ITSM for high-velocity teams

Efficient hardware asset management strategies

In today's technology-driven world, the use of productivity equipment, such as laptops, servers, and mobile devices, is rapidly expanding. As businesses grow and adapt to changing demands, the number and variety of IT assets also increase, making tracking these devices increasingly difficult.

An efficient approach to hardware asset management improves business agility, enhances security, and reduces costs. Tools like Jira Service Management simplify this process, making it easier to manage hardware assets effectively.

In this guide, we discuss hardware asset management, its benefits, and how it fits into IT service management (ITSM). We also offer a modern approach to creating an asset management strategy.

What is hardware asset management?

Hardware assets are the productivity devices necessary to conduct business, such as desktops, laptops, servers, telecom equipment, and other peripheral devices. Asset management is a systematic approach to tracking and optimizing the value of your assets throughout their life cycle.

A comprehensive hardware asset management strategy supports efficient use and cost-effectiveness by integrating physical assets with IT services and finance. Relevant, secure, and well-maintained assets improve the user experience. Effective asset management also helps IT teams predict hardware needs and decrease overall costs.

Stages of the hardware asset management life cycle

The hardware asset management life cycle offers a structured approach to procuring, monitoring, maintaining, and retiring physical assets. Understanding where assets are in their life cycle also improves planning and budgeting for the future. Here are the stages and activities of the IT hardware asset management life cycle:


Understand and document your organization's needs. Gather requirements from various teams about their physical technology. This may include capacity requirements to meet customer-service-level agreements, specifications for high-resolution graphics, and connectivity for remote collaboration. Analyzing IT service data to identify existing underperforming assets also helps plan replacement needs.


After identifying hardware requirements, research vendors, obtain quotes, negotiate contracts, and procure equipment. Consider compatibility with existing and planned assets as well as the vendor’s warranty and technical support. 

Including the finance team in this step ensures that the team's hardware needs align with the budget while fostering a collaborative environment. 

Asset management tools like Jira Service Management allow you to log incoming assets, track their performance after deployment, and forecast replacement.


Deployment involves physical setup, software installation, security configuration, and IT infrastructure integration. Test for compatibility and ensure the device is fully functional. Document any nonstandard configurations or workarounds to ensure the service team can support the device.


Monitoring hardware assets after deployment is essential for optimal performance and security. Monitoring tools and processes can provide dashboard reporting and analytics to identify hardware usage, security concerns, and overall health.

These tools help IT teams identify and correct issues before they cause downtime or security breaches. It also helps teams optimize performance to ensure the greatest value from the asset.


Complete ongoing maintenance for hardware assets to keep them running smoothly. Plan routine maintenance using monitoring reports, manufacturer’s recommendations, service history, and integration and security policies. Building service into the hardware asset management life cycle is one of the most important steps toward realizing maximum reliability and longevity from your investment.


It’s important to recognize when hardware has reached the end of its lifecycle. A planned process for retiring and disposing of hardware at the end of its useful life prevents unexpected productivity problems and data loss or theft. Align this step with company policies about environmental responsibility.

Develop a plan or checklist for retiring assets, including updating inventory records, removing sensitive data, and managing inventory and disposal.

Benefits of hardware asset management

An effective hardware asset management strategy improves overall business performance and agility in several important ways:

  • Improves visibility. Monitoring asset health and performance supports planned maintenance activities and replacement timelines. Problem management is easier when teams can identify and correct issues early, preventing unnecessary downtime and increasing productivity.
  • Enhances compliance. Regulatory and legal requirements, defined in the hardware asset management life cycle, ensure that all new and existing hardware meets and remains compliant with established standards.
  • Increases security. Defend against unauthorized activity and data loss through ongoing monitoring and maintenance, as well as clearly documented processes for decommissioning assets.
  • Optimizes costs. Monitoring current assets, scheduling maintenance, and planning for replacement reduces unexpected issues and downtime. Knowing when assets will be due for replacement allows more time to research vendors and negotiate new contracts.
  • Augments decision-making. Reporting and analytics allow IT to compare performance, compliance, and service trends for any type or individual asset. This supports predictive maintenance, identifies defects, pinpoints high-performing assets, and allows better user recommendations.

How to implement an asset management strategy

With a clear asset management strategy, businesses can plan rather than simply respond to new requests and existing hardware failures. They can make better decisions, which leads to cost savings and a longer life for their assets.

A sustainable, repeatable asset management strategy begins with your business goals and incorporates IT best practices.

Establish procedures

Document the steps involved in each stage of the hardware asset management life cycle.

