What Makes Software Inventory Management So Critical?

When it comes to software asset management, there are many aspects to be considered. But perhaps the most critical is the tracking of software inventory. In fact, Gartner believes that ensuring that inventory records are accurate, up to date, and consistent with those of the various software vendors a company works with, is an essential part of the asset management process.

But what makes software inventory management so important? Some of the key factors that contribute to the growing need for effective logging and tracking of software inventory include:


With breaches, data theft, and other cyber crimes on the rise, companies need to boost protection of their desktops, laptops and other systems. But, without unhindered insight into existing PC and Software inventory, it will be harder to identify when users download and use unauthorized software packages – such as games, chat programs, or applications from unknown or unreliable sources – that put these internal systems at risk.


The frequency of external software audits is rising at a rapid pace. Understanding current licensing arrangements, and guaranteeing full adherence to them, requires the ability to correctly track how many licenses were purchased, and how many users/desktops have actually deployed the application(s).

License Costs

In today’s tough economy, companies of all sizes, across all industries, are embarking on aggressive cost-cutting measures. Shelfware and unused licenses – which can be eliminated through a comprehensive software inventory management strategy – are simply wasted money, and must be avoided. Additionally, businesses can avoid paying for upgrades, license transfers, and other items they may be entitled to by gaining greater insight into their software license inventory and related contracts through having an accurate software asset inventory and tracking your software asset.

In addition to addressing these critical requirements, well-defined and well-enforced software inventory management policies can result in other benefits, such as:

Improved vendor negotiations

The ability for a company to compare what they have to what they are actually using can help them avoid unnecessary expenses when the time comes to renew licensing agreements, and can put them in a better position to negotiate exactly what they need to renew.

Increased auditing efficiency

A Gartner Group anonymous December, 2006 survey uncovered the fact that 35% percent of clients had experienced an on-site audit from a major software vendor. And, the leading research firm expects this trend to continue, with more vendors conducting an even greater number of audits in the near future. A solid software inventory tracking plan will eliminate the need to perform cumbersome manual audits, which can distract from other critical IT projects, in these situations, by making the complete, accurate data auditors are looking for readily available whenever needed.