Best ITAM Tools

IT asset management (ITAM) is all about keeping track of your IT equipment. Surprisingly, very few organizations keep a live inventory of exactly how many pieces of equipment they have in each device type.

We’ve covered the theory behind IT asset management in our detailed report on ITAM strategies. Once you’ve read through that article, you will realize that there is a lot more to tracking IT assets than you realized. You can get more value out of your equipment investments if you properly plan the deployment of equipment.

Many different task automation tools can help you reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your assets, and that not just in accounting software packages.

Here is our list of the ten best ITAM tools:

  1. SolarWinds Web Help Desk (FREE TRIAL) Not just a Help Desk support system also helps in tracking IT assets and their utilization. Runs on Windows Server.
  2. Atera (FREE TRIAL) A remote infrastructure monitoring and administration system for managed service providers.
  3. Auvik (FREE TRIAL) This cloud-based SaaS platform offer network discovery and documentation that provides a constantly-updated inventory of network assets.
  4. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus (FREE TRIAL) An ITIL-guided asset management and incident management package that includes hardware and software inventory systems. Installs on Windows Server and Linux.
  5. SecPod SanerNow Asset Management (FREE TRIAL) An IT asset management system that is delivered from the cloud and includes both hardware and software asset inventory compilation.
  6. Paessler PRTG (FREE TRIAL) A network, server, and application monitor that includes asset discovery and live asset inventory management. Runs on Windows Server.
  7. ManageEngine AssetExplorer A full life-cycle ITAM tool. Installs on Windows Server and Linux.
  8. N-able Passportal A combined password and document manager that is delivered as a cloud service.
  9. Alloy Navigator IT asset management and service management available in a unified bundle. This is a cloud-based platform.
  10. SolarWinds Service Desk (FREE TRIAL) Designed as an IT service management tool (ITSM), this system also supports asset management. Runs on Windows Server.

This list includes different categories of tools that will combine to help you locate your assets, protect them, ensure you get the best performance out of them, and help your staff to deploy those IT assets to maximum effect.

The best IT Asset Management (ITAM) tools

1. SolarWinds Web Help Desk (FREE TRIAL)

SolarWinds Web Help Desk

The SolarWinds Web Help Desk has a misleading name because it is supplied as on-premises software, not a cloud service. It is more than just a Help Desk platform and it will support your IT asset management efforts.

One of the tools in this system is an automatic device discoverer. This will compile an inventory of all of your business’s IT assets, as long as they are connected to the network. It also logs the versions of those devices, notes their operating systems and firmware versions and checks for updates and patches to them. The management of that inventory continues automatically, so any additions or removals are automatically accounted for. If a piece of equipment shows a fault or unexpectedly goes offline, you will be notified.

The software was designed along ITIL standards, so it functions very well as an IT service management tool. As asset management is part of the ITIL requirements, all of your IT asset management needs will be served by the SolarWinds Web Help Desk.

Despite all of these ITSM features and ITAM functions, the main purpose of this tool is to support a Help Desk team. Utilities in the package include ticket tracking and team utilization management. Reporting features include summaries of assets and their statuses. The tool is particularly useful if you need to monitor the delivery of service level agreements either as an in-house cost center or as a managed service provider.

Pros:

  • Simple layout makes management easy, even at scale
  • On-premise tool, a good option for organizations who do not want a cloud solution
  • Can track time entries, as well as SLA performance for helpdesk teams
  • Proactive alerts can notify staff when SLAs are in danger of being breached

Cons:

  • Is a feature-rich platform that takes time to fully explore and learn

The Web Help Desk software runs on Windows, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac OS. SolarWinds grants access to potential customers with a 14-day free trial. You can also try the Web Help Desk Free Edition, which has limited capabilities. If you get the free trial of the full system, you will automatically be switched over to the free version after 14 days if you decide not to buy.

