As technology wends (some would say worms) its way into more and more of our daily lives, we need to remember that owning a computer/printer/server is, as with any other machine, NOT a set-it-and-forget-it situation.
Think about your vehicle: Whether its a car, van, truck or motorcycle, you'd never let it go years without changing the oil, cleaning it, checking the tire pressure, renewing insurance and license stickers and all the other maintenance items that come with the ownership of this important machine.
Same with technology--and this is multiplied by the number of machines you have--the desktops, laptops, printers, servers, routers, wireless access points, PDA's, cell phones and, of course, software.
I only have four machines to worry about--a home desktop, my current laptop, an old laptop that I keep in reserve, and a cell phone. Still, I have to regularly update software, screen for viruses, renew security software licenses, etc. Much of this I automate, but I still have to pay attention to this task, and I couldn't do it for 20 computers: I have a regular job.
Oddly enough--so does your IT person, whether or not he/she is a full-time IT, or just the poor soul who got stuck with adding the IT work to their job description because they were dumb enough to let people know they knew the difference between RAM and ROM.
(If you like that RAM/ROM joke, and/or if you are in that situation or know someone who is, buy a copy of "The Accidental Techie", by Sue Bennet. The joke comes from there...and it's a terrific resource.)
At any rate, what to do to stay on top of all your technology's needs for update, maintenance, heck, simply to know what your organization actually owns? There's tech management software, and TechSoup has a great article on Managing Your Organization's Technology Assets that I highly recommend. Chris Peters discusses what you need and how to make the best decision.
Check it out and get organized!