Create standard processes for new hardware requests, storing and accessing asset details, assessing key performance indicators (KPIs) for different types of hardware, and steps for retiring and replacing assets. 

When team members understand the procedures and how performance is measured, they make better decisions about procurement, maintenance, and replacements. A well-documented process moves the team from reactive to proactive when it comes to asset management. This saves valuable time, especially when existing hardware fails, reducing downtime and saving costs.

Capture the requirements of each life cycle phase, such as regulatory compliance during fulfillment and deployment, and note the measurement process.

Select appropriate tools

Use an asset management system that allows you to track and manage hardware assets based on KPIs. The solution should support the entire hardware asset management life cycle and provide accessible data on performance. This data helps optimize future productivity, improve recommendations, and reduce overall costs.

Jira Service Management features support the hardware asset management life cycle from initial request to retirement and replacement.

Train staff

Train team members on the procedures, tools, and best practices to enhance their effectiveness. Understanding business goals, regulatory compliance requirements, and service-level agreements equips teams to make informed decisions about hardware acquisition, deployment, and monitoring.

Integrate with existing IT management processes

Hardware assets are central to IT efficiency and business productivity. Asset management must be integrated into the broader ITSM practices to maximize the cost and productivity benefits of asset management. These include service request management, knowledge management,  incident management, security policies and schedules, upgrades, testing, and KPI reporting. Hardware assets are a key part of supporting the company’s goals. An integrated asset management approach can improve overall business productivity.

Best practices for effective hardware asset management

These IT asset management best practices make managing the life cycle easier and more predictable: 

  • Conduct regular audits. Building an audit schedule into the process ensures that your asset database matches the IT environment. Are remote devices connected to the network? Do they comply with security and regulatory standards? Regular audits can identify out-of-compliance or unknown hardware.
  • Maintain accurate documentation. Define procedures to capture asset information when acquiring, updating, and replacing hardware. Hardware asset management tools help define required information and track changes.
  • Automate tasks. Explore and use the automation features in your hardware asset management system, such as real-time updates on location, age, maintenance, and performance.
  • Continuously improve. As you implement processes, collect data, and identify issues, plan continuous improvement projects to refine the overall hardware asset management life cycle. This may include integrating the database with service desk software or simplifying the new hardware request process.

Elevate your IT processes with Jira Service Management

Efficient hardware asset management goes beyond asset tracking. Documenting requirements, monitoring health and compliance, implementing ongoing maintenance, planning for replacement, and risk assessment are critical to success.

Jira Service Management streamlines all aspects of hardware asset management by providing a centralized platform for tracking assets and integrating with the service desk, such as automated tracking of required information, pre-defined schema templates, IP-enabled asset detection, API integration from external sources, and analytics to monitor asset health. Tracking, monitoring, and reporting are simplified.

Jira Service Management promotes team collaboration to support end-to-end life cycle processes, from documenting requirements to analyzing the health of individual assets.

Hardware asset management: Frequently asked questions

What are some common challenges in hardware asset management?

The early stages of hardware asset management can present some challenges, but successful implementation can reduce or eliminate these difficulties. They may include the following:

  • Inaccurate inventory data. A thorough audit of your hardware assets may reveal unexpected items. Understanding what you have is the first step in evaluating and managing equipment.
  • Usability. Configuration management databases can be difficult to set up and maintain. Asset management tools should reduce the burden of identifying, monitoring, and managing hardware, rather than adding to it.
  • Compliance risks. Defining severity levels for different types of compliance risks can help prioritize your workload. Your hardware asset management system should help track compliance and allow you to flag assets for immediate or eventual maintenance or replacement.
  • Security vulnerabilities. Similar to compliance risks, defining severity levels and tracking assets with security vulnerabilities can help prioritize maintenance or replacement urgency.
  • Budget constraints. All businesses grapple with budgeting the right amount for hardware assets. You may find that your initial audit reveals a bigger need than you thought. Hardware asset management tools should provide dashboard reports of high-severity or high-risk assets. This allows decision-makers to prioritize effectively.

What is an example of a hardware asset?

Hardware assets include physical devices such as servers, desktop and laptop computers, network routers, printers, mobile devices, and telecom equipment.

What is the difference between ITAM and HAM?

IT asset management (ITAM) includes the breadth of tools managed by IT, including hardware, software, and cloud computing environments.

Hardware asset management (HAM) focuses on the physical devices within the IT environment, such as servers, laptops, and mobile devices. HAM is a subset of ITAM.