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IT asset lifecycle

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Cut data center sprawl to improve IT capacity

The IT asset lifecycle is the sequence of stages that an organization’s information technology asset goes through during the time span of its ownership. 

An IT asset is any company-owned information, software or hardware that is used in the course of business. The main stages of an IT asset’s life-cycle are planning, procurement, deployment, usage, upgrade, decommission, disposition and salvage. IT asset management must incorporate effective procedures for each stage to promote the most effective use and maintenance of assets throughout the lifecycle and ensure their proper upgrading, replacement and disposal.

Some primary benefits to effective management of the IT asset life-cycle are:

  • Better knowledge of the requirements for a planned asset purchase.
  • Better informed purchasing decisions.
  • Timely replacement of consumables and resources.
  • A more complete picture of total cost of ownership (TCO).

The benefits of a well-managed IT asset lifecycle extend outside the business as well. Charitable donations and giving away equipment are less costly than paying environmental fees for proper disposal of ecologically-sensitive materials as e-waste. Donations benefit the larger community while contributing to business sustainability and hitting all three components of the triple bottom line.

This was last updated in September 2014

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