What is Computer Asset Management?

Dave Slovak

Computer asset management is an inventory strategy that businesses use to manage their information technology (IT) property. Companies use computer asset management to track company-owned hardware and software. Many organizations use specialized asset tracking software to maintain their inventory and schedule software updates, hardware upgrades, and lease renewals.

Computer asset management can help a company prevent theft.
Computer asset management can help a company prevent theft.

Many large businesses track their IT assets in order to save time and money. In a typical scenario, the company’s operations or IT team is responsible for the purchasing, tracking, and maintenance of all IT equipment and software. Members of this team use a bar code label printer or similar device to create a tag or label for each piece of equipment and software. This allows the team to easily track the company’s assets. When a piece of equipment or software is retired and placed in storage, an employee scans the asset to bring up its details in the asset management software.

Computer asset management is an inventory strategy used to track information technology property.
Computer asset management is an inventory strategy used to track information technology property.

Each bar coded label is associated with a record that includes a number of different fields and values, which can be collected and analyzed using the asset management software. For example, a record for a desktop computer might include the serial number, manufacturer, model number, department, lease expiration date and configuration details. The operations team can track this data with the asset management software in order to schedule replacements, upgrades, or other maintenance.

A small business with several satellite offices could monitor all of its computer workstations from the home office, by using asset management software.
A small business with several satellite offices could monitor all of its computer workstations from the home office, by using asset management software.

Individuals are unlikely to benefit from computer asset management, but some small companies find it useful to track assets when the company operates from multiple locations. Some asset management software can collect data from devices that are connected to the company’s network. A small business with several satellite offices, for example, could monitor all of its computer workstations from the home office, saving the IT department travel time and money.

Companies in the information technology industry often employ an asset management strategy to reduce overhead and ensure business continuity. Most large-scale organizations, including government agencies, use asset management to carefully track property. Due to the fact that many government agencies operate out of multiple locations, computer asset management helps those in charge of IT operations track, maintain, and re-purpose inventory efficiently.

Computer asset management provides companies with some additional benefits. Some companies place an additional bar code or other electronic tagging device inside the computer. This can help the company prevent theft or track a device that is misplaced or accidentally moved to the wrong location. It can also help the company track property that is loaned to employees for business travel or home office use.

Many companies have staff in place specifically to manage hardware assets.
Many companies have staff in place specifically to manage hardware assets.

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