In the digital age, businesses are having to manage and track more assets than ever before. With mobile devices flooding the workplace, increasingly complex cloud technologies, licensed-based software, and more frequent updates, the management and tracking of IT assets has become much more complicated. Also, more frequent employee turnover raises data security issues.
The cost of underutilized, mismanaged, or misplaced assets can put a severe dent in a company's bottom line. For example, according to Deloitte, companies can end up spending twice as much as they need to on their software assets because they don't have an accurate picture of their software landscape.
This is where asset management software comes in—to help businesses improve the visibility of their assets and effectively manage them to ensure their optimum utilization while reducing IT and software costs.
Asset management software (AMS) provides a holistic view of an asset's lifecycle—from its procurement and implementation through its renewal and disposal. While a business could use a simple spreadsheet to track its assets, using AMS allows it to analyze data specific to each asset, enabling it to make more informed decisions about the management of its assets.
In this roundup, we reviewed 20 AMS programs, comparing such factors as price, configurability, special features, ease of implementation, remote capabilities, and user experience to arrive at the best in six different categories.
The 6 Best Asset Management Software of 2021
Best Overall: ManageEngine AssetExplorer
With its mature toolkit and abundance of advanced features, including top-notch reporting, unique relationship maps, and support for both physical and virtual assets, ManageEngine AssetExplorer is our choice as the best overall asset management software.
Feature-rich toolset with mature technology
Familiar Windows-style user interface
No mobile application
Not for small businesses with limited IT staff
ManageEngine AssetExplorer is a web-based solution packed full of tools and features to handle all aspects of asset management, including inventory management, software license administration, compliance review, and more. With its mature technology, ease of setup, and reasonable price, ManageEngine AssetExplorer is our choice as the best overall asset management software.
For businesses new to asset management, ManageEngine AssetExplorer's feature-rich toolset may seem a bit overwhelming. However, if you start with its 30-day free trial, it can shorten the learning curve. The setup can appear incredibly daunting with the excessive number of tabs and drop-down menus. But ManageEngine AssetExplorer includes an excellent Quick Links feature to help you stay focused on the tasks you need to complete. It also helps that the interface has a Windows look and feel. Adding devices can also seem daunting due to the sheer number of choices. But the Windows Agent Configuration simplifies the process when using installed Windows Agents on new devices.
ManageEngine AssetExplorer's mature technology shines through with its reporting capability. In addition to a few dozen pre-built reports, the system can export reports in multiple formats to include all past queries. You can also easily create completely customized reports. In addition to scheduling reports to run, they can be scheduled for email delivery to specific recipients.
A significant downside to ManageEngine AssetExplorer is the lack of a mobile application. While the program can be accessed on a mobile browser, its somewhat complicated UI can make navigating on mobile devices more difficult. It's okay for more straightforward tasks, such as handling repair tickets and troubleshooting on the road.
The starting price for ManageEngine AssetExplorer is $995 per year for 250 IT assets, but you have to contact ManageEngine for a detailed quote.
All ManageEngine AssetExplorer users have access to 24/7 technical support, which is another key differentiator. Its support for virtual hosts and virtual machines is also a rarity. The only downside is there is no support if you're managing a lot of mobile devices, though there is support for voice-over-IP (VOIP) phones.
Best for Small to Medium Businesses: InvGate Assets
We chose InvGate Assets as the best asset management software for small to medium-size businesses with limited IT staff because it checks all the boxes, including easy setup, ease of use, advanced reporting, and remote desktop, all at a reasonable price.
Quick and easy setup
Straightforward and easy-to-follow navigation
Alarms can quickly show problems with assets
Reasonably priced for small to mid-size businesses
InvGate Assets covers all the essential software and hardware bases for tracking assets and inventory and doing so with an easy installation and easy-to-use interface, making it our choice for the best asset management software for small to medium-size businesses.
Out of the box, InvGate Assets allows businesses to track their assets with features such as advanced reports, network discovery, remote desktop, change management, license management, software deployment, and software metering. InvGate shortens the user learning curve with a straightforward and easy-to-follow user interface (UI). The navigation for getting reports is as simple as conducting a regular search and then exporting the data to Microsoft Excel. InvGate's alert system is easy to set up and it quickly notifies users of any problems with assets.
InvGate also uses a straightforward approach to getting assets into the system, with a simple agent install on any machine or device to be tracked. The system supports clients using Windows, Mac OS, and even Linux.
