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Kharmela Mindanao

By: Kharmela Mindanao on June 6th, 2024

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5 Best Practices for Managing IT Inventory

Managed IT Services | Tech Tips

Organizing your entire IT inventory gets overwhelming without a solid system in place. But even with a system, managing IT inventory is tricky. You'll need to implement, maintain, and review it, which means you’re setting yourself up for a lot of work. And even more work if you set it up wrong.

So, here’s a list of how to get it right.

As a managed IT service provider (MSP), Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) handles the IT infrastructure of hundreds of companies across the US.  We’re experts in keeping things organized. And in this article, we invited Stephen Jenkins, ITS’ Centralized Services Senior Engineer, to share the top 10 practices for IT inventory management.

1. Keep a centralized system for asset inventory. 

centralized system for asset inventoryMaintain a centralized database or inventory system to track all IT assets. Include details, such As: 

  • Make 
  • Model 
  • Serial numbers 
  • Location 
  • Assigned user 
  • Purchase date

With a centralized system, you can easily resolve potential IT issues, access all the assets that exist in the organizational IT landscape, and analyze: 

  • Which systems and equipment exist 
  • Where the components are located 
  • How to use them 
  • How much they cost 
  • When they were added to the inventory 
  • If they have an expiration date or not 
  • How they affect IT and business services 

“But an inventory and asset management program is imperative for companies in general,” Jenkins said. “There's a lot of equipment that's not managed by IT - it still must get tracked, like cars, credit cards, keys; it's not necessarily technology.

“If multiple departments all work together on a system, it'll work a whole lot better and be a lot stronger.”

Company buy-in will help achieve your goal of tracking your entire network and make it easier to list which software and hardware you use. This will help you plan for future asset needs, maximize the existing asset utilization, and eliminate unnecessary expenses. 

 2. Assign point people for IT inventory management. 

point person for IT inventory managementAssigning point people for IT inventory management is crucial for building accountability and accuracy in an IT inventory management system.  It ensures that the inventory is up-to-date and accurate. It also helps ensure that the inventory is managed efficiently and effectively.

Generally, they should: 

  • Ensure all assets are accounted for and labeled correctly 
  • Update the inventory when new assets are added or old assets are removed 
  • Ensure all assets are being used efficiently and effectively 
  • Check the security of IT assets  
  • Verify the maintenance of IT assets

3. Commit to regular audits and assessments. 

regular audits and assessmentsNext, conduct routine audits to verify the accuracy of the inventory and assess the condition of assets. IT inventory management is a process, not a one-and-done goal.

“I like to do quarterly audits,” Jenkins shared, “[but] audit your IT assets at least yearly or semi-annually.”

Viewing it as a consistent cycle helps ensure the accuracy of the inventory records. Without a strict system, obsolete equipment, potential security risks, or licensing issues will easily slip through.   

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4. Choose the right IT inventory tracking tool. 

IT inventory tracking toolWhether you choose a simple Excel spreadsheet or a high-end automated IT tracking tool, you need to find what works best for your system.

“Choose a program that can track what you need to track and is easy to integrate into your system,” Jenkins pointed out. “Connectwise PSA, for example, will keep all your configurations and can be linked into other systems that report to it.”

Some tools can even automate asset discovery and generate reports. Employees are the #1 security risk, and they’re also the reason behind multiple errors in the IT inventory. And while employee training helps, you can eliminate most mistakes by implementing automated inventory management software.   

5. Implement security and access controls.

security and access control for inventoryImplement strict access controls to limit who can modify or access the asset inventory. It's crucial for maintaining data confidentiality, preventing breaches, and complying with regulatory standards

It helps protect sensitive information from unauthorized alternations and possible data breaches. With strict access controls, you can also safely use it without worrying about tampering – whether through an inside job or an outside threat. 

Ready to Manage Your IT Inventory? 

Effectively managing IT inventory, unfortunately, doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. But by implementing the previous best practices, you're on your way to a consistent, effective, and manageable IT management system.

As an MSP with over 20 years of experience managing the IT assets of our clients, ITS believes you deserve to have all the tools for handling your own company’s IT inventory. We know it’s not about tracking everything in a spreadsheet – ultimately, it's about using every resource wisely and ensuring cost-effectiveness.

Here are more resources to help you achieve just that:

But if you’re ready to jump-start your IT inventory management, get a free network assessment from our IT specialists so you can clearly see what’s happening in your IT infrastructure.

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