Russell Smith, Chief Information Officer, recently celebrated his 20 year anniversary with EOL. In honour of this milestone, we sat down with Russell as he reflects on his journey and EOL’s in the ever changing landscape of compliant IT Asset Disposal.
You joined EOL 20 years ago on August 1st, 1999 – what did EOL look like then?
Very different! Two premises in those days about 10 miles apart, office staff in one and engineers in another. I was the first engineer and we had two small warehouses on a nice farm. Was a great location apart from the outside toilets!
What do you think the biggest changes have been in the ITAD industry during the last 20 years?
Massive increase in regulation and the focus on Information Security and Privacy. We were at the forefront of improving the process for IT engineering as there were very few organisations doing what we were doing back in 1999. We’ve even had a few clients who have replicated our policies and procedures throughout the years!
How have customer requirements/concerns changed during that time?
Again Information Security and Data Privacy, also better reporting and increased accountability. High profile info-security incidents throughout the years have hammered home the dangers of giving valuable data out to untested and unqualified third-parties. 27001, CAS-S, and similar standards and awards have allowed clients more informed choices about who they use for disposal.
How has EOL and its service offering grown in that time?
From the smaller warehouse we grew quickly, within a few years we had moved to a far larger facility. Our staff quickly grew from 1 or 2 to 20-30. As we grew it quickly became obvious that more formal controls were needed on our processes and we began to develop our policies, processes as well as staff development, info-security awareness and training. We gained our first ISO (9001) in November 2001.
In your capacity as CISO for EOL, what do you find most challenging?
Keeping up-to-date with the ever changing security profile of our market. There are so many new threats appearing all of the time that we cannot let our guard down for a second. That’s where the regulation comes in and awards such as Cyber Essentials Plus which should be the bare minimum that any company that uses IT equipment should have in place.
And what do you find most rewarding?
Seeing EOL grow through the years. Watching colleagues, who might start right at the bottom, rising up through the ranks. Seeing our staff really get the info security angle of our business.
What are your fondest memories of working with EOL?
Making some good friends, helping others to further their careers.
What are your hopes for EOL In the future?
To continue as one of the top ITADs in the industry. To be at the forefront of our business sector, leading innovation in security and IT disposal.
With over 23 years industry experience, EOL IT Services are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibly and legally.
Contact us today on 0845 600 4696 or visit https://www.eolitservices.co.uk/services/it-asset-disposal/ to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.