
  • Are the same rigorous security measures and chain-of-custody protocols applicable during the remarketing phase?

3. Advanced Sustainability, including Reporting

Sustainability isn't just a buzzword; it's an ethical and business imperative. Your ITAD partner should exhibit a deep commitment to sustainable best practices:

  • Can they assist in quantifying the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and energy conservation resulting from their services?
  • Are they capable of calculating the percentage of metals reclaimed and diverted from landfills?
  • Can they aid in calculating scope 3 emissions, a vital aspect of comprehensive environmental impact assessment?
  • Do they employ de-manufacturing processes to break down e-waste into its component parts for responsible disposal, without resorting to landfills?
  • Are their facilities certified by a reputable third-party, such as R2®, specializing in ITAD sustainability best practices?
  • Do they furnish an environmental/sustainability report as evidence of their contribution to carbon reduction and landfill diversion?

4. Global Scale & Reach

In today's interconnected world, supporting global markets is key. Ensure your ITAD partner can accommodate your business's global scale:

  • Do they provide a centralized online portal for scheduling pick ups , managing orders, and running on demand reporting?
  • Do they provide a centralized online portal for scheduling pick ups , managing orders, and running on demand reporting?
  • Do they own their own fleet of dedicated and purpose built GPS-monitored trucks?
  • Do they possess a physical presence in all countries they serve, distinguishing themselves from those outsourcing services to subcontractors?

Choosing the right ITAD provider is more than a transaction; it's a strategic partnership that directly influences your organization's security, sustainability, financial health, and global reach. By adhering to this comprehensive checklist, you're equipped to evaluate partners meticulously and select the one that aligns perfectly with your organizational objectives. ITAD isn't merely about disposing of outdated hardware – it's about embracing a holistic approach to asset lifecycle management that safeguards your data, minimizes your environmental impact, and maximizes your value recovery.

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