IT Inventory

A building block of IT Asset Management, and therefore
a fully cost-rationalized IT department

As mentioned in IT Asset Management, a comprehensive IT inventory is a critical foundation for associating IT resources and costs to the business functions. Many think of inventory in terms of physical devices – hardware—but it is much broader than that. Any IT resources that attracts significant cost should be included in the inventory, since it is critical to understanding current cost structures as well as how future decisions will affect IT cost.

The list of IT inventory should include these items—there may be others as well:

  • Internal Labor
    • Help Desk
    • Infrastructure Support
    • Application Support
    • Application Development
    • Integration Development
    • Associated Depreciation of apps/integrations
  • Infrastructure
    • Servers / Computers
    • Storage
    • Data Centers
    • Wide Area Networks / MPLS
    • Associated Depreciation of hardware
  • Software Licenses
  • External Services
    • Development Labor
    • Support Labor
    • Hosted Infrastructure
    • Cloud Computing

These assets should be associated with one or more geographic regions, business units, departments, and personnel— this will enable the IT department to understand the system impact of future IT environment changes. The next objective is to find the financial cost records associated with these inventory items. When IT resources are shared, then some agreed upon methodology for allocating their costs must be determined and used rigorously. This will enable IT to more accurately estimate the cost impact of future IT roadmaps.

Finally, there are many other potential benefits to having a comprehensive inventory of IT resources. Support activities that are encompassed by ITIL best practices are also built on it, and include many inventory attributes that are complementary to a good IT asset management program.

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