What is ITAD?

ITAD stands for IT Asset Disposition, which essentially means a process for managing (recycling, repairing and disposing) old or broken IT assets within an organization. For companies these assets typically are laptops, smartphones, and monitors that are at the end of their lifecycle. 

To give you a concrete example, let’s say you decide to replace older laptops with newer ones as they are getting slow. With an ITAD process in place, you will first remove sensitive data, refurbish laptops that can still be used, and responsibly recycle those that are no longer working.  

At first this can seem bit complex but with the right tools and partners you can automate the whole process.

Why is ITAD Important for Companies 

IT Asset Disposition might seem like an obvious practice, but it’s frequently overlooked. Since companies often invest significantly in their IT assets, it’s crucial to avoid wasting their value and ensuring data security.

Here are three key reasons why ITAD should be a vital part of your IT asset management: 

Data Security: 

Protecting sensitive information is a must. With a well-defined ITAD process, you ensure that devices are wiped out before being recycled to prevent any data breaches. Keep in mind, that even one data breach can be critical and highly expensive for the company.

Cost Savings: 

ITAD helps organizations recover value from old assets. An old company laptop might still have many years to come if it is refurbished and sold by recycling partner. This is why recycling is not only a smart choice but can also save you money. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to recycle less valuable the devices are. 

Environmental Responsibility: 

E-waste is a global concern, and responsible ITAD practices contribute to sustainability by minimizing the environmental impact of discarded assets. By reusing, refurbishing, or recycling assets, you optimize resources and reduce waste.  

It is worth noting that 80% of emissions from IT devices such as laptops occur during their production phase, so simply extending their lifespan, you make a significant impact. Recycling is an effortless way to give your devices longer lifespan. 

How to Get Started With ITAD?

As part of your company’s ITAM practices, it is important to have a plan for asset disposition. Here are five practical steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Check your inventory 

To begin, go through your inventory and evaluate each IT asset’s condition and value. With ITAM software you can do this with few clicks, but if you are still relying on Excel, you can start by checking the purchasing date of each asset and for example run a survey where you ask the employees if they are facing any issues with their devices. Typically, the lifespan of a laptop is around 3-4 years. Broken devices should also be recycled as fast as possible.  

Step 2: Think about re-usage 

Explore options to reuse equipment whenever possible to maximize the value of the asset. For instance, some broken laptops could be repaired and transferred to new users. In some cases, your employees might want to purchase old devices for personal use.  

As mentioned before with the right recycling partner, you almost always have the option to give your old IT assets another life. Not only do you gain better buyback value but also contribute to circular economy and saving the environment. It’s advisable to reach out to a recycling partner before making the decision to sell them independently. 

Step 3: Focus on data security

Never keep critical business data stored in old or broken devices. Consider whether you have the expertise to erasure the data in-house or if it’s better to outsource to a trusted partner. Unified endpoint management solutions like Microsoft Intune play a vital role in this field. 

Step 4: Make a plan for recycling

Make sure that your recycling methods comply with environmental regulations and support sustainability. This is another step that might be good to outsource to a trusted partner.  

In Conclusion:

By following these simple steps, you can easily enhance your ITAM practices with ITAD and take better care of your IT assets and the planet.  

Tip: some modern IT Asset Management (ITAM) software can go beyond traditional asset tracking and help you with recycling by automating the process of selling your old IT devices. This can easily save you a lot of time.

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Written by Mikko Lehmus. Mikko works as CEO of IDR. IDR is the most versatile asset lifecycle management software for IT devices and healthcare. Read more about IDR here.

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