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Image: Key Stages of the IT Asset Management Lifecycle

Organizations employ multiple information technology (IT) assets at a time, from hardware and software to networks and data. IT asset management (ITAM) using the best IT asset management software (or IoT asset tracking software) helps deal with these components by recording and tracking each one, which helps reduce costs, mitigate risks and maximize technology investments.

To better implement ITAM, it’s a good idea to follow IT asset management practices–one of which is to take a lifecycle approach to implementation. This starts with understanding the key stages of the ITAM lifecycle: planning, acquisition, utilization, maintenance, and renewal or disposal.

What is IT asset management?

‘ITAM’ refers to processes that are designed to achieve the highest return on investment (ROI) on IT assets while attaining a company’s related objectives. It allows organizations to study and observe how assets perform in various stages, giving insight into how to better manage them through their entire lifecycle.

Through ITAM, businesses can minimize the overall lifetime cost of assets, minimize IT-related risks and improve operations.

The key stages of the ITAM lifecycle

An ITAM lifecycle is a progressive series of stages that concern IT asset management. While the lifecycle of each device might differ (e.g. the lifecycle of a mobile phone would be much different from that of a server), they’re still assessed through the same phases. An IT asset management lifecycle has five key stages.

Here’s a breakdown of each one:


Planning establishes and verifies the need for a certain asset based on an evaluation of the existing infrastructure, considering their quantities, specifications and ability to meet service delivery needs. Organizations must assess the sufficiency of the assets they already have, recognize excess or under-performing assets and estimate options for provisions and acquisitions.

For better planning, organizations must implement multiple management strategies, such as:

  • Demand analysis: analyzing what specific needs an asset will be expected to fulfill and if it’s necessary to acquire to achieve that
  • Cost-benefit analysis: assessing the benefits of acquisition against costs, which also include expenses that could be incurred later on like operation, maintenance and disposal
  • Risk management: identifying potential risks associated with the asset and developing strategies to prevent those risks
  • Budget planning: allocating a budget that covers the acquisition and operation of the asset
  • Performance metrics: measuring how an asset performs and its impact on the company’s goals to determine effectiveness

The first stage of an ITAM lifecycle is crucial as it relies on and affects all stakeholders.


After an asset has been determined to be a need, the lifecycle proceeds to the next stage: acquisition. This phase involves identifying goods and services, shortlisting suppliers, negotiating costs and delivery and finalizing purchases.

If the wrong asset is chosen or is set up improperly, the organization may suffer negative impacts that could carry over to the following stages.


The utilization stage makes up the bulk of an ITAM lifecycle; it’s simply when the asset is put to its intended use. It should now be improving operations and contributing to revenue generation, all the while reacting to upgrades, fixes, licenses and audits.


Maintenance often coincides with the utilization stage (and is often bulked with it, but it’s good to separate the two to better grasp their purpose). But this phase refers to all the work on the asset during its lifecycle, whether that’s a preventative, proactive, emergency or other form of maintenance.

If the IT asset performs as expected, most maintenance can be planned. These strategies differ but generally aim to reduce downtime, minimize repair costs, increase uptime and prolong an asset’s life expectancy.

Renewal or Disposal

At the end of an asset’s lifecycle, it can either be renewed (re-purposed or recycled) or disposed of (sold or thrown away). This last stage, while devoid of any value, is still important as it reveals data collected throughout the asset’s lifetime, which could allow organizations to make better decisions about future assets.

Deploy ITAM with Flexera

Flexera can help you fully take advantage of the key stages of an ITAM management lifecycle. Our software Flexera One is designed to maximize your technology investments so you can focus on more innovation, all while minimizing costs and improving operational efficiency.

Get in touch to learn more about how Flexera can help you deploy our ITAM software with a lifecycle-based approach!