Although individual organisations may define the IT asset lifecycle differently, most follow steps similar to the following:
In short, the cycle begins as a need is recognised and a request is made. Important factors are defined, such as what assets are needed, how to obtain them and how they’ll be used and funded. During the fulfilment stage, building, purchasing, leasing or licensing of the asset occurs. This is followed by the deployment phase, which oversees the installation of the asset into the IT ecosystem. Once deployed, the monitoring stage helps ensure that assets are functioning effectively, and the service stage occurs in which assets are maintained and upgraded to prolong asset life. Finally, once the assets are no longer needed, they are retired and disposed of. This includes transitioning users to alternative resources, updating records, cancelling agreements, terminating licences and planning for replacement assets.
When handling hardware, ‘inventory’ may be included as its own separate phase.