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What is an IT Asset Inventory?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An IT asset inventory is a structured assessment of what physical and virtual IT items a company or entity has at its disposal. Business leaders and other parties use IT asset inventory processes to evaluate IT property, to track items, and for various other purposes. Keeping current IT inventory data can help in responding to incidents or problems within a given IT system, or assist with future purchasing for maintenance or expansion of operations. In general, this kind of audit is part of a “service oriented architecture” for software and hardware, where having a plan for IT tracking can really benefit a business or organization.

Companies that do IT asset inventories may identify certain IT systems for eventual audit and efficiency research. This includes any servers handling information within a service oriented “supply chain.” Servers can securely hold customer information for return business or outreach. They can also support an HR department with payroll systems and much more. Server structures are vital to many businesses and often get included in an IT asset inventory for this reason.

Some leadership teams provide guidance for an IT asset inventory that other staffers will undertake. This can include specific details and criteria for labeling and tracking IT assets. These items might include, for example, the make and model of all physical IT hardware pieces. The IT asset inventory might also track where these assets are in a building, or larger property or group of properties.

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Apart from establishing criteria for inventory of IT assets, a comprehensive IT asset inventory plan might mandate methods of dissemination. It may specify whether documents related to inventory are to be kept on paper, in digital form, or both. It may identify “must-read” parties for proper delivery of findings and results.

To aid in implementing an IT asset inventory, leadership might provide a thoroughly constructed IT inventory template. Template documents help to make sure that the ongoing periodic IT inventory instances are all pursued consistently. Details on a IT asset inventory template may include identification of the business and its subsidiaries, time stamps and other chronological data, and specific formats for labeling all of the devices that inventory managers will physically inspect and report on. There may also be provisions for an assessment of conditions, where deteriorated or malfunctioning hardware can be tagged for replacement.

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