If you’re a business owner, then you’ve probably gotten used to keeping track of your expenses, receipts, client billing, and everything in between. If you don’t do it personally, then you probably have an accountant on your payroll to handle it for you.
This is business management 101. If you don’t keep records, then tax season is a complete nightmare.
What many businesses fail to realize, however, is that network inventory management is just as important as your financial inventory management.
Network inventory management involves keeping track of all the devices on your network, the software on them, and even the hardware. This allows you to make sure that unauthorized devices don’t connect to your network and that everything on your network is up-to-date with the latest patches, and firmware updates.
An important facet of network inventory is software inventory management. Most network inventory tools have a feature that allows administrators to keep track of all of their software as well. This ensures that your licenses don’t expire, you don’t have to worry about security breaches, and that your employees don’t download unauthorized programs that could be potentially harmful to your network security and safety.
Now that you know a little bit more about network inventory tools, let’s take a few minutes to discuss what features you should look for before making your final decision. There are a lot of options on the market, and you want to make sure that you’ve reviewed your options thoroughly as switching between inventory tools can be a major pain.
One of the most basic features that all network inventory tools should have is the ability to perform automated network scans. These are usually done on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that all programs are updated, all devices are functioning without errors, and that there haven’t been any network breaches.
The ability to generate accurate reports goes hand-in-hand with network scanning. Along with each scan, you’ll also want to view accurate and detailed reports about what’s going on. This is good both for you and your IT department as it helps them to be able to fix problems as they develop and ensure that all devices are functioning properly.
As your business grows, the need for total inventory management only increases. Each passing year, you’ll be adding new devices and downloading new software. Eventually, it will be impossible to keep track of them all without a complete inventory management system.
If you can find a good tool that provides automated scans, accurate reports, files away all of your software licenses and keeps firmware, hardware, and software updated, then you’ve found yourself a good tool.
Another thing to look out for is free trials. Some of the best network inventory tool offer new customers free trial periods to decide whether or not the tool is for them. If it’s your first time using an inventory tool like this, then it’s a good idea to take advantage of free offers until you find the program that’s right for you.