The price you pay for InvGate Assets depends on the number of nodes you want to support. Nodes are only counted if an agent will be installed for the InvGate Assets application. Other access points, such as IP phones, printers, routers, and fax machines, aren't included in the nodes count. The first price point is $6 per node per year for 250 nodes, or $1,500, for the annual plan. The cost for a perpetual license is $15 per node or $3,000 in the first year. In subsequent years, the price drops 20% ($600 on $3,000). InvGate also offers a free 30-day trial.
InvGate support is ideal for businesses with limited IT staff that might need more handholding. Subscribers receive unlimited access to phone support and a web support portal that includes a self-service knowledge base. Users have access to documentation and are able to request assistance with problem reporting throughout the license period.
Best for Custom Reporting: Ivanti IT Asset Management
For businesses wanting more flexibility in tracking key data points, Ivanti IT Asset Management offers more than 100 pre-built reports, which can be further customized based on personal queries. That makes Ivanti IT Asset Management our choice for the best custom reporting.
Mobile and desktop workspaces
Familiar Windows-style interface
Easy wizard setup
Workflows and processes can be customized
Several tech support options
Does not offer a cloud-based service
Lengthy, hardware-heavy installation process
24/7 phone support only available on premium plan
There are a number of reasons to like the feature-rich Ivanti IT Asset Management Suite. But the one that stands out for enterprises that want quickly and explicitly highlight key data points is its reporting capability. With more than 100 pre-built reports available and the opportunity to build more queries, Ivanti IT Asset Management is our choice as the best custom reporting AMS.
Ivanti offers everything a business could need to accurately track and efficiently manage IT assets through their complete lifecycle, including asset discovery, financial management, and software compliance and license management. The setup uses a Windows-based interface, making it more intuitive for Windows users. The wizard follows a straightforward path to get you to your initial network scan for assets with steps along the way to learn configuration and administration. After the initial scan, you can install agents on those machines.
Although Ivanti can tap into both mobile and desktop workspaces, it does not offer a cloud-based service, which means a more involved installation but with minimum hardware requirements. For businesses that can manage an on-site installation, the upside is a faster response time for asset discovery and report generation. As previously mentioned, the reports return information very quickly, even after manipulating queries to see more data.
Like many AMS providers, Ivanti's pricing is based on the number of nodes that need support. Similar to InvGate Assets, Ivanti bases its pricing on the number of agents installed. So, IP phones, routers, and other network devices that can't install an agent are not included in the asset count for determining the price. Ivanti does not publish its pricing, instead asking interested parties to contact them for an estimate. We received a soft quote for the Ivanti IT Asset Management Suite, including discovery, inventory, reclamation, lifecycle management, and data analytics, for $60 per node per year.
Ivanti also offers a 45-day trial of the Asset Management Suite. But, as the trial software must be installed on a local server, you will need to confirm that your machines meet the minimum hardware requirements.
An Ivanti subscription includes access to technical support, including phone support, a web portal, and online self-service. For a premium, Ivanti offers a dedicated technical account manager's support, with a target response time of 30 minutes or less. There is 24/7 phone support for critical issues but this only available with premium enterprise-level support.
Best Value: Asset Panda
Asset Panda prices out at 500 assets for $1,500 per year, including unlimited users, free applications with barcode scanning, customizable CVS import with field mapping, "premium" technical support, and custom reporting, making it our choice as the best value for asset management software.
Highly configurable dashboard
Feature-rich mobile app with barcode scanning
Can include images, videos, and voice recordings in data files
Big bang for the buck
Solid technical support
Longer user learning curve
No network discovery
Asset Panda is a cloud-based asset management system suitable for businesses of any type or size. Though it looks and feels like a turnkey solution, AMS is anything but that. In addition to offering premium features such as unlimited users and custom reporting, Asset Panda can easily be configured to meet any business's niche requirements, all for $1,500 per 500 assets, making it our choice as the best value for asset management software.
Asset Panda is as complete a package as any business needs to track and manage its assets. Its inventory management module combines inventory and asset management under one platform and includes the ability to manage assets at multiple locations and moving between locations. Designated users may customize workflows for both managed assets and inventory, which are easily tracked using UPC codes or serial numbers. Asset Panda also offers the ability to add photos, documents, and videos to asset data files. Asset Panda users have access to some solid reporting options with dozens of built-in reports that allow for customization as needed.
Asset Panda also has a mobile app with the ability to scan bar codes and add assets on the fly, and it is completely integrated with the web application. The app can generate reports and also features mobile audit and GPS tracking. That's an unusual amount of features for a mobile app.
The downside to Asset Panda is that, with its greater capacity to configure and customize comes a steeper learning curve. It can be more difficult for companies that don't have internal IT support. However, the good news for small to mid-size businesses is that everyone is treated as premium users, with complete access to phone support. Users also have access to a web portal and an online knowledge base. Free training is included.
The 14-day free trial is short compared to others offering 30 or 45 days.
Best for Mobile Applications: MMSoft Pulseway
We chose MMSoft Pulseway as the best asset management software for mobile applications because being a leading cloud-first remote monitoring and management (RMM) software is its primary area of focus and it excels at it.
Robust and easy-to-use mobile client
Modern, intelligent user experience
iPad app provides access to full feature set
Easy connections to cloud and locally deployed physical and virtual infrastructure
Limited reporting capabilities
Managed assets must be networked
MMSoft Pulseway is a powerful, user-friendly mobile system for monitoring and managing assets. Unlike other remote monitoring and management software, Pulseway is mobile-first, with the ability to perform any administrative task straight from any smartphone or tablet. That's why Pulseway is our choice as the best AMS for mobile applications.
As you might expect with a mobile-first system, Pulseway provides users with an ultra-modern and intelligent user experience regardless of the device or platform used. Users can access the entire range of system functionalities through a simple and attractive interface, and connectivity to machines is nearly instant.
Although there's also remote desktop access into Windows machines, the Pulseway mobile application capabilities include troubleshooting cloud-based servers and other operating systems. It can kill processes, restart, log out, suspend, and lock non-Windows-based assets from the mobile client.
The real game-changer is the availability of real-time status updates from the mobile app. Notification options are very detailed, allowing you to select services and schedule tasks that need to be managed.
A significant downside to Pulseway is its limited reporting capabilities. There are less than 20 pre-built reports and no way to edit them or create new ones. The reports can be viewed on-screen and can be sent by email.
Pricing for Pulseway's Professional plan starts at $1.34 per workstation per month for one user account, one concurrent remote desktop session, up to 200 monitored systems, and unlimited mobile devices billed annually at $16 per system. The Enterprise SaaS version pricing starts at $1.55 per workstation per month for up to 50 systems. That includes five user accounts, one concurrent remote desktop session, and unlimited mobile devices. Pulseway also offers a free version of its AMS that can be used to monitor two personal computers. There is also a full-featured 14-day trial.
Best for Tracking Physical Assets: GoCodes
Using secure QR stickers, GoCodes has built a robust, mobile-capable physical asset tracking system that's also affordable, making it our choice as the best AMS for tracking physical assets.
Easy to set up and use
Secure, physical stickers with detailed information
Locates powered-down assets online or from mobile devices
Tracks networked and non-networked assets
No software usage tracking or automated detection of assets
GoCodes is a web-based asset and inventory tracking software program suitable for businesses of any size that need to manage physical assets. We chose GoCodes as the best AMS for tracking physical assets because of its effective use of QR codes to track assets easily and quickly through any computer or mobile device. The simplicity of a physical sticker is attractive to businesses that aren't technology-driven.
It really is as easy as placing a barcode sticker on an asset to check it into GoCodes with details such as asset type, subtype, serial number, who is assigned the asset, as well as any additional data tracked using up to 10 customizable, user-defined fields. Asset data files can include documentation, such as invoices, repair records, photos, and videos. A mapping feature allows managers to track the location of an asset. GoCodes tracks service requests, repairs, and maintenance of that particular asset.
With GoCodes, calculating depreciation is automatic using the most common calculation scenarios of fixed assets. Pre-built depreciation reports showing calculation data are included and can be exported for more detailed depreciation management.
GoCode's general reporting capabilities are limited, with less than 20 customizable reports available in the Enterprise plan with the reporting function optional in the other plans.
GoCodes offers five plans—Standard, Premium, Premium Elite, Professional, and Enterprise. All plans include any number of employees, an unlimited number of mobile apps, custom data fields, GPS tracking, and an inventory module. There is a monthly payment plan but paying annually lowers the cost by 10%.
The Standard plan starts at $300 per year and includes three users, 200 assets, and email support. The Premium plan costs $810 per year and consists of five users with up to 500 assets. Premium Elite users pay $1,500 a year for 10 users and up to 1,000 assets. The Professional plan, which includes 20 users and up to 2,000 assets, starts at $2,160 per year and provides custom reporting. Premium, Premium Elite, and Professional plan users have access to phone support during business hours. Pricing for the Enterprise plan is available upon request.
What Is Asset Management Software?
Businesses use asset management software to optimize asset efficiency while minimizing the cost of lost or underutilized assets. By having a top-down, bottom-up, 360-degree view of its assets—both tangible and intangible, organizations can save time and money knowing accurately (in real-time) where they are, who has them, their license status, and