Just a few years ago, most companies had at most a single computer in their inventory. That computer was running at most five different software. However, computers have become more commonplace, and the amount of software available has increased significantly. Even a company with just two employees might have three phones, two desktop computers, two laptops, a tablet, and a server! All of these devices could be running 20-30 software, if not more.
Therefore, it’s not difficult to imagine the hardware and software inventory size of a medium-sized business. Let’s not even talk about conglomerates. Unfortunately, tracking all of these can be incredibly difficult. Luckily, inventory and hardware management software is here to help. This article will discuss what hardware and computer inventory management are and how they can help you.
What is Computer Inventory Management?
Hardware and software inventory creates a database of your computer inventory, both physical and virtual. These systems combined are known as computer inventory management.
Hardware Inventory Management
Hardware inventory management is the management of all of the different IT hardware within your company. This means everything from a simple USB stick to the server racks. Understandably, the bigger the company, the more hardware it will have. However, in some cases, such as hosting companies, the amount of inventory could heavily outweigh the employee numbers.
Managing your hardware is extremely important. Mainly because this way, you know what resources you have in-house to track security and vulnerability issues. Even the lowly USB stick or even a charging cable can pose a security risk. Therefore, it’s important to know what your employees are using all of the time. Most hardware inventory management software, such as UTMStack, will have an autodiscovery feature.
This means that any devices that automatically connect to the network will be logged. Of course, there will still be items that needed to be added manually. Alongside the IT security perspective, hardware management is also important from a financial viewpoint. Not only will your accountant need this information, but it will also help ensure that none of your equipment is being stolen.
Software Inventory Management
Software inventory management is important as within a company; you’ll use multiple tools and software to help carry out your job. Whether it’s a free or paid tool, it will need to be kept track of. Similar to hardware, the software has known faults and security weaknesses. Therefore, you’ll know what needs to be fixed and patched when you keep track of it. Additionally, you can create lists of whitelisted and blacklisted software so that you can keep your security tight. Furthermore, software inventory management will help keep track of your licenses and logins; therefore, you can easily share access to whoever needs them.
Other Asset Management
Alongside computer inventory, most businesses will have a range of other inventory from furniture to properties, cars, and even private jets. Understandably, it makes sense for a company to keep track of all assets as they can be precious. While some computer inventory management software allows for adding other assets, we believe this to be non-optimal. The reason being is that physical assets have different tracking requirements and methods, and a tool designed for IT inventory will probably not need these.
The same goes for vehicles. Tracking cars, motorbike, private jets, boats, etc., have their own requirements from fuel usage to damages, insurance, and so on. As with physical object tracking, it’s better to use dedicated software for this as it will allow you to meet the different requirements. So while it’s unlikely that you’ll find a single software to track all asset types within your company, having the multiple tools/ software will allow you much better management and handling in the long term.
Best Computer Inventory Management Software
There is a whole range of inventory management software that you can use in your company. As such, UTMStack also has these built into its system. While we’d love to say that it would be the best inventory management software for you, we’d be lying. We do believe that the UTMStack product is great and that you should test its free version.
However, with that said, different companies have different needs. Therefore, we’d recommend looking at other options as well. However, if you’re an SME and compliance and security are important for you, then you’ll enjoy using UTMStack.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Free Management Tools?
Most management tools offer a free trial. UTMStack does have a completely free version to get you started with your computer inventory management.
Are There Any Open Source Management Tools?
If you’re worried about closed source software, then Opmantek offers an open-source IT inventory management solution. This also means that, in theory, it should be easier to customize to meet your needs.
Overall, inventory management is critical. If you’re not tracking your company’s hardware and software yet, you should definitely start doing so. The later you start, the more difficult it will be. If you need help getting set up with UTMStack, sign up and contact its team through the website.