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10 must-know ITAD facts

Data Destruction
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The business world is growing increasingly dependent on software, which makes reliable hardware all the more important.

Hardware management, especially for data center operators, gave birth to IT asset disposition (ITAD), a practice that helps businesses get the most out of their existing gear, helps them replace old gear, and ensures businesses remain compliant with data protection regulations. 

If you’re considering IT asset disposition, make sure to keep these ten facts in mind: 

  • Datacenter operators with regular hardware refresh cycles have lower operating costs, compared to those that wait for their gear to die, before making any changes. Being wise with IT asset disposition should be every business’ guiding star. 
  • Public cloud is growing faster than on-prem solutions. As businesses turn towards third-party data center solutions, they seek to dispose of their hardware and salvage as much value from it, as possible.
  • Today’s governments and consumers are acutely aware of the value of their digital data, and failing to remain compliant with data protection regulations can incur major fines, as well as loss of consumer trust, and brand damage. This is particularly true for businesses that have suffered a data breach. Not disposing of hardware properly is one of the leading causes of data breaches. 
  • If you’re in the market for storage gear, don’t overlook Factory Recertified Drives (FRD). These have been re-marketed by specialists licensed by the hardware’s Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), which means they’ve gone through rigorous scrutiny. As a result, their performance is often better, compared even to new gear, while being a fraction of the cost. 
  • Make sure your future IT asset disposition company is certified by ADISA, an industry-standard accreditation for the sanitization of data. 
  • Many (unprofessional) ITADs will claim DOD compliance as the ultimate goal - the reality is somewhat different. As per the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for media sanitization (NIST SP 800-88) are the industry standard when it comes to deleting data properly.
  • Make sure your future ITAD partner carries the R2 certificate. It’s industry-standard for electronic gear recycling. 
  • Also be mindful of the e-Stewards standard, an e-waste recycling standard created by the Basel Action Network. It ensures that e-waste from developed countries does not end up being dismantled by underage workers in developing countries, who get exposed to toxic metals without proper safeguards. 
  • Just as open source software grows in popularity, so do open hardware standards. Promoted, among others, by the Open Compute Projects, open hardware helps improve the world’s standards for the disposition of IT assets, and promotes disposed asset remarketing.
  • As disk development continues with breakneck speed, the remarketing, or disposal, of hard disk drives will continue to be a pivotal part of every data center’s plan for the disposition of their hardware. Never forget - HDDs are built with rare elements of the Earth, which can be sold, at a high price, on the market.

IT asset disposition is a nascent industry that is only going to grow. A recent Transparency Market Research report says the global ITAD market will increase by more than 100% between 2014 and 2024. By teaming up with a competent ITAD company, data center operators can find new ways to recover value from their existing and expiring gear.