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Laptops and other devices make up a significant percentage of an organization’s assets, and these devices are essential to employee productivity and the profitability of the business.  Companies need to ensure that these assets are properly managed.

Why Do I Need an IT Inventory Management Plan?

Putting together a plan and process for IT inventory management may seem like a waste of time.  A company’s IT administrator can just keep laptops in a cabinet and issue them when needed, right?

While this may work in some cases, when IT inventory management goes wrong, it goes very wrong.  Without an IT inventory management strategy, some of the risks that a company faces include:

  • Data Loss: Corporate devices can contain sensitive and proprietary data.  A lost or stolen laptop could cause an expensive data breach if not properly managed.

  • Disappearing Inventory: Without asset tracking in place, devices may be lost or stolen without anyone noticing.  This is what happened to a private university, where an employee deliberately over-ordered MacBooks and sold them off for $4 million.

  • Lost Productivity: Many laptops and phones are designed with “planned obsolescence” in mind.  A failure to closely monitor IT inventory can leave employees working with outdated and non-functional devices.

  • Departing Devices: When employees leave the company, they may take the company laptop with them.  Would you notice if an ex-employee “forgets” to return their devices?

What Should an Inventory Management Strategy Include?

Effective IT inventory tracking involves having a plan to deal with any events that affect IT devices.  Examples of common events that companies need to plan for include:

  • Onboarding and Configuration: When a new employee comes on-board, the company will likely issue them a laptop or other device to work from.  For many organizations, this process involves installing and configuring software to allow the employee to do their job and protect them against cyber threats.

  • Updates and Upgrades: Devices wear out, and software becomes outdated.  A crucial part of IT asset management is ensuring that all devices are up-to-date and that outdated devices are retired and replaced on schedule.

  • Offboarding: When an employee leaves the company, it’s important to recover any devices issued to them to protect the company’s investment and data security.  Having a process in place to collect these devices – which may include shipping them for remote workers – is necessary to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

  • Repairs and Replacements: When something breaks, companies need to decide whether to fix or replace it.  Often, determining whether a repair or replacement is more cost-effective requires an expert opinion.

Developing an Inventory Management Strategy

IT inventory management is a necessary evil for many organizations.  Employees need access to laptops and other devices to do their jobs, and companies need to keep track of the IT assets that they own, where they are, and who is responsible for them.

Managing IT inventory in-house is an option, but it can be a major distraction from a company’s core business.  A better alternative is to take advantage of Kinetix’s Inventory Management service, which takes care of an organization’s devices from the initial purchase through to final disposal. Contact Kinetix today to learn more about how we can help your organization manage your IT inventory!