Computer Assets Overview

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Scripting Guide

In most organizations, computers represent a sizable portion of the physical assets that must be managed. Because of this, many organizations have adopted asset management techniques as a way to maintain and manage computers.

Asset management is the process of maintaining, upgrading, and operating physical assets in a cost-effective manner. Effective asset management requires a detailed, accurate report of the physical assets under your control, including:

  • The number and type of resources available.

  • The location of these resources.

  • The current status of these resources.

This data provides a clear picture of the resources available, how they have been distributed, and how they are being used. The data can then be used to create a more equitable (and less expensive) distribution of existing resources and to plan for future needs.

Unfortunately, maintaining up-to-date information about the computers in an organization can be difficult. Unlike other assets, computers often change configuration: A new hard disk might be installed, additional memory added, software upgraded or removed. In addition, computers are often moved to new locations. The number and type of changes that computers can undergo require you to inventory these items on a regular basis; inventorying computer hardware once or twice a year will probably not supply an accurate picture of the computing resources available in your organization.

On the other hand, performing a computer inventory can be very time-consuming. Although some information can be collected by a visual inspection, many components and peripherals are hidden inside the computer case. In many organizations, support technicians must physically log on to each computer to conduct an inventory. After they are logged on, they typically require a variety of third-party software tools to determine the configuration.

Scripting provides a way to inventory the required information and to ensure that the inventory is updated on a regular basis. Scripts can automatically retrieve detailed information about the computers in the enterprise, including such things as:

  • The configuration of each computer.

  • Unique identifiers, such as asset tags and serial numbers.

  • The physical hardware installed on each computer.

  • Software installed on each computer.

By using a script to conduct the inventory, you can efficiently maintain up-to-date information that enables you to manage computers as assets. Furthermore, you can do this without requiring support technicians to physically log on to each computer and without purchasing and deploying multiple tools. Instead, a single script can be used to obtain a complete inventory of every computer in the organization.