When you have a medical issue, you likely go to the doctor. If you’re having car trouble, you see a mechanic. If you have complicated taxes, you probably have them prepared by a CPA. Why? Because they’re experts, and you can trust those experts. You want your health, vehicles, taxes, and more handled by professionals. The same can be said for your ITAD program and why you should work with a professional ITAD company.
As you likely know, or have seen us discuss in other posts, ITAD, which stands for IT asset disposition, is the process of disposing of unwanted, excess, or obsolete electronic equipment safely and responsibly. When creating an ITAD program, whether in-house or working with an ITAD company, you want to ensure that it’s structured adequately so your organization’s risk is mitigated, the cost is minimized, and your value recovery is maximized.
ITAD should not be taken lightly, which is why it’s highly recommended that you partner with someone for at least part, if not all, of your program. There are many reasons why working with an ITAD company is considered best practice. We’ve bucketed them below into 4 main categories:
Risk Management and Mitigation
Managing and mitigating risk is one of, if not the most important reasons to partner with an ITAD company vs. trying to tackle the process yourself. At the heart of ITAD, you’re disposing of IT assets that may or may not house important and sensitive information about your clients, your employees, or both. The ramifications of not disposing of this equipment properly and handling the data responsibly will be felt far and wide from damage to your brand, loss of trust from customers, fines, lawsuits, and more.
It has been said that ITAD should always be viewed through the lens of data security first. ITAD is a critical prong in a data breach prevention strategy. If you don’t know how or aren’t disposing of your IT assets properly, your customer and employee data could be compromised.
If there is a breach or even the potential threat of a breach, not only is that data compromised, but so is your company’s brand reputation, which isn’t something that’s easily repaired. Not to mention you need to ensure you’re compliant with any data protection regulations.
For those of you attempting to erase the data in-house before disposing of the equipment, it’s important to note that research has shown about 40% of drives that companies think they’ve erased still contain data. In all reality, most companies don’t have a core competency in data erasure. That’s why a professional, certified ITAD service provider is a key partner.
Regulations and Compliance
There’s a monetary risk at stake if you don’t handle your ITAD responsibly. Not only could you face fines or lawsuits, but your overall business could take a hit due to the loss of trust from customers.
Brand Reputation and Lawsuits
Think back the last several years to companies that have had data breaches. Maybe you still do business with them; perhaps you don’t. But if you’re a customer of theirs, is your trust ever fully restored? Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy trust. Don’t put your brand, reputation, and revenue at stake. You might think that you’re saving money by trying to manage ITAD yourself or having a less than reputable company handle it, but you’ll pay much more in the long run if something goes wrong.
While this might not seem like an important reason, by having an ITAD company manage your program, you’ll free up space by not having old equipment and hardware sitting around. Why is that important? Well, not only does it matter for freeing up space, but if you have equipment lying around that’s not secured, and that hasn’t been appropriately wiped, someone could easily walk off with that asset and gain access to that data. Or you could just simply lose track of the asset. It might be stuck in an empty office somewhere, safe as can be. But if you don’t know exactly where that computer is, you can’t guarantee that the information and data on it haven’t been compromised.
Stay tuned next month as we delve into the remaining 3 reasons your company should be working with an ITAD company.