Collecting software and hardware related information of a particular endpoint (any device on a connected network) is known as inventory management or IT Asset Management (ITAM). Inventory Management is a key feature to support endpoint life cycle management.
Goals of Inventory Management
1. Gain control over assets (all elements of software and hardware) in your business environment.
2. Manage IT costs and return on investments (ROI).
3. Ensure compliance of all endpoints.
4. Risk reduction by detecting lost assets (eg. certain endpoints are not reachable for a long time indicating loss).
5. Enforcing policies on black-listed software to avoid any security breach or loss of confidential information or threat of spreading virus in your IT environment.
6. Keeping hardware and software configuration up-to-date in your environment.
ITAM helps easily track hardware information, installed software packages, and operating system settings for all IT assets in an IT enterprise.
Example to find out the inventory on your Windows Box
From your command prompt run : msinfo32
A comprehensive System Information related UI is launched.
To open System Information in History view, type:
To create a .txt file in the folder C:\Temp with a name of Test.txt, type:
msinfo32 /report C:\TEMP\Test.txt
To view System Information from a remote computer with a UNC name of BIGSERVER, type:
msinfo32 /computer BIGSERVER
You can find more information at MSINFO32
A typical inventory management process :
Inventory Management helps an IT enterprise answer some key questions about its assets :
Where is the Asset ? Location tracking - eg : where across the globe
What is its condition ? condition tracking - eg : working , non-working
What is its status ? Status monitoring - eg : compliant , over-utilized
Where in my network is it ? Network tracking - eg : behind the firewall , on public IP or particular subnet