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An IT asset is a piece of software or hardware within an information technology environment. Tracking of IT assets within an IT asset management system can be crucial to the operational or financial success of an enterprise. IT assets are integral components of the organization’s systems and network infrastructure.
An asset is defined in general dictionaries as something useful or valuable. The task of any IT manager is to ensure that existing IT assets currently meet those criteria. An undeniable fact about any component of the IT environment is that it has a limited life cycle. Hardware breaks down. Software becomes obsolete. And systems lose their effectiveness.
The management of IT assets requires well-developed processes and clear policies. IT asset management software may track physical devices, software instances and licenses, and even the cabinets that house them. Managers should be able to look up warranty and vendor information and understand how each asset contributes to the environment. Change control procedures are effective ways to manage upgrades and replacements.
As company property, IT assets are also important for financial managers. From procurement to operations to disposal, each asset comes with a cost. The decision to remove, replace or upgrade an IT asset must be done with a full understanding of any financial impact to the business.