4Matt Technology

Hardware Asset Management – HAM

HAM is the Management of your physical assets. From when an asset is requested, then acquired, until it is withdrawn and disposed of.

HAM ensures that physical assets are fully tracked and managed throughout their entire lifecycle.

HAM como ter sucesso

Hardware assets include devices such as:

Computers, laptops, servers, network switches, monitors, printers, cell phones, IP phones, hard drives, routers, firewalls.

Hardware asset management also involves managing

  • Warranties;
  • Contracts;
  • Supplier contracts.

Without HAM, organizations would not know

  • What assets are available in stock: if you don't have a record of your assets, you won't know what you have or don't have available;
  • Where are the assets located;
  • What systems the assets support;
  • Who is using the assets;
  • How much value is derived from assets.

Asset Life Cycle

  • Planning

At this stage, Management will decide whether to purchase, lease or even reuse existing assets to meet organizational needs.

  • Acquisition

Asset acquisition is the stage where the purchasing department goes through the formal process of acquiring new assets, which is usually done through a purchase order.

  • Implantation

This stage of the asset lifecycle is where newly acquired assets or existing assets are deployed into operation.

  • Management

In this step, assets are deployed for use across the organization while the assets are operational. The asset management team maintains the accuracy of the data in the asset repository related to all assets.

This ensures that the location and ownership of each asset is accounted for at all times.

  • Retirement and disposition

This step covers the retirement and disposal of an asset. This is when an asset reaches the end of its useful life and no longer provides any value to the organization.

Active x configuration item

Asset configuration item
Tracked for financial reasons Tracked to support business service
Tracked from acquisition to disposal Only tracked while in use
Has parent/child relationships Has upstream and downstream dependencies
A financial value is assigned No financial value is assigned or tracked
Tracked by an IT Asset Manager Tracked by a Configuration Engineer/Manager

hardware model

The hardware model is a record used to store product-specific information for an asset.

The reason why some information is stored at the model level instead of at the asset level is because the information is common across all assets for that given model.

This means that every time you create a resource on a specific model, you don't have to re-enter the manufacturer, model number, its description, etc. because it will always have the same value.

Storing certain asset attributes at the model level is also beneficial because it makes it easy to update the description or any other product-specific attributes through a single record.

The relationship between a hardware model and a hardware asset is a one-to-many relationship, which means you can have multiple hardware assets for any given hardware model.

Hardware Asset

Hardware asset is a physical asset such as computers, laptops, servers, network switches, monitors, printers, cell phones, IP phones, hard drives, routers, firewalls, etc.

Templates and Consumable Assets

A consumable asset is similar to an asset, but is tracked at the quantity level while it is in stock.

Consumable assets can consist of assets such as headphones, cables, keyboards, mouse, webcam, etc.

Consumables are not tracked once they are deployed.

model categories

A model category is basically a value that categorizes models and assets in service.

Categories are great for organizing your assets as they allow you to manage your assets efficiently.

Template categories help you to search and filter assets, group assets.

manufacturers and suppliers

A manufacturer is a company that creates products to sell.

A supplier is a company or individual with whom you do business to purchase goods and/or services.

Manufacturers can also be suppliers.


A location is a record in the ServiceNow that represents a physical location that your organization owns, leases, or does business.

Managing your organization's locations is a great way to further organize the hardware assets your company owns.

Imagine not knowing the location of any of the assets your organization owns and manages, it would be difficult to understand which location, building or room a certain asset is in.


Warehouses are designed areas where assets are held for storage purposes.

Purchase Order

A Purchase Order (PO) is a document issued to a supplier by a buyer that lists all assets that the buyer wants to purchase.

A PO usually lists the following information for each individual item; price, item quantity, serial number, model, product SKU, and detailed description.

Purchase orders in ServiceNow can be created manually in the Purchase Orders module or they can be created directly from an item request in the Fulfillment task.

transfer order

Transfer Order is when one or more goods are transferred from one company warehouse to another for inventory distribution purposes.

Let's say an end user orders a laptop in San Diego, but there are no laptops available locally. BUT in London stock there are 25 laptops available from stock.
Instead of purchasing a new laptop, a transfer order can be placed where the laptop can be transferred and shipped from the London stock to the San Diego stock.

This kind of proactiveness allows you to save money by moving available assets to local warehouses when requests arise.

Inventory Rules

An inventory rule is a system-defined criterion that automatically creates a purchase order or transfer order, from one warehouse to another, when the quantity of assets in inventory for a given hardware or consumption model falls below the defined threshold.

Let's say the London stock always has at least 10 Dell laptops available at any one time. Once defined, an inventory rule can automatically trigger a purchase order or transfer order when the inventory level drops below 10.


A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties. Typically, in IT asset management, contracts are created between organizations and vendors for warranties, support contracts, and leases.

Supplier Catalog Item

Supplier Catalog Items are records that the Purchasing department manages in order to track the availability and price of products that its suppliers have for sale.

At the ServiceNow, vendor catalog items can be related to hardware models and consumables, so you can easily view all vendor catalog items for a single hardware model.

Translated by 4Matt Technology, from the original Prasad Dhumal: Hardware Asset Management.

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