Intro—What Is IT Asset Tracking?
In today’s technological world, IT inventory software is absolutely essential to running your business efficiently and effectively.
IT asset tracking software makes possible the ongoing, systematic, and complete IT asset inventory of all IT devices and software being used within a business or organization.
IT asset management software collects, organizes, and reports this essential information so that more informed decisions can be made about how to manage and improve IT resources to better serve the needs of the enterprise.
IT asset management is necessary for any efficiently run business that hopes to expand and increase its return on investments.
Complete IT asset inventory of hardware
Since the start of the twenty-first century, we have seen an explosion of new devices within the business environment. In 2000, a typical office would have had desktop computers with massive hard drive towers and bulky CRT monitors that weren’t going anywhere. It was easy to keep track of them, and IT asset tracking was usually accomplished with simple spreadsheet lists.
Today, those anchored desktop computers are gone, replaced by the ubiquitous laptop computer, or the even smaller and more portable tablet, both of which move easily around the office, as well as outside the building to wherever your company’s business is being conducted.
They often go home with the employees as well, so it is much more important to be able to keep track of these important business assets with IT asset management software.
Also back at the turn of the century, while some senior managers may have been assigned company cell phones, they were just that: phones, which you could use to place a call. Their use as an integrated part of a wired office was still in the future.
Today, many more employees are issued company smartphones, which, while they are still used for calls and texts, do much more: they are, in effect, mini-computers. They are used for many business applications, both in the office, on the road, or at home. Phones are used for accessing company email so that business can continue far from the office and well outside of office hours.
They often are loaded with essential software and are used to access company data from the cloud. IT asset tracking will allow the more direct supervision of these company assets, and choosing the best IT asset management software for your company is essential.
The best IT asset management software will keep track of the phones and other handheld IT devices as well as computers, both laptop and desktop. IT inventory software can also alert IT when service contracts expire, so that important coverage does not lapse, and the cost of maintaining and repairing devices is kept under control.
Comprehensive IT Asset Tracking Software
Every business depends on its software programs to maximize the functionality of the computer or other data device to best serve the goal of increasing productivity and profits. The best IT asset management software will keep track of all the software purchased by your business so that it can be used to its best advantage.
This includes maintaining a complete catalog of existing software and their license tags. Are your employees losing track of license tag numbers for expensive software programs, so that they need to be purchased again? Or are the same programs being purchased multiple times by different departments, rather than once for the whole organization? The effective use of IT asset tracking software eliminates that problem, as it is easy to locate and access the desired software from anywhere in the organization.
It is also important to monitor compliance with software licenses. If your business was the target of a software licensing audit and found to have software that had not been legally purchased, or was being used in excess of its usage limits, the financial penalties could be severe.
From 2012 to 2014, 56 percent of audited companies paid fines of more than $100,000, and 21 percent paid more than one million dollars, according to an IDC report. This could have been avoided with the implementation of IT asset tracking software.
The best IT asset management software will also indicate when it is time to upgrade or replace existing software with a newer version, which will better serve your business needs. Overall, paying closer attention to the IT asset tracking software being used on your organization’s devices will pay off in the long run.
Why Does Your Business Need IT Asset Management Software?
With IT asset tracking software, you will know what devices and software are being used effectively, and which ones are under-utilized. You can then make decisions on how to better deploy those resources.
This can include retiring and replacing existing hardware or software, so your employees have the best tools to maximize productivity and profits.
You might also decide to move devices from one department to another, or purchase a larger or smaller software license, depending on the amount of use a specific software program gets. This degree of IT asset management is easy to achieve with the right IT inventory software.
Making your IT system more efficient is another great advantage of IT inventory software. You can eliminate the duplication of systems across the organization and facilitate the integration of different departments and locations using IT asset management. This saves both money and time.
The best IT asset management software will lead to easy access to data within your organization. Especially with the use of cloud-based storage, accessible from anywhere with the portable devices that now proliferate in the workplace, IT inventory software files can be more easily opened and shared, so the data can be more easily utilized to make planning decisions. However, it is also possible to keep the IT asset inventory on-site.
When you are using IT asset management effectively, you have a better understanding of how to deploy resources and allocate spending to improve your business, and you can meet the goals of increasing productivity and profits. When you can target where investment will most help your business grow and improve, you know that using IT asset management software is an invaluable tool in today’s business environment.
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IT Asset Management Software Comparison
Choosing the best IT asset management software is a challenge because there are so many available. However, there are some that are clearly more versatile and able to meet the challenges faced by most businesses. Once you have determined what your main requirements are, it is time to start looking for the system that will best meet your needs by making an IT Asset Management Software Comparison.
ManageEngine AssetExplorer is a very thorough IT asset management software which inventories hardware and software assets, monitors software license compliance, and tracks the life cycle of hardware assets, so new assets replace outdated ones only when necessary. While a free edition is available, it is restricted to 25 nodes, whereas the professional edition can accommodate up to 250. Toshiba and the Weather Channel both use this software.
