Y2K brought the issue of IT assets to the executive table. To prevent the collapse of their operations when the clocks struck midnight on December 31, 1999, companies worked furiously to find out what computer hardware and software they were using, whether or not their systems were Y2K-compliant, and if they weren't, how to fix them.Five years later, companies are still struggling to get their arms around their infrastructures. Now, the Internet is ubiquitous and real-time system availability is expected. Multi-tired platforms with highly distributed IT assets are the norm-especially in larger companies. And, regulations-such as SOX, HIPAA, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley-are forcing executives to take personal responsibility for financial statements and customer privacy-information housed in their IT systems.

As a result, IT management in general-and IT asset management in particular-are becoming much more sophisticated.

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