IT Asset Lifecycle Management: the Cure for Your IT Budget

This article will explain what IT asset lifecycle is, how it can help you save your hardware and software spending, and share the industry best practices of IT asset lifecycle management.

a shopaholic IT manager sits at the computer and thanks about buying more devices, while he already has lots of unused devices in the room. an illustration to the main idea of the article

Modern organizations are more complex than ever. They typically operate across multiple locations and regions, have a large portion of their employees working remotely or in a hybrid setting, utilize a wide range of equipment and applications across many generations of technology, and operate multiple clouds. Employees utilize several devices to perform their work. It is not uncommon for an employee to use a PC, a laptop, a tablet, and a phone for work-related duties.

This explosion of data, geographies, and devices across a far more loosely defined network perimeter has led to a series of challenges:

  • Despite heavy investment in equipment and applications, organizations often experience a low return on investment (ROI) on IT assets.
  • The total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT assets escalates far beyond initial projections.
  • Devices get lost or become difficult to track.
  • Software licensing costs spiral out of control.
  • Finance struggles to control spending on cloud resources and applications.

These problems are best addressed by a comprehensive approach to the IT asset management (ITAM) lifecycle. When correctly implemented, IT asset lifecycle management can help the organization discover a complete inventory of all IT assets to provide a single source of accurate data on all software, hardware, and devices.

“IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions”—Gartner.

What is IT asset lifecycle management?

IT asset lifecycle management is all about achieving complete visibility and control of assets. Gartner defines it as:

“IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”

This entails the accurate discovery, inventorying, and identification of IT assets, the optimization of the lifecycle of each asset, and the use of automated workflows to simplify processes. It helps organizations to track and manage assets more efficiently, record the history of each hardware and software asset, and maintain control of the cost of those assets.

The overall goal of IT asset lifecycle management is to increase organizational productivity by providing accurate information about assets, such as knowledge of their location, age, and condition, and when they are due for replacement. Thus, better purchasing decisions can be made, and IT budgets can remain under control. This is accomplished by managing and tracking the entire lifecycle of every asset from cradle to grave.

Optimization of acquisition, deployment, usage, maintenance, retirement, and disposal enables the organization to maximize the value of each asset while minimizing costs, mitigating risks, and staying in compliance with applicable regulations. It is vital, then, to take a holistic approach to the ITAM lifecycle, tracking every asset throughout its entire lifespan.

An objective understanding and control of the IT assets will help you make informed purchasing decisions, replace equipment at the right time, and manage contracts and warranties with accurate and complete information. Maximize hardware and software use with Alloy Software. Schedule a demo with our sales team to learn more!

The stages of the IT asset management lifecycle

Assets go through stages as they are acquired, used and finally discarded. A formal process is needed to stay on top of them as they pass through each stage. Here are some of the key stages of every asset:


Acquisition is either done via

  • centralized planning of the procurement of hardware and software by IT,
  • on a line-of-business approach where each unit of the organization requests the assets they need via the purchase order systems, or
  • on a more haphazard basis, as has happened in recent years with people throughout the organization ordering their own cloud and other assets independently.

Clearly, the acquisition stage should involve detailed planning and full data on existing assets. All stakeholders should be gathered to discuss their objectives and decide which assets are needed and why. Complete planning should always involve a thorough inventory of existing assets. It is not uncommon for those intending to order more laptops or more software to discover, once an inventory is available, that they already have a store of unutilized devices and purchased but unused software.

In addition, the acquisition phase requires tight control of costs, with all purchases appropriately approved in advance. Done correctly, asset acquisition should align with budget necessities and eliminate overspending.


Inefficient deployment processes can fail to deliver assets to those in need or slow the process of bringing them into service. Devices must be loaded with software in alignment with the needs of the organization and the employee. They must be properly secured against external threats or attempts at data exfiltration.

Provisioning of devices should incorporate workflow automation to simplify the task of providing applications, cloud resources, and other assets efficiently.


Many organizations do a poor job of monitoring their IT assets. It is quite common for organizations to buy more software licenses than they need, and to lose track of who has what device and where.

