Your IT assets have worked hard for your company. They’ve helped you develop products, manage logistics, serve customers, and more. Therefore, when it’s time to refresh your equipment, they deserve more than gathering dust on a shelf.

Instead, give them the retirement they deserve by working with an IT asset disposition (ITAD) expert. Your chosen partner should have a proven process, a sophisticated ERP for tracking and transparency, and a focus on security to protect your data. Find out why you need an ITAD solutions partner to help you sustainably dispose of your IT assets

ITAD Solutions: The life of an IT asset – from day one to retirement

Let’s start at the beginning of an asset’s life. You purchase a laptop for a new employee, set it up to your company’s specs, and send it out into the organization to live its best life. Then, after an employee uses it for three to four years, it’s time to update the asset as part of your regular refresh cycle.

Here’s where IT asset disposition comes in. An ITAD expert can help you decide whether that asset still has a few years left or if it needs to head straight into retirement. Below, we take you through the entire step-by-step process.

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Pick up and secure your assets

Device retirement begins with planning. For example, how will you back up the data and applications, turn the equipment off, and remove it from the building? 

An ITAD partner can work with you on-site to pull your IT assets out of production systematically and organize them – capturing critical information about each asset for tracking and reporting. Equipment traceability begins here and should include online tools for scheduling pickup and onsite needs. Secure, white-glove services and transportation are key partner capabilities that ensure your equipment’s retirement begins on the right foot.

Triage, audit, and sanitize data

The next step in tracking and traceability occurs when the shipment is received at the ITAD solutions processing facility. At this stage, the vendor breaks a secure shipment down into pallets of equipment and individually tracked items; all traced back to your decision to retire the equipment.

Once everything is triaged, it’s time to clean sensitive data from each asset. Everyone involved should have their data security top of mind, and data security compliance is critically important.

The right ITAD partner will not only protect you and your organization’s data, but they will also help you protect the data of your customers and clients. The result? By making security a key focus as you’re retiring equipment. You also protect yourself from a costly breach. This is another reason you should only partner with a certified ITAD provider.

Additionally, here’s where the vendor should conduct an initial exam. They will test all ports and auxiliary components, return assets to their OS factory defaults and make any functional and cosmetic repairs. If equipment can be given new life, it will be.

Every step of the process reinforces tracking and traceability by recording each action in a sophisticated ERP system to provide accurate and transparent reporting back to you. After all, retirement doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. It’s critically important to have a thorough record of what happens.

Next life and the circular economy


As much as ITAD is about maintaining the highest standards of security, tracking, and compliance – it’s also focused on making sure you get the best returns possible on your used equipment. The best retirement plans are all about extending helpful life.

Therefore, if you have an IT asset with minimal wear and tear in good condition, your ITAD vendor should be able to resell your hardware for the best price through optimal channels. Under this arrangement, you’ll receive a financial return on your initial investment.

Redeploying IT assets

Another option to eliminate the cost of investing in new equipment and extending the life of your existing hardware is redeployment. Under this strategy, as equipment comes back from staff or locations, your partner will shelf, kit, and configure it for its next stage of life. In short, they hold onto your used equipment until you need it again.

Donating IT assets

If your asset has no market value, there could be another option you haven’t considered. Your ITAD vendor may be able to coordinate donating your equipment to organizations or individuals that can’t afford the technology they need.

Parts Harvest and Recycle

When assets are at their true end of life, ITAD experts can help you retire them with dignity. They’ll harvest components and recover the materials in compliance with all applicable recycling and destruction guidelines and industry best practices. 

This stage is an example of the circular economy in action. Under this model, recycling is secondary only to extending an asset’s life by reusing it and returning it to service. Best of all, equipment goes to a landfill at no point; it’s kept in action through reuse or raw material recycling.  When handled properly by an ITAD solutions expert, the retired equipment never really “dies” and the reporting you receive is evidence of that. 

Final reports

You should receive detailed audit and settlement reports at the end of this retirement process. Your ITAD solutions vendor should use an ERP system to create an accurate audit trail that ensures compliance with regulations and allows you to reconcile your books. You’ll want your report to include:

  • Hard drive serial numbers
  • Equipment serial number and asset tags (if used)
  • Details of the type, make, model, condition, and defects of equipment
  • Certificates of Data Erasure, Data Destruction, and Recycling
  • Final disposition choice for each piece of equipment (e.g., resold, redeployed, donated, or recycled)
  • Sales and revenue share for each asset sold, or purchase price if the ITAD vendor purchases it from you
  • Record of fees charged for processing

An important retirement consideration 

An IT asset disposition expert can help you identify a critical tipping point – when an asset has delivered value to your organization but retains enough value, you can resell it on the secondary market.

If you’re not carefully analyzing your entire IT lifecycle, you’ll miss the chance to identify when the cost to support and maintain an asset exceeds its value.

Here are some of the associated costs you’ll want to consider when evaluating the total cost of ownership (TCO):

  • Initial purchase and deployment
  • Ongoing maintenance and support costs
  • Asset retirement costs for retrieval, logistics, IT asset disposition  
  • Asset residual value resulting from the ITAD vendor’s resale

Not sure where the tipping point is? An IT solutions asset disposition expert can help.

Have assets that are ready for retirement?

Within the ITAD industry, considerable variations in the security, processes, reporting, and ROI you’ll receive exist. At Summit 360, we’re one of just a few ITAD solutions providers to receive the select R2v3 Certification. We handle various equipment across all IT classes, including servers, networking equipment, storage and hard drives, laptops and desktops, IP phones, and more. And we have a proven process for each stage of your equipment’s life, including retirement. 

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