In IT Asset Management, an allocation is a firm assignment of a right to use a software product from a particular license (a license entitlement) to an individual computer (for device-related licenses) or a user (for user-based licenses).

An allocation is never automatically removed by the system; it can only be removed manually, by an operator. The process of removing an allocation is called "deallocation".

In compliance calculations, allocations have first priority. In most cases, the allocation is matched by an inventory record of installation (or less commonly, usage), so that consumption against the correct license is counted automatically. For special cases, such as where a computer cannot be inventoried (or at least, not yet), you can set the allocation in special ways, such as:
  • The allocation should always count as consumption, regardless of whether inventory ever matches it
  • The allocation should be counted as consumption only until such time as matching inventory arrives, after which it should switch over to an allocation for which actual consumption depends on the inventory results (that is, if the software is in use, this computer/user has top priority for the license; but if the software is not used here, the license entitlement may be given to someone else until the situation changes).
Important: There is one situation where an allocated device (or user) may consume from a different license other than the one allocated to it. This happens only if the allocated license is fully consumed, so that there are no entitlements left that could be allocated to this device/user. Because allocations are calculated first in the license consumption calculations, this must mean that you have allocated more entitlements than are available on the license. Check whether all relevant purchases have been recorded for this license, and if need be, make further purchases to cover your allocation needs.

Allocations (which are definite, and top priority) should not be confused with group assignments (which are preferences, and second priority).

IT Asset Management (Cloud)