And no, we’re not talking about spreadsheets – “killer” applications that drove the rise of personal computers in the 1980s. Well, there may be someone who still uses them… but the truth is that every company today needs to manage IT inventories.
Integria IMS: How to automate IT inventory management
We have already talked about inventory software from a physical approach. After all, talking about inventory is talking about an orderly, generally valued and detailed relationship of the elements that make up the assets of a person or company.
Before spreadsheets appeared, it was normal to write them down on paper, and their derivative calculations were a tedious and delicate task.
But what is an IT inventory?
An inventory software, as it is Integria IMS, is responsible for being in charge of the stock of physical products, their alerts, sales reports, incidents (who sells us that material?, have any of our customers claimed any warranties?), in addition to customer management (CRM), and the billing process.
All this begins and revolves around inventory, usually the physical one, that we discussed at the beginning. It grows if you add your office supplies, computers, printers, desks… And then we get to the intangible, for example software licenses of operating systems and applications.
All these are the assets of any modern company!
At this point with the classic concept of inventory, we manage to have a configuration management database (Configuration Management Database or CMDB) since we include both hardware and software, each considered a Configuration Item (or CI).
All this inventory and CMDB, of course, has to be fed by ourselves, always being careful that if “garbage comes in, garbage comes out“.
We are definitely the guarantee of the data we enter, to obtain truthful information later.
IT inventory is differentiated precisely by the way data is collected (99% accurate and reliable) through information technology.
In the case of Integria IMS, with the use of PFMS Software Agents, all the features that you consider important to control can be collected in an automated and relentless way (number of applications for databases, for spreadsheets, network cards, keyboards, etc.).
What qualifies Integria IMS to keep an IT inventory?
To do this we need to get more abstract and get fully into item types (IT inventory). Remember the CIs or configuration items? Well, looking for simplicity (Integria IMS is a flexible software), each item becomes a CI… And as you and I know, each item can be different from another in terms of features and details.
Integria IMS, before starting to work with items (according to our glossary) needs to use the so called item types. Item type examples are:
- Software applications.
- Hardware devices.
In addition, managing changes, incidents, and problems (and other processes) are sometimes also considered entities or configuration elements.
CI properties and attributes
The pillars of an IT inventory rest on items and to start working with them, to start their collection by means of information technology, care must be taken in the creation of the types of items.
Integria IMS brings by default 16 types of items as dissimilar as motherboards, monitors and patches and services.
With them defined, in turn, it brings more than 700 items created by default, so probably the information technology you need to inventory is already ready to be inventoried and worked on.
Now let’s be honest: your company is unique, both in the niche market and the way they carry out their professional work.
That’s why Integria IMS makes the creation of new types of items easier, which in turn combine to create the new special and unique items of your company.
CIs, then, have common fields, or properties. Some examples of them are:
- CI description.
- CI abbreviations or acronyms.
- CI label or name (often both long names and short names).
- Importance of CI.
- Unique identifier of CI or identification code.
- Ownership of CI (people and organizations related to it).
Then you will have some fields that distinguish the type of item such as:
- On any device, its inventory number and location.
- On a data server, its IP address and domain in MS Windows®.
- In an application or software, its license number or key.
Items and relationships
Information Technology and its IT inventory can become extraordinarily complex and Integria IMS is already prepared for all of that:
- An item may be the child of another item, in order to make report management easier for example.
- An item may have an owner or proprietor to fulfill one of the precepts of information security (who is able to see what).
- You can have partner companies, partner users, and even contracts.
- And if that’s not enough, always remember: you’ll be able to create your new item types to create novel and useful IT inventory items.
Unlike traditional inventory that only considers physical items, today, IT inventory management is equally relevant.
Inventory software such as Integria IMS enables automation of IT inventory management, information collection, and the creation of a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) that includes both hardware and software, each considered a Configuration Item (CI).
CIs have common fields, such as descriptions, abbreviations, unique identifiers, and properties of people and organizations related to the item, but they also have specific fields that distinguish the type of item.
With Integria IMS, it is possible to create new types of items and define new CIs, which makes the software flexible and adaptable to the unique needs of each company.
In short, IT inventory management is fundamental for any modern company looking to stay ahead of the market and increase its efficiency.
Is that your case?