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A Guide on Hardware and Software Inventory Tracking for Remote Computers

Companies rely on a complex environment of technology for their day-to-day business operations. In today’s business climate, even the most experienced support team may struggle when it comes to remotely monitoring and maintaining their complete hardware and software inventory. Hardware represents all of the physical components of a company’s network system, including printers, keyboards and other loaned devices, whereas software includes all programs and other operating information used by a computer.

IT asset management, or ITAM, is described by CIO as a  series of practices and strategies put in place by organizations to oversee, manage and optimize all owned systems, processes and data as they relate to the company’s hardware and software inventory. Complete ITAM strategies must address the implementation and maintenance of all IT assets while also including procedures for assessing new options on the market. In a well-governed hardware and software policy, the decision-making process in identifying new technologies that are more useful or more cost effective should be a recorded and consistent procedure. 

For organizations that are just beginning to look into their ITAM practices, Forbes recommends considering “what, where, and how” IT assets are currently being utilized. Experts also note that, over time, having a comprehensive understanding of a company’s hardware and software systems allows managers to better execute critical security functions including incident response and vulnerability management. 

Many organizations are hesitant to invest in creating their own ITAM infrastructure, however, solutions exist that will help ease the remote tracking of hardware and software inventory across networks. Those who fail to create their own procedures or to utilize one of these services risk significant security breaches and the costly waste of resources in the long-term. 

Remote User Management

With an increasing proportion of the global workforce going remote either full-time or most of the week, it has become more important than ever for IT teams to find ways to successfully monitor their full hardware and software inventory. 

The ITAM review wrote that in the past, companies have replied on their own secure, segmented and managed corporate networks as a means of ensuring that business was being conducted as safely and securely as possible. Due to the digitalization of most business activities, many employees are now utilizing their own personal home networks and devices without connecting to a virtual private network, also known as a VPN. These unsecure Wi-Fi networks pose major security risks, and can even open an organization up to potential litigation if sensitive data becomes compromised. 

ITAM solutions that offer central management through a hosted console can allow for real-time monitoring that enables the deployment, configuration and management of security updates across remote computers. 

The Value of IT Inventory Tracking

Due to the rapid advancements in technology across industries, it has become increasingly difficult for organizations to identify which tools can be the most valuable in achieving their business objectives. Organizations that lack a clear ITAM policy may be inclined to renew their licenses yearly with little consideration, however, this can lead to an increase in expenses due to under-utilization.

By identifying and remedying instances where software licenses are not being used, managers can make informed decisions to manage IT costs in the long-term. 

Understanding User Behavior

A strong ITAM solution should allow users to have a solid understanding of how each piece of their network environment is being utilized. Organizations should look for services that provide a comprehensive user dashboard with dynamic widgets and detailed analytics reports. 

User login tracking should also be put in place to allow teams to track user login patterns as reflected in the number of logins, total usage, average session duration and first and last login. These deep insights into software usage allow for companies to make accurate and effective decisions when it comes to including user behavior as a key factor in whether to renew, reduce or increase licenses throughout the year.

Compliance Concerns

Typically, licenses for software products limit the amount of users that can utilize their technology within an individual company. If organizations fail to monitor their hardware and software inventory closely, this can open their company to either a breach of contract or even license infringement depending on the severity of the incident, and could result in a costly legal case.

Faronics’ IT Asset Management Solution

Although best ITAM practices are at the foundation of any security policy, it can be overwhelming for organizations to manage on their own due to the continuous need for IT maintenance and support. Effective ITAM policies must also manage license updates and the potential for upgrades to new technology, requiring teams to constantly be monitoring their systems. By implementing a hardware and software inventory tracking solution, organizations can gain deeper insights into their IT environments without needing to pour valuable resources into building and maintaining their own ITAM infrastructure. 

Faronics’ ITAM solution allows users to easily control their entire IT inventory through dynamic widgets and intelligent reports. Usage Stats provide comprehensive insight into the deployment and usage of IT assets in your environment, empowering clients to make informed IT decisions. By employing an effective asset management system such as Faronics’, Gartner has estimated up to 30% of an IT budget could be saved and redistributed across core business functions.

Whether your organization is taking further steps toward remotely tracking its hardware and software inventory or if there is already a mature policy in place, Faronics can help clients take the steps to realize better security, increased efficiencies and significant cost savings. If you are interested in our ITAM products or would like to learn more, contact us today.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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