Not every desktop management system covers all types of user devices. Businesses that don’t want to include mobile devices in their equipment inventory will be satisfied with a tool that just focuses on desktops.
A typical desktop management system will also include a monitoring tool as well because it is difficult to manage equipment without tracking its usage and status.
Tasks that are included in desktop management include onboarding, software management, patch management, security protection, and access rights 30-day free trialmanagement. Desktop management can be combined with servers, applications, and network monitoring and management to create a complete system management environment.
Here is our list of the six best desktop management software:
- SolarWinds RMM EDITOR’S CHOICE A monitoring and management package that enables a central IT department to manage endpoints on local and remote sites without requiring physical access.
- Ninja RMM A comprehensive system monitoring tool that includes management functions for endpoints.
- ManageEngine Desktop Central A desktop management system that includes automated processes for onboarding and patch management.
- Atera A total package for IT support teams that includes remote access, automated management, and monitoring functions.
- Workspace ONE A unified endpoint management tool from VMWare that covers desktops and mobile devices.
- BlackBerry Spark UEM Suite Endpoint management that includes extensive strategies for the control of mobile devices as well as managing desktops.
Considerations for desktop management
While planning desktop management tasks, it is important to include factors such as controlling access to those devices and ensuring that only authorized software is installed on it. It is important to ensure that the business’s equipment is only used for the company’s aims and not for private pursuits.
IT managers also need to take into consideration the security requirements of data protection standards if the business aims for accreditation in order to win and retain business.
Issues such as technician access are important factors. This category of considerations includes controlling and monitoring the actions of technicians on endpoints to ensure that support staff isn’t able to install unauthorized software or steal data. Access needs to be possible over the network to remove the necessity of having to visit each desktop in order to manage software.
The times of heavy usage of the company’s IT system need to be taken into account. Mechanisms for implementing change through automated processes during out of office hours will address most of the issues.
The best desktop management software
You can read more about each of these options in the following sections.
SolarWinds RMM monitors desktops and enables a central IT department to manage the devices and the software loaded onto them. The system is a cloud-based service and it is able to monitor and manage desktops anywhere in the world. Technicians are able to access the console through a web browser. The tool is able to manage computers running Windows, Linux, and macOS and that includes both desktops and laptops.
The system includes a device discovery feature, which builds an asset inventory and updates it automatically when computers are added or removed. The RMM system includes a monitoring function that keeps track of the statuses of all devices. It then issues alerts when problems are detected, which enables technicians to take action and head off issues before they become noticeable.
Technicians gain remote access to devices and can troubleshoot and perform maintenance even while the computer is in use without the user noticing. Remote access can also be automated for tasks such as software installation or patch management. These tasks can be performed for individual devices or groups of computers and can be implemented immediately or on a schedule.
SolarWinds Remote Monitoring and Management is available on a 30-day free trial.
- Device discovery and asset inventory management
- Task automation
- System monitoring
SolarWinds RMM is our top choice for IT professionals managing desktops because it includes task automation and also facilitates manual access to a fleet of devices. The addition of a monitoring system helps the IT department to ensure desktops are in peak condition without having to visit each workstation. Task automation for software management removes human error and saves time.
Start 30-day Free Trial: solarwindsmsp.com/products/rmm
Ninja RMM is a cloud-based system that includes processing power and storage space as well as the desktop management software. This remote monitoring and management system is able to watch over desktops anywhere in the world – local and remote.
The management software is able to organize desktops running Windows and macOS and also servers, laptops, and virtual machines. A monitoring system bundled into the Ninja RMM makes constant checks on the statuses of all equipment, alerting staff if a worrying condition appears, allowing for intervention.
Process automation within Ninja RMM automatically creates hardware and software inventories. Tasks can be implemented immediately, on a schedule, or through event-triggered scripts. Such tasks include system maintenance and Patch management.
The ability to implement access and usage policies through Ninja RMM helps towards data protection standards compliance. Reports that can be run from Ninja RMM assist in SLA goal tracking, compliance reporting, and team performance monitoring.
All technician access to desktops is monitored and facilitated by a remote access service. Each technician can have an individual account to access the console and services of Ninja RMM. The system is accessed through any standard web browser or through a mobile app.
Ninja RMM is available for a 30-day free trial.
- Management and monitoring modules
- Task automation
- 30-day free trial
Desktop Central is an on-premises system that operates as a unified endpoint management system. It manages desktops running Windows, Linux, and macOS and mobile devices with iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.