According to the report of Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), 2% of employees use only one device for work. 27% use two to three, 50% use four or five, and 20% have more than five corporate and personal devices that are involved in work processes. Further complicating the picture is the fact that 65% use Windows PCs, 53% use Google Chrome, 52% Android and Apple phones, 47% iOS tablets, 45% Android tablets, and 45% use Mac PCs and laptops. The sheer quantity of devices and the diversity of platforms running on them pose a serious problem to IT asset monitoring. If the organization doesn’t know what is running where and who operates what devices, inefficiency and overspending are inevitable. Visibility and accurate tracking of all assets are key.


As assets age, they require attention from IT to keep them operating correctly and to optimize their performance to enhance use productivity. Various types of servicing, troubleshooting, and maintenance, therefore, are needed at different states throughout any asset’s life. Upgrades are common, software downloads may be required, and security and other patches typically need to be applied. Emergency repairs can be called for on occasion. Done well, this function maximizes the value of all assets. Done poorly, and asset chaos reigns. One educational establishment, for example, had an entire room filled with broken, outdated, or compromised Chromebooks due to the lack of either staff appointed to maintain them or the signing of a service contract to have an outside firm take care of the function.

End of life

When devices reach the end of their intended lifespan, they need to be retired, disposed of responsibly, and replaced with a new asset. This should be done in alignment with management strategy and budgeting necessities. A device scheduled for replacement after three years may need to stay in service for another year or two during a financial downturn, for example. If that is the case, maintenance efforts must be stepped up to ensure this does not unduly hurt employee productivity or morale.

IT asset lifecycle management benefits

IT asset lifecycle management brings a great many benefits when effectively deployed. These include:

  • Planning and forecasting of IT spending can be done with confidence as it is based on an accurate inventory, up-to-the-minute tracking of assets and in accordance with pre-set budget limits.
  • Intelligent procurement processes can now identify opportunities for hardware and software license consolidation, cost optimization, opportunities for warranty terminations, and offers prediction about the timeline for the replacement of all assets.
  • Provisioning accuracy means employees have what they need, are not sent items they don’t require, and that the organization only pays for or budgets for needed assets in accordance with planning and budgets.
  • Utilization of assets can be refined and strengthened by identifying dormant assets, orphaned virtual machines, and inactive software licenses.
  • Productivity is improved as employees are no longer burdened with aging devices, sluggish performance, and outdated software.

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Best practices for IT asset lifecycle management success

Those who succeed with the management of the ITAM lifecycle adhere to industry best practices such as:

  1. Set firm policy: Policies and procedures must be developed that encompass the entire IT asset management lifecycle throughout all of its stages. Once set, that policy must be enforced within IT and across the employee base.
  2. Keep inventories up to date: Hardware and software assets change rapidly across the organization. Ensure that accurate inventories are done regularly. Some asset applications provide these in real-time or can complete a new inventory on the fly within a few minutes whenever needed.
  3. Employee training: IT should be well-versed in the use of IT asset lifecycle management tools and processes. Similarly, finance, management and procurement personnel should be familiar with asset tools and inventories. And all employees should be trained in the process and understand their roles and responsibilities.
  4. Utilize the right IT Asset Lifecycle Management package: Alloy Software optimizes IT costs and manages and tracks assets throughout their lifecycle from requisition to disposal. Those using it report significant gains in efficiency and productivity, as well as lower asset TCO and improved ROI on new and existing assets.

An objective understanding and control of the IT assets will help you make informed purchasing decisions, replace equipment at the right time, and manage contracts and warranties with accurate and complete information.

Key takeaways

  • IT Asset Lifecycle Management (ITAM) is essential for modern organizations dealing with complex IT ecosystems, providing complete visibility and control over assets.
  • The IT asset management lifecycle includes stages like Acquisition, Deployment, Tracking, Maintenance, and End of Life, each requiring careful planning and management.
  • Benefits of ITAM include confident IT spending planning, intelligent procurement, accurate provisioning, improved asset utilization, and enhanced employee productivity.

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