Cherwell Asset Management IT asset tracking software helps businesses reduce costs associated with purchasing and maintaining hardware and software assets. It integrates the data regarding not only what assets have been purchased, but also their usage, so informed decisions can be made. It is used by Western Union and Swatch for IT asset management.
Continuum is an IT asset management software that encompasses all devices used by employees, including phones and tablets using iOS, Android, or Windows systems.
Invigate’s Assets suite, used by Burger King and Starbucks, among others, can be accessed by any device on the network. It makes an IT asset inventory of all the hardware and software used within the organization, and can be used with Windows, Mac, or Linux, among other platforms. All monitoring and changes, including workstation allocation, can be made remotely, increasing the overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the system.
Dude Solutions is open to working with a variety of clients, including clubs, community organizations, schools, hospitals, and government institutions, in addition to businesses. Cloud-based, it allows the administrators to do all IT asset tracking at once, helping to manage the help desk workflow and allowing access from anywhere.
Scalable is integrated with the cloud and uses it to monitor the location and performance of devices, including mobile devices, as well as tracking the use and managing the license compliance of software. Through IT asset management, the company aims to help businesses cut costs by optimizing the use of the assets available to the client. Scalable has worked with such organizations as the Lethbridge School District and Micro Focus, PLC.
Image Source: Scalable
AssetCloud by Wasp provides sophisticated IT asset tracking, in addition to many other associated services. Used by IBM and the U.S. Air Force, among others, it uses an efficient check-out and check-in system to keep track of hardware, and it can be accessed on most mobile devices for maximum convenience.
Image Source: Wasp Barcode
Softinventivelab takes a three-pronged approach to IT asset management. First, it completes a total network inventory of hardware and software.
Then, it conducts ongoing monitoring of the network and the individual devices within it, flagging problems that need to be addressed as they occur.
It can remotely deploy software across an entire network of devices, or whichever ones are chosen by the system administrator, and then monitor software use, alerting administrators when a software license expires or has been exceeded.
This ability to install, administer, and monitor remotely has clear cost and efficiency savings. Their customers include Caterpillar and Vodaphone.
Image Source: Soft Inventive
Agiloft works with Chevron and Fujifilm, among other clients, and does not require software to be downloaded onto the client server.
It is able to retrieve system information on a daily basis. Windows-based devices get automatic updates. Service desk tickets are handled efficiently. In addition, the use of barcodes and scanners allows for more secure IT asset tracking of devices.
Novo Solutions IT asset management software is used by Nike and General Dynamics to track their assets. It has the flexibility to allow administrators to design custom web and mobile forms to better address their specific needs.
As well, its scalability can accommodate a few hundred to more than a million devices, and it has the ability to change as the company grows. Automated maintenance reminders help avoid significant problems with equipment that could result in early replacement and extra costs.
Kaseya provides extensive training resources through its Kaseya University, where IT technicians can obtain certification in the use of IT asset management software. The entire Kaseya VSA system can be run from a single console, providing an integrated IT asset inventory.
All devices, wherever they are located, can be monitored and controlled. It automatically updates servers, workplace computers, and remote devices with software patches and updates. It has its own Kaseya Network Antivirus to provide the required security. And if your company does not have the staff to maintain and monitor the IT asset tracking from within, Kaseya’s NOC Services can do that for you at an additional cost.
Image Source: Kaseya
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Open-Source IT Asset Management Software
As well as commercially available IT asset management software, there are open-source systems available, too, and they should be included in an IT asset management software comparison when deciding which software is best for your company.
Be aware that open-source IT asset management software does not necessarily mean completely free; there may be some costs associated with operating the software with extra features offered by the developer. An OSI license means that it has been approved by the Open-Source Initiative, but there are add-ons or hosting options that could entail a monthly or annual fee.
Snipe-IT’s open-source IT asset management software lets administrators keep track of hardware and software being used within the company, while also allowing for the generation of depreciation and asset reports in CSV format. While it can be used for free, they also provide hosting packages that include installing and setting up servers, any required maintenance, and upgrades, as well as ongoing technical support. There is no limit on the number of assets, users, or accessories.
Kwok provides web-based IT asset management, with an inventory of hardware and software licenses. Because it is web-based, there is no need to install software on the client system. It utilizes other open-source programs such as Java and Apache. It has been translated into seven languages, including German, Portuguese, and Chinese.
5DollarTools offers Network Asset Manager, IT asset management software that monitors hardware operation and software installed on the system. Devices on the network can be automatically detected, simplifying the process of setting it up. It requires a free software download.
Conclusion—Do You Need IT Asset Management Software?
No modern business or organization of any size can afford to not use IT asset tracking software. The costs of doing business without this monitoring are just too high.
An IT asset inventory will keep track of the location and condition of the various devices used to run your business, from desktop computers to smart phones, so that you can avoid losses through theft or carelessness. It will ensure that you are in compliance with software use and licensing so that you can avoid paying heavy fines.
IT asset management software will be a valuable addition to your business, and will help you improve productivity and maximize profits.
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