This system tracks all assets, creating an asset inventory. It also searches out all installed software and records it, in order to facilitate license management. Once system administrators have all of the company’s assets documented they can create profiles for groups of desktops, listing all authorized software. It is also possible to create a standard setup for a type of endpoint and then take an image of that.
Once a standard package has been set, it can be automatically rolled out to groups of desktops according to the role of the user. This makes onboarding new devices and new users very easy.
Desktop Central has extensive automation procedures for mobile devices, too. This enables the creation of an app’s profile per user type. With this in place, mobile devices can be set up en masse. The service includes mobile device tracking and remote locking and wiping.
All devices can be turned on or off and accessed remotely. The technician can work on a computer while it is in use without interfering with the user. Alternatively, a support operator can take over the environment, leaving the screen active so the user can see what is happening. This is a great feature for teaching users how to solve a common problem. The remote access and remote control features can be shared, enabling a group effort to troubleshoot or solve a problem. All sessions can be recorded.
Collaboration features in Desktop Central include messaging to help groups of technicians to work together. Task automation allows standard tasks, such as patch management to be automated. Execution status reports can be shared.
Desktop Manager runs on Windows Server and Linux. The software is available forr a 30-day free trial.
- Task automation
- Manage desktops and mobile devices
Atera is a cloud-based SaaS system that is very appealing to small businesses. The service is charged for on a per technician basis per month. This makes the full package of desktop monitoring and management tools that big corporations use accessible to those supporting small systems.
Atera includes remote access and remote desktop features. These facilities are essential for IT technicians that have to support desktops on remote sites. Apart from manual access, the Atera service facilitates automated processes and starts with an autodiscovery sweep. This builds an asset inventory and also logs all software installations for license management. Further software and operating system management tasks, such as patch management can all be automated.
The console of Atera is accessed through any web browser and there is also a mobile app to access the Atera system.
The full Atera package includes PSA functions, which support IT department managers with team management and it provides a ticketing system for help desk teams. The PSA functions also cover SLA goal tracking and timesheet recording for cost management.
Atera is available for a 30-day free trial.
- System monitoring
- Remote access and remote desktop
- Team management functions
Workspace ONE is a very good unified endpoint management system for businesses that want to operate a BYOD environment. The service manages desktops and mobile devices but its particular strength is its ability to contain company software and data in a separate area of a user-owned device. Workspace One can also manage Wi-Fi-connected office equipment and wearable devices.
The system manager creates a set of profiles, organizing a software and access rights profile for each type of device or group of devices intended for specific user groups. Once these policies have been set up, the manager can control and maintain groups of devices easily. This includes the automation of patch rollouts and onboarding.
Workspace ONE encrypts all communications between its console and the controlled devices. It can also implement 2FA and biometric checks for user authentication. The service can apply encryption to all communications between monitored devices and remote or cloud services.
30-day free trialTechnicians get access to all devices for troubleshooting and manual maintenance tasks. That remote access utility also facilitates automated support activities. Workplace ONE also includes a remote control system that gives the IT professional control of the screen of a remote device. Remote control utilities for mobile devices include the ability to track, lock, and wipe the device.
Workspace ONE is a cloud-based service and you can get a 30-day free trial.
- Containerization for user-owned devices
- Manage desktops and mobile devices
- 30-day free trial
The unified endpoint management system from BlackBerry is able to manage desktops running Windows and macOS and mobile devices running iOS and Android plus Chromebooks with Chrome OS. It can also monitor and manage IoT and wearable devices.
The system is able to set groups of device profiles including user-owned devices, which will receive a containerized service, keeping company services isolated from the device and making the removal of access to those apps a simple step. Once profiles have been implemented, all device management tasks, such as patch management, can be automated.
Controls available in this UEM include content protection, tracking who gets access to documents, and disabling functions such as screen print and printing of sensitive documents when they are accessed from outside the business’s home network.
IT professionals in the support department get remote access to devices and there is also a remote control utility.
BlackBerry Spark UEM Suite is available for a free trial.
- Content management system
- For desktops and mobile devices
- Free trial
Choosing desktop management software
There are so many factors to consider that deciding on a suitable desktop management tool can be very time-consuming.
Desktop management should be possible from one location in order to manage all of the endpoints that contribute to the business’s aims. This could involve managing devices in many locations. Nowadays, telecommuting is becoming more common, particularly during the time of the COVID pandemic. This means that businesses also have to manage network and resource access being conducted from user-owned devices.
Desktop management is becoming increasingly more complicated and so a robust tool that fully supports all monitoring and control issues is very necessary.