What is Software Management? | Tanium

Software management solutions help companies discover, monitor, update and secure enterprise applications from a single console, at scale. These solutions aim to improve software efficiency while reducing the cost and complexity of administering applications scattered across employee devices.

Even before COVID-19 forced millions of employees to work remotely, companies faced a huge software management challenge. The variety of off-the-shelf and custom software applications installed on enterprise devices around the world has exploded to 1,000 or more. Most companies cannot monitor and control so many applications. What’s more, the majority of companies don’t know how many devices are on their networks, where they are, and what apps are installed.

IT pros say these visibility gaps make it difficult, if not impossible, to release standardized software updates across an enterprise. As a result, 53% of IT managers are concerned that their organization will be unnecessarily exposed to cyberattacks that exploit poorly updated applications, a Tanium study 2020 found.

How the Best Software Management Solutions Work

Traditional tools are struggling to keep pace with the growing number of apps and devices. But modern offerings have emerged to help IT pros take control.

The best solutions have a lightweight, distributed architecture that enables continuous device scanning across the enterprise. As software management tools scan the IT environment, they also quickly and easily distribute new software updates, without overloading networks, causing outages or diminishing performance.

[Read also: Nine ways to control your endpoint software environment]

State-of-the-art solutions avoid the time-consuming and costly proliferation of old software management approaches. Instead, they provide visibility and control through unified platforms. IT staff manage a myriad of software applications from a single console, also known as a single “panel of glass.”

The Benefits of Modern Software Management Solutions

Powerful software management tools improve IT’s control over the application landscape. But the best systems include a number of additional benefits.

  • Improved visibility. The main tools analyze the software versions of each device to identify which ones need patches and updates. According to a Tanium report on improving IT resiliency, 80% of CIO and CISO leaders believe that poor visibility into software assets has caused critical security features to fail to update on all electronics.
  • Standardized environments. Enterprise IT can be chaotic and disorganized, creating hard-to-connect data and application silos. Consolidating applications through a unified platform allows even the largest software patches and installations to be installed in hours, with little network strain or risky downtime.
  • Simplified software deployment. Leading software management tools also save IT teams time, energy, and anxiety by automating manual processes. They push updates to employees through self-service features. Administrators can instead focus on automating and customizing a company’s larger workflows. And executives can generate reports themselves rather than requesting them from IT teams.

When evaluating options, consider a tool’s performance in the most demanding and complex operating environments. Make sure a tool can support future growth. Also consider the level of customer service provided by a vendor. Some tool vendors offer hands-on, premium levels of support that out-of-the-box offerings don’t.

Make sure a tool can support future growth

Finally, research when a solution was actually developed. While it appeared before the advent of cloud computing, keep in mind that many vendors have integrated cloud functionality into legacy applications. Older tools don’t always integrate well with current software applications.

Software management solutions are no longer an asset. As apps, devices and cyber threats proliferate, finding comprehensive and effective solutions remains essential, especially in the new normal of working from home. With the right tools, IT managers can be prepared for any situation the modern workplace throws at them.

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