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2. Atera (FREE TRIAL)

Atera

Atera is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) system designed for managed service providers (MSPs). The platform includes all of the elements needed to run a successful Help Desk. This is an important requirement for IT asset management.

The support features include a user help portal that has a knowledge base and access to a ticket raising and tracking system. On the MSP side, the ticketing system feeds through to a team management and work scheduling utility, which is part of the professional services automation (PSA) tools in the Atera package.

The help desk technician dashboard includes a to-do list of allocated tickets and a progress chart for each. The operator has a number of communication channels linked into the console, which include email and a chat facility. The dashboard includes a remote desktop function, which enables the technician to show the user how to use the system and avoid the problem that was highlighted in the ticket. The technician can also gain access to the troubled endpoint behind the scenes to investigate more complicated problems. The Atera package includes a number of scripts that automate the data gathering process.

Other asset management tools in the Atera system include a network discovery feature, which scans the client’s network and lists all connected devices. The platform includes constant infrastructure monitoring that supervises the performance of networks, servers, endpoints, and applications to spot problems before they get noticed by the user community. The system also includes a scanner that seeks out installed software on all of the client’s equipment. This feeds into the license management functions of the service and also highlights unauthorized software installs – an important security feature.

The performance monitoring and asset inventories of Atera assist the MSP to participate with the client in capacity planning to forecast future infrastructure needs, which opens up cooperation over asset procurement and user onboarding.

Atera is a cloud-based service, so the MSP doesn’t need to install any software on-premises. However, the remotely monitored system will need to have agent software installed on it. The MSP’s staff access the online console of the system through a standard web browser.

Pros:

  • Built for MSPs and larger helpdesk teams
  • Works to be an all-in-one solution for remote management
  • Available as a lightweight cloud service, lowering startup costs for MSPs

Cons:

  • Atera is a fully-featured PSA tool built for MSPs and may take time to fully explore all options and capabilities

The Atera system is charged for by subscription, which is calculated per technician. Each customer of the system can choose a monthly or yearly payment plan. However, fees are levied in advance. Atera is available on a free trial.

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3. Auvik (FREE TRIAL)

Auvik ITAM Documentation

Auvik is a SaaS platform that is designed for network monitoring and management. In order to monitor a network, the system first has to discover it. The user doesn’t need to spend hours noting down the characteristics of each network device and entering them into the Auvik dashboard. Instead, once it is given access through the network gateway, the Auvik platform scours the network for information on each device it encounters.

The network discovery process of the Auvik system identifies each device and writes it into a list. This list includes details of each device, including its make and model, its date of manufacture, its firmware version, the number of ports on the device and the capacity of each port controller, and the device overall.

Switches record the identities of the devices that connect to each of their ports. This information is extracted by the Auvik monitor and enables the network discovery service to identify which switches are connected together.

With a list of which device connects to another, the system can easily compile a network topology map. These details are just as important for IT asset management as they are for network monitoring.

Pros:

  • Automated network discovery
  • Network topology mapping
  • Network inventory creation
  • Constant inventory updates

Cons:

  • Doesn’t create a software inventory

Auvik is offered in two editions: Essentials and Performance. The Performance edition has many more features than the Essentials plan and so costs more. However, if you are primarily looking for a package to document your system, the Essentials version will do because it includes the network discovery and topology mapping functions. You can try the system out with a 14-day free trial.

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4. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus (FREE TRIAL)

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is more than just a Help Desk software package. The ServiceDesk concept involves full incident management, which includes concepts such as asset lifecycle management. The “Plus” part of the name expresses ITIL-based asset management workflows that include hardware and software discovery and logging, purchasing strategies, and license management.

ManageEngine offers ServiceDesk Plus in three editions. The lowest plan, Standard, is a straightforward Help Desk package that includes a ticketing system, a self-service portal with a knowledge base framework, a support team management service, and SLA trackers.

