Cascade Asset Management 2023 Benchmarking Report: Key IT Asset Disposition Trends & Observations

Get an inside look at industry leaders’ IT asset disposition activities to help identify key trends and areas of growth and development.

How does your company’s IT asset disposition (ITAD) program compare to others? Does it align with best practices? Cascade Asset Management’s 9th annual ITAD Benchmarking Report offers an inside look at the ITAD activities of industry leaders, shares key trends, and identifies areas of growth and development.

Cascade’s report is based on survey results from 54 enterprises and organizations, representing over 231,100 employees. Over 1.2 million assets processed by Cascade between 2019 and 2022 were also evaluated and analyzed.
The report highlights key trends that are impacting the ITAD industry, including the top criteria considered when disposing of assets and managing assets for a remote workforce. It also reveals upward forecasts for IT spending, downward trends for resale prices, and attitudes regarding industry certifications.

Top Criteria Considered when Disposing of IT Assets

Every year, Cascade asks respondents which factors influence their decision-making process for retiring IT assets. Results indicate that managing data security and privacy risks remains the top priority. Last year was the first time respondents could rank “ITAD provider customer service” in importance and it immediately shot to second place as “critically important.” It maintained the number two position in this year’s results ahead of managing environmental risks and minimizing costs. Survey respondents who submitted comments related to customer service noted they place importance on asset tracking during the disposition process and a need for automation to help save time, improve accuracy, and fulfill record-keeping requirements.

Managing Assets for a Remote Workforce

One of the key trends identified in the 2023 report is that organizations plan to continue supporting remote and hybrid workplaces. Survey respondents predict about 37% of their company will continue to work from home which is almost seven percentage points higher than last year’s numbers.

With fewer employees working at centralized locations, managing IT assets that need to be replaced, retired, or disposed of has become more complex. Secondly, hybrid workforces prefer laptops over desktops, which explains the dip in demand for desktops. Softening demand for laptops has equated to 26% lower resale values in 2022 versus laptops’ 15% drop. The survey also revealed that 23% of respondents don’t support desktops, further indicating that mobile workstations are more desirable.

Asset Tracking is Lacking, Despite Data Security Concerns

Despite data security concerns, the report reveals that asset tracking is lacking for some types of electronics. While many companies monitor assets through disposition when it comes to laptops (83%), servers (70%), and desktops (68%), they are not monitoring other electronics. This can put the company at risk if the assets contain customer data. The best liability protection is proof of disposition.

An Upward Forecast for IT Spending

Some industry analysts predict a downward trend in IT spending for 2023, but 36% of Cascade survey respondents forecasted a spending increase and 34% said they plan to spend the same as last year. Interestingly, the percentage of “spend more” respondents was the highest Cascade has ever recorded. A possible reason for the optimistic outlook is that some companies are expecting to replace items purchased when the pandemic emerged. Additionally, the recession is affecting industries differently with some laying off workers while others are anticipating increases.

Resale Values Are Down

The benchmarking report also highlights that resale values have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Cascade’s sales data for 2022 shows a 19% combined drop in average prices for refurbished desktops, laptops, servers, and mobile devices compared to 2021. Despite lower values, Cascade assures companies they can still unlock profit by selling used devices. The key is to partner with an ITAD provider that specializes in value recovery.

Lack of Certification Knowledge

Many ITAD providers promote certifications such as e-Stewards, R2, NAID AAA, and ISO standards. However, Cascade’s survey showed that only a few respondents felt these certifications were critically or very important. In fact, the most popular response was, “I don’t know what that certification is!” The results reflect the need for additional education on the importance of certifications. They offer validation that the ITAD provider is meeting security, sustainability, service, and quality standards.

In conclusion, Cascade’s 9th Annual ITAD Benchmarking Report provides valuable insights into the current state of the ITAD industry. It highlights key trends, identifies areas of growth and strategic development, and offers tips on how to recover value and minimize disposal costs. To request a free copy of the report, visit