Inventory Data Management – Discover what is Deployed Across your Organization
Inventory data management, aka discovery data management, is Software Asset Management’s foundation – only when you have discovered all your assets can you efficiently monitor and manage them. Producing inventory data can seem like a straightforward, one-tool process, but realistically, organizations need to employ multiple information with purchase records. That way, they can see exactly what is being used, how it’s being used, and where.
A survey commissioned by LANDesk revealed that almost 66% of IT managers admitted to not having completely accurate records of their IT assets, and 28% use only one tool (the rest is a manual process) – How can you manage and protect what is across your environment if you don’t know it’s there?
Discovering deployed software assets is key to understanding what software and hardware is being used within your organization, but drilling down to key inventory specific factors will ensure you are in the best position to assess what is being utilized and guarantee confidence in contract negotiation.
What will inventory data management help you discover?
The software and hardware physically deployed within your IT environment will possibly be the easiest data to discover. Any number of the many inventory tools on today’s market can connect to all devices across your network and bring back information needed to understand how each asset is being utilized. Most discovery tools offer either an agent or agentless option, and both have their benefits. If you’re managing an extremely complex estate that needs regular attention, License Dashboard would tend to recommend an agent based inven
tory tool to ensure complete data.
Virtual environments include different layers of data and more complicated licensing metrics. These are easy to lose control of, which increases the risk of exposing your org
anization to compliance risks. Understanding which virtual machines are hosted from which physical server, then what software is installed, is vital in ensuring you are effectiv
ely managing all software assets. Working alongside the IT department to understand how your virtual environment is configured is essential so you don’t get ‘lost’ in the complexity.
Mobile Device Data
Discovering software licenses on mobile devices is difficult as they’re not connected to a standard network. Many inventory data management or discovery tools are simply not desi
gned with mobile assets in mind, and only track a mobile device’s license data successfully if it is set to one specific location. Agentless discovery is primarily used to pull the data from a mobile device once it has joined the network.
Managing Active Directory data provides visibility of software in use – all inventory tools will pull the install data from your network – but to understand how this software is being consumed, the Active Directory data must be managed as well. When the information has been collected, it can be analyzed to check whether the discovery tool is picking up on all assets and that they are being utilized in their full, in accordance with their terms and conditions.
The benefits of effective inventory data management
Understanding your network kick starts the SAM process. From here you can start to manage your installs, optimize the license agreements you have in place, and position your organization for future IT projects.
Knowing what assets your organization is utilizing doesn’t stop at software asset management. It reveals potential cost reduction opportunities, will prevent illegal software breaches, and will inform the implementation of full security measures to protect your entire estate.
Don’t forget; your IT environment doesn’t stand still, and so neither should you! Make use of your inventory tool on a daily basis to ensure you are on top of any changes and keeping ahead of all risks.