The Professional and Enterprise editions of ServiceDesk Plus include IT asset management functions and so these are the two editions you need to look at for ITAM. These plans also include all of the Help Desk features of the Standard edition.

The Professional edition gives you asset discovery for both hardware and software, inventory management, software license management, and purchase management.

The Enterprise editions of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus adds on a full ITIL solution to Professional plan features. Change management, IP project management, and release management are all covered by this bundle.

Pros:

  • Robust all in one tool for managing client contracts, maintenance requests, and other ancillary services MSPs normally offer
  • Automatic asset discovery helps keep NOC teams informed of scope and new devices that are added to the network
  • Cross-platform support work with Windows or Linux server distros
  • Available for on-premise deployment as well as a SaaS

Cons:

  • ManageEngine offers a range of services and products that can take time to fully explore and utilize

ServiceDesk Plus is available for on-premises installation. The software installs on Windows Server and Linux. It is also available as a cloud service. ManageEngine offer ServiceDesk Plus on a 30-day free trial.

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5. SecPod SanerNow Asset Management (FREE TRIAL)

SecPod Saner Now VM Devices and Assets

SecPod SanerNow Asset Management is a SaaS cyber-hygiene platform that combines a range of system management services with security monitoring tools. The package is a great deal for businesses because it brings together all of the IT management tools that they need in order to keep all endpoints running efficiently and safely. The service is able to document endpoints running Windows, macOS, and Linux.

When you run an IT service, you need to keep track of both hardware and software. It is incredible how quickly devices can break or go missing and keeping track of all of the instances of a software package that you have already installed can be a headache. SanerNow automates the important duties of tracking assets and managing software licenses.

The system discovery module has a double purpose. As well as documenting hardware and software, it operates as a vulnerability scanner. This secure service scans each device for more than 130,000 vulnerabilities. The vulnerability scanner cycles around the system periodically at a frequency that the system administrator can set. This cycle of scanning can be set to run up to every 5 minutes. The data gathered in these scans is passed to the Asset Manager in the SanerNow package. The hardware and software inventories that the discovery process creates are updated with every scan run.

The dashboard for the SecPod SanerNow system is hosted on the SecPod server in the cloud. Customers can access the console through any standard Web browser from anywhere. The dashboard provides access to a reporting module that is able to access activity logs that have been stored by the vulnerability scanner.

You can blacklist and whitelist applications, track out-dated and rarely used applications, manage licenses, and leverage insightful customizable IT asset reports seamlessly.

In addition to scanning and recording the endpoints on a network, the SanerNow system provides a patch manager that keeps operating systems and software packages up-to-date to guard against exploits.

Pros:

  • Offers ITAM capabilities through a SaaS product, making it easier to deploy than on-premise solutions
  • Features cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Can automate asset tracking, great for MSPs who bill by the device
  • Can scan for vulnerabilities, make it a hybrid security solution
  • Provides real-time continuous IT assess scanning across your network

Cons:

  • Only offers a partial security solution, could benefit from adding endpoint threat detection
  • Would like to see automated compliance auditing

The SecPod SanerNow system is charged for by subscription. This pricing model is a great benefit for startups and small businesses and onboarding the system is a lot simpler than buying in software and installing it. you can try out the SanerNow Asset Management service on a 30-day free trial.

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6. Paessler PRTG (FREE TRIAL)

Paessler PRTG

Unless you are a startup and haven’t bought any IT equipment yet, you probably already have a lot of IT equipment in your business but you don’t know where they are or what they are doing.

The first task you face when you decide to formalize IT asset management is to track down those resources. Paessler PRTG will do that for you. This is a combined network, server, and applications monitor that will keep track of all of your IT infrastructure. The package is a collection of monitors and you customize the system out of the box by deciding which of those monitors, which are called “sensors,” to turn on.

One service you are going to need from PRTG is its autodiscovery feature. This will sniff around your network and log every connected device. It can’t walk into your store closets, though, so you will have to log equipment that is on the shelf separately.

