This is part one of a three-part series on Enterprise Resource Planning Systems and their importance to CircleIT’s ability to protect client data.
The relationship between Information Technology Asset Disposition (ITAD) providers and the Information Technology Asset Managers (ITAMs) they serve is grounded in data security and integrity. When ITADs collect dozens to hundreds of electronics from clients, the expectation is that the devices are accurately tracked from pickup through disposal or repurposing (this is the case of CircleIT). Without transparent tracking and a reliable audit trail, client information can become at risk. To avoid this, ITADs invest in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERPs are the core system that underpins ITAD business operations. It is the spine, brain, and heartbeat of ITAD functionality.
An ERP is a cloud or on-premises software system that integrates the entirety of company processes and enables the flow of data between them. It essentially acts as a ledger for data from multiple sources, allowing internal and external stakeholders to view live data entry with a single source of truth. In addition to providing a single data source, ERPs provide vital system governance, ensuring data integrity, transparency, and the elimination of data duplication.
An ITAM’s proof of services rendered lives on the ERP. The ERP provides credibility to audit reports conveyed from an ITAD to an ITAM. But without faith in the reported data, ITAMs can find themselves in the unenviable situation of not knowing the status of their departed electronics. And in the case of CircleIT, clients receive information beyond device statuses but sustainability metrics as well, which, if misreported, could negatively impact client environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs.
With this understanding, CircleIT has invested in Oracle's NetSuite, considered the strongest ERP in the marketplace for an ITAD. NetSuite has strong process integrity that ensures the recording of device serial numbers, client data erasure, and asset status updating. It helps CircleIT operators avoid mistakes and adds processes that flag oddities or improprieties in the data. NetSuite also provides a geographic diversity of data centers and system governance that instills confidence in the data. When an ITAM receives an audit report from CircleIT via NetSuite, they can confidently navigate the journey of every device.
Few ITADs have invested in top-tier ERPs, with the vast majority opting for cheaper services built around conventional ITAD or recycling offerings. But as client needs grow to include ESG, ERPs, like NetSuite, will be vital to collecting, integrating, and scrutinizing the necessary breadth of data.
In our next installment, we’ll discuss the danger of what could potentially happen when the right ERP system is not implemented.