According to Gartner, less than 25% of companies worldwide have an IT asset management programme in place that can determine potential dangers.
Without thorough knowledge of their systems, companies risk gathering incorrect information on hardware and software upgrades, overspending on upgrades, or giving false information to application development groups, Gartner said.
Statistics gathered from Gartner clients indicated that 40% of the clients' hardware assets were not tracked using any tools and only 10% were reconciled against a database community.
Most clients employ complicated manual tracking procedures or do not understand their hardware asset base at all, Gartner claimed.
Poor hardware management can increase companies' total cost of ownership by 7% to 10% annually, the analyst warned.
Moreover, companies that do not have a grasp of their hardware resources often have poor software management, which can prove even more costly.
The findings were released today as part of Gartner's three-day IT Asset Management and TCO Summit in Orlando.