Once the autodiscovery phase finishes, PRTG will compile an asset inventory. This is not a one-time service. Leave the monitor active and it will continually update the inventory as you add or remove equipment.

Another great feature of PRTG is its network topology mapper. This will show you exactly where each piece of equipment is currently operating within the network. The system offers a range of views of your network layout and its assets and all are compiled and updated automatically.

The monitor will enable you to squeeze extra value out of your assets by implementing traffic shaping measures and asset sharing strategies, such as virtualizations. Each of these activities gets displayed in the PRTG monitor as a layout, which makes tracking asset utilization a breeze.

The monitor will watch over equipment statuses and network traffic flow. It includes a system of alters so that you don’t have to sit and watch the monitor constantly. It will notify you when problems arise and you can get those alerts sent to you by email or SMS as well as getting them posted on the dashboard screen.

Pros:

  • Uses a combination of packet sniffing, WMI, and SNMP to report network performance as well as discover new devices
  • Autodiscovery reflects the latest inventory changes almost instantaneously
  • Drag and drop editor makes it easy to build custom views and reports
  • Supports a wide range of alert mediums such as SMS, email, and third-party integrations
  • Highly customizable sensors, even for custom applications
  • Supports a freeware version

Cons:

  • Is a very comprehensive platform with many features that require time to fully explore

Small businesses can use PRTG for free if they only activate up to 100 sensors. You can get a 30-day free trial of the full PRTG system with unlimited sensors.

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7. ManageEngine AssetExplorer

ManageEngine AssetExplorer

Unlike many of the tools in this list, ManageEngine AssetExplorer is a pure ITAM system and isn’t bundled into a Help Desk platform. So, if you are happy with your current Help Desk software, this tool would be of more interest to you.

This is a browser-based system, but it isn’t offered on the Cloud – you need to install it on your own web server.

AssetExplorer is able to track non-IT assets as well. It includes Purchase Order, contract, and license management for complete asset lifecycle tracking from planning all the way through to retirement. This system covers your software purchases as well as your physical assets.

If your business is already established and the owner of assets when you install AssetExplorer, the software will seek out all of your connected devices and compile an inventory. This is a continual process, so any changes to the business’s infrastructure automatically get logged in the inventory.

Pros:

  • Purely an ITAM tool, no other software of features bundled with it
  • Can track customer data such as purchase orders, contact information, and ongoing contracts
  • The free version supports 25 devices
  • Great for MSPs looking to centralize their customer management

Cons:

  • Accessible via web-browser, but doesn’t offer a cloud-based deployment
  • Not a great option you’re in the market for a more bundled tool

AssetExplorer is available for free, but that edition only allows one technician account and tracks up to 25 devices. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial of the full system. If you decide not to buy at the end of the trial, you will be switched over to the Free Edition.

8. N-able Passportal

N-able Passportal

One of the functions of ITAM lies in an efficient support solution. The ability to provide self-service facilities to users enables the administrators of IT infrastructure to provide IT support at less cost.

The Document Manager module of N-able Passportal includes templates that enable the creation of a knowledge base. The existence of troubleshooting guides, training manuals, and terminology definitions in an online store gives users access to procedural guidance and cuts down the time that they will try to work out a problem for themselves before calling the Help Desk. If the knowledge base is properly stocked, most users won’t need to call for human assistance.

The capabilities of the Passportal Document Manager go beyond the creation of a knowledge base for users. It can also be used to assemble training manuals for technicians and as a store of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The password manager included in Passportal is another support technician tool. It enables the IT team to protect the IT assets of the company and this system will be accessed by support technicians to reset passwords on demand. An add-on to the package, called Passportal Blink, is a self-service system that enables users to reset their own passwords, thus reducing the burden on the Help Desk team.

