Want to realize more value from your IT assets? Working with an IT asset partner to sell used equipment to is a solid choice, but some companies can have security concerns.
The most important thing to remember is that you are in charge of the decision. Take your time to clearly understand your partners’ process and ask plenty of questions to ensure they’re a good fit for your business needs.
How does the IT asset disposition (ITAD) partner manage your data’s security?
For many larger companies, this is the first and most important question. It’s all about data security. But when it comes to IT assets, every company should clearly understand data security protocols when selling their used equipment.
Are they wiping data-carrying IT assets clean using industry-standard software? What wiping process do they use? Single or multi-pass? Are the assets being restored to their factory settings? If the equipment cannot be re-sold, are they securely destroying the physical hardware?
By asking these questions first, you can feel more confident that you’re working with a knowledgeable and reputable ITAD partner. They should be willing to talk openly about the exact process they use to wipe data from data carrying devices or how they destroy IT assets.
Do they actively protect your brand’s reputation?
Your company may have very specific concerns because your IT assets carry sensitive data. Maybe your customers have trusted you with their personal information, or you store data for other businesses. In these cases, you want an ITAD partner that understands it’s your reputation on the line.
Does the vendor use industry-standard processes to remove data? Do they understand the correlation between data security and your brand’s reputation?
You want to clearly understand how your IT assets are dispositioned – to ensure every piece of equipment is disposed of correctly so your brand reputation remains intact.
Do they understand the standards, regulations, or requirements of your industry?
Companies in many industries need to ensure they comply with specific data security regulations or compliance requirements. So, you’ll want to determine whether the vendor understands the data security requirements of your industry.
For example, are you a hospital that needs to follow HIPAA guidelines? A financial institution that needs to follow the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act? A corporation that’s required to maintain certain records due to Sarbanes-Oxley?
Work with an ITAD partner that takes the time to get to know your business and industry and then helps you sift through regulatory complexity to ensure you’re compliant.
Does the IT asset vendor have a secure facility?
Most companies don’t have the ability to decommission their IT assets onsite. They need to work with vendor partners who can process equipment for them.
Ask potential ITAD vendors about their facility. Is access to the facility restricted? Are there cameras monitoring spaces where IT assets are located? Do they use metal detectors to identify data carrying devices? Is everyone on their staff fully vetted?
You want a partner who doesn’t hesitate to share the facility protocols they have in place.
Do they have a knowledgeable team?
Years ago, having vendors with tech smarts was what mattered most for many customers. As long as IT asset vendors knew everything about your hardware, you had what you needed. But that’s no longer enough.
Does their team go beyond having technical smarts? Are they also educated and informed about your unique security concerns? Are they committed to continuously improving in this area?
The best partners have teams that understand the significance of being trusted with your IT assets. Teams that treat your equipment like it was their own.
Do they have robust chain-of-custody protocols?
When you’re disposing of your IT equipment, there are best practices for how those assets are collected, inspected, and tested in the selling process.
How do they track individual pieces of equipment? Do they maintain records for the entire asset lifecycle? Do they document each person who handles your equipment and why? You want to ensure your ITAD vendor maintains clear documentation and demonstrates a strong chain of custody. You also want a certificate that guarantees your data was removed.
Are they committed to sustainability?
Hardware does become obsolete – it’s just a reality of this industry. No matter how well built, at some point, certain IT assets aren’t fast enough, don’t hold enough data, don’t have a big enough hard drive or are no longer compatible with the software.
In these cases, ask whether vendors prioritize sustainable options. Do they always begin with the cleanest, greenest approach by first attempting to re-use the assets somehow? Are they using the greener option of removing data with software?
Ideally, vendors should attempt to keep IT assets in use longer (which, in turn, increases sustainability, minimizes waste, and stretches the asset’s productive lifespan). If that’s not possible, you want to understand their destruction process.
Do they understand potential financial implications?
While extremely rare, there have been headlines about companies facing stiff fines, penalties, or lawsuits for incorrectly disposing of IT assets. These cases highlight the importance of vendors knowing what’s at stake for your business.
This is not an area to shy away from. A reputable vendor will welcome your questions. For example, can they prove they destroyed your assets? Are they compliant in every area of IT asset disposition?
Just as many companies view data security as something the entire company owns, you want an IT asset vendor that is an active partner in helping you mitigate potential financial implications.
Asking smart questions leads to trusted partnerships with your ITAD vendor
You can alleviate security risks when selling used IT assets by following a thorough vendor selection process and asking smart questions. While it may be more time consuming, it’s worth it.
At Summit 360, we take the time to get to know you and learn what’s most important to your business. We’re ready to earn your trust by answering any questions about selling IT assets. Contact us today.