When it’s time for an IT refresh, relocation, or conversion to the cloud, businesses often end up with excess hardware. Because of this, they are left looking for an ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) provider that can process and protect these assets, as well as the data contained within them.
Prior to entering into a partnership with any ITAD provider, there are vital criteria that should not be overlooked during your initial evaluation.
As with any important decision, research as well as knowing the right questions to ask can make all the difference. The following three questions can provide great insight into the nature of the company you’re evaluating as well as their expertise and ability to maintain secure protocol when processing your IT assets.
How much experience does the business have providing the services you’re considering?
Many companies advertise that they have been in business for decades, some even close to a hundred years, or more! And many of them have. But what type of business have they been doing for all of those years? Often the years advertised were spent providing services that have nothing to do with the ITAD solutions you may be seeking. It’s important to find out how much experience any potential ITAD partner has providing the specific service that pertains to your business needs.
What accreditations and standards do they adhere to?
Another time when research becomes essential is when considering the certifications advertised by a company. Unfortunately, just because you see it listed, doesn’t mean it is still active, or that they are in good standing. It’s always best to go directly to the certification body website to learn more about what is being certified, and what the exact standards for certification are. Most accreditation sites will also list companies currently holding their certification in good standing. If you have more questions after reviewing the certification site, ask the company! Any upstanding ITAD provider should be happy to provide information on their certifications.
Because the processing of electronics is such an important environmental issue, it’s also vital to ask questions surrounding environmental policies. Find out if each potential ITAD provider operates under specific environmental standards, and if so how that impacts their operation and the processing of your assets.
What is their role in the processing of your assets?
Although this is an often overlooked question, when asked it is generally answered in the same non-specific manner. You may hear something along the lines of, “Your items are processed, with data wiping and/or electronic destruction, before the remaining parts are used to create new items.” But the most important piece of the question has been omitted. This missing piece references the role that the individual company plays within the ITAD processes. Many providers may offer services that they perform partially in house, before sending to a downstream processor such as ECS, to complete. Or the services they advertise may in fact be completed, but not by them. It’s important to know who specifically is providing your services as data security is the most important factor in choosing an ITAD provider. Eliminating any middle man during the processing of your IT assets is recommended as the more hands that touch your equipment, the higher the risk of a data breach climbs.
We’ve often seen the outcomes of businesses working with providers who are not operating in an ethical manner. This can lead to damaging your brand’s reputation and loss of trust by customers. If data is improperly removed, access to intellectual property may be obtained, causing further damage to your business. And if customer or employee data is breached it could lead to extensive litigation and fines.
By thoroughly evaluating any potential new partnership for the highest levels of service and expertise, you can rest assured your data and your brand will remain secure. Besides, the best way to enter into a new year and a new partnership is with a plan of action!
ECS Refining is one of the few providers today offering a truly complete ITAD solution:
We also possess the experience in these areas to truly offer the best solutions in the industry. As the downstream processor for numerous companies across the United States, ECS is trusted by government agencies, and worldwide brands alike. Our proven data protection and enduring commitment to sustainability have withstood the test of time.