Pros:

  • Supports automatic Active Directory sync via LDAP
  • Can run access audits to easily identify internal changes made during a period of time
  • Supports compliance reporting to identify weak passwords and force changes base on policy
  • Users generate their own encryption key, securing their cloud data from third parties, including Passportal

Cons:

  • Smaller networks may not benefit from the MSP/enterprise-specific tools Passportal offers

Passportal is designed for managed service providers, but it can also be used by in-house IT departments. The package is charged for by subscription and hosted on the cloud. The Passportal system includes cloud storage space, which is a great facility that enables rapid disaster recovery, should your onsite servers get damaged. You can try out the Passportal system with a free demo.

9. Alloy Navigator

Alloy Navigator dashboard

Alloy Navigator is an ITSM suite and therefore supports IT asset management. In total, the platform includes utilities for asset management, change management, incident management, problem management, knowledge management, organization management, and contact management.

The asset management features of this platform start off with an asset discovery service. This will identify all of your connected and functioning devices and generate an IT asset inventory. The inventory is a live monitor, so it will detect any changes in the list of devices operating on the network. This continual service also provides problem management support because the device discoverer will spot any status problems with your devices and notify the IT support team immediately.

The asset inventory is a great source of information on the appropriateness of a business’s IT infrastructure and becomes the starting point of any change management project to expand services.

The package also includes a Help Desk system, which is the main Incident Management tool in the platform.

Pros:

  • Supports all forms of IT asset management, making this a true all in one tool
  • Can generate a list of devices automatically through autodiscovery
  • Features an integrated help desk system that ties directly into the Incident Management section

Cons:

  • Only available on Windows server
  • Would like to see more pricing plans to support smaller organizations

This system management suite can be installed in-house or used as a Cloud service. The software installs on Windows Server and is available in two plan levels. The top package is called Alloy Navigator Enterprise and this gives you the full ITSM suite of tools. The cheaper package available, called Alloy Navigator Express.

10. SolarWinds Service Desk (FREE TRIAL)

SolarWinds Service Desk

IT asset management is closely tied to IT service management. This is because the company’s IT infrastructure provision is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a sufficient level of digital services within the organization. The SolarWinds Service Desk, therefore, is also an IT asset management system.

The tool includes asset discovery and automatic inventory logging. That is a continual process and it is closely tied to device health and availability. So, as you keep track of your IT assets, you are simultaneously monitoring the performance of your equipment and the quality of service that your IT department offers to the business as a whole.

The SolarWinds Service Desk helps you follow the entire lifecycle of each device in the company’s ownership. That extends to the software licenses that you buy. You need to make sure that you haven’t over-installed software in your company and you should also be aware that end users might try to install unlicensed software themselves. This task is called “risk detection” and it is included in the SolarWinds Service Desk.

Pros:

  • Provides helpdesk services as a flexible SaaS offering
  • Pricing is scalable for both established enterprises as well as growing MSPs
  • Offers SLA monitoring and multi-tenant reporting options
  • Includes a knowledge base that can be used by both internal staff as well as end-users
  • Supports over 200 integration into other popular applications

Cons:

  • Is designed for a corporate environment, small helpdesk teams may want to consider SolarWinds Web Help Desk Free Edition

SolarWinds Service Desk is an award-winning Service Desk tool that is particularly suitable for mid-sized businesses. It is a Cloud-based service resident on Amazon web Services, so you don’t need to install any software. You can access the service on a 30-day free trial.

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Tooling up for IT asset management

You will notice that many of the tools aimed at IT asset management are bundled into platforms that center on Help Desk software. This is a notable feature of the software industry and it is driven by the observation that managing IT infrastructure is inexplicably linked to supporting users to successfully deliver the business’s aims.

ITAM tools FAQs

What is ITAM?

ITAM stands for IT management. It involves the provision and maintenance of hardware and software in an IT system. The process involves tracking the complete service life of technology-related assets. 

Related: IT Asset Management Software Guide