Does your organization still discard its used equipment through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)? It’s a popular solution to the challenges associated with managing a company’s IT infrastructure. While it may seem to make logistics easier — and it does offer a bit of trade-in value so you can upgrade your equipment — failing to take advantage of the global market for used data center equipment is rarely the best option.
Many organizations pay to sanitize and dispose of IT assets that are no longer in use. Recycling these assets is merely the cost of doing business. But, today there is a global resale market for used data center equipment. By taking advantage of this global market, your organization can recover significant value from end-of-life IT equipment and reinvest those funds into upgrading your IT infrastructure.
A traditional OEM isn’t equipped to take advantage of the global market on behalf of its clients. They rely on their ITAD partner to manage that process, and so should you. Before you sign a contract, here are three things to avoid when setting up your ITAD partnership.
Three ITAD partnership don’ts for used data center equipment
1. Exaggerating the challenge of data security
There is no doubt that data security is a challenge. And new regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, make it particularly important for organizations to protect data throughout the lifecycle of IT equipment. But, it’s possible to manage data security and minimize the risk of a security breach.
There is always a risk of data breach, but it can be mitigated with a secure process. When looking for an ITAD service provider, choose one that complies with the NIST 800-88 Guidelines for Media Sanitation and meets the industry’s most rigorous certification standards, including those developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the International Organization for Standardization, and Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (R2).
To achieve these certifications, ITAD service providers must demonstrate regulatory compliance and maintain documented management systems and procedures designed to reduce the risk of a data breach and provide you with added security.
2. Disregarding social and environmental responsibility
In the past, destroying used data center equipment before throwing it out was common practice. But electronic waste often contains valuable raw materials such as gold, silver, palladium, iron, copper, and aluminum, all of which have a tremendous market value. Such waste also contains toxic heavy metals, which wreak havoc on the environment.
With improved lifecycle management and proper reuse or recycling, these raw materials can be recovered and waste can be reduced. While there are several regulations regarding environmental distribution of electronic waste, your organization should also take the opportunity to be a good corporate citizen.
Seek an R2-certified ITAD provider. Sustainable Electronics Recycling International’s R2 Standard embraces the concept of the circular economy, which prioritizes reuse over recycling. In situations where reuse is not feasible, R2 certification requires ITAD providers to vet downstream partners to ensure they recycle and dispose of all materials correctly. This certification indicates that your ITAD partner not only is committed to doing business in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible, but also is dedicated to asset recovery.
3. Ignoring the value of asset recovery
According to Gartner, ITAD providers return an average of 60 to 70 percent of revenues from sales of used data center equipment on the global market to the company disposing of such assets. Those recovered assets can then be used to upgrade your organization’s IT infrastructure. You will be well-served by building asset-value recovery into your overall IT lifecycle management systems and processes.
Look for an ITAD service provider that handles all phases of the ITAD process — from closely tracking inventory to effective refurbishment and resale — while helping you build asset-value recovery into your IT lifecycle management systems and processes. A good partner understands your goals and objectives and is willing to serve as a resource.
It’s also important to find an ITAD partner with well-established connections to the global market and the capacity to get large batches of price-sensitive components onto the global secondary market quickly. This not only lowers your storage costs, but it diminishes depreciation and helps secure the highest possible return.
With the right ITAD partner, your organization will quickly realize that smart IT asset distribution focusing on value recovery is a significant improvement over traditional OEM trade-in deals. It is possible to reach your data security, social responsibility, and asset recovery goals while creating a more sustainable data center.