Whether you’re upgrading your devices to newer models, or planning decommissioning your data centre for migration, you’ll need to act according to your company’s IT asset disposal procedures. While all businesses should have an established process in place, this process may not be documented in an easy-to-follow format. That’s where our ITAD checklist comes in. We outline every aspect you should consider when your IT equipment has reached its end of life. Let’s take a look at the key areas for consideration as part of your IT asset disposal process.
Reputable ITAD Vendor
While certain parts of the ITAD process are possible in-house, it’s advisable to enlist the help of a trustworthy ITAD service provider. This vendor should be accredited, holding certifications for compliance with data security guidelines in your industry. The vendor will be able to advise on the most suitable, and most secure, method of data erasure for your device. They will be able to accommodate every method, from data degaussing to hard drive shredding and everything in between. The best ITAD companies will be able to accommodate all of your ITAD needs, as well as providing a certificate of destruction, providing a guarantee against data breaches.
IT Asset Inventory
Ideally, your business will have an inventory of every item, from servers to mobile phones, that belongs to the company. In this inventory, you should include a brief description of each item and assign it an item number, identifying its point in the life cycle, and whether it is up for disposition. This way, you can ensure that every item is dealt with appropriately and doesn’t get left behind- be that in your office move or equipment refresh – leaving sensitive data at risk. Of course, you should update this inventory after every round of ITAD.
Deal with Leased Assets
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to lease some IT assets, so it’s important that you cancel any of these contracts as soon as possible, as well as any upcoming maintenance checks or routine appointments for the leased devices. Be sure to act according to the contractual agreements regarding the sanitization of these devices and ensure that you have the paperwork to prove this- the last thing you want is any charges that you could have avoided.
Global levels of e-waste are increasing year on year, which is why it’s so important that, as part of the ITAD process, businesses explore all options, besides simple disposal. Recycling assets in whole and in part is a great way to protect the environment from the dangers of e-waste, while reselling your redundant assets can help to offset the cost of your new equipment, as well as that of efficient data destruction. Your ITAD service provider will be able to advise on which of these options is most viable and help with the remarketing of this equipment, finding a suitable end-user and ensuring that you achieve the maximum resale value.
In cases where disposal is the only viable option, it’s vital that the e-waste is dealt with by a licensed e-steward. All disposal should be executed according to environmental protection regulations, such as the WEEE Directive.
Chain of Custody
The chain of custody is key to responsible IT asset disposition. You need to update this at every stage of each device’s lifecycle, as it makes for improved traceability- especially useful when they are offline and harder to track. It’s important that you receive confirmation of a device’s disposition from your ITAD vendor as this can be added to the chain of custody, offering your increased protection from that point.
Packaging and Transportation
Unless your ITAD vendor performs its erasure onsite – unlikely, given the necessity for sophisticated equipment – you’ll need to ensure your equipment is prepared for transportation to the ITAD facilities. All of the best suppliers offer GPS-tracked transport between your location and their facilities, but you might have to pack these items yourself, taking care to protect them from damage on the journey. It’s always best to use the original packaging, wherever possible. if you can’t do that, pack them as tightly as possible to minimise movement.
Data Breach POA
A secure ITAD process should minimise the risk of falling victim to a data breach, but it’s important to have a plan of action in case the worst were to happen. Under the GDPR, potential penalties are higher than they used to be, but recent data breaches suggest that early identification and willingness to cooperate can swing these penalties in your favour. As a result, you’ll need to keep an eye out for signs of a potential data breach, and contact the ICO with your acknowledgement and plan of action.
Put simply, an ITAD checklist helps the process run as smoothly as possible. Covering even the most obvious of steps, this checklist help ensure that no stone is left unturned in the ITAD process. Of course, you may need to adapt this checklist with steps that are specific to your business, but this list covers the areas that apply to every shape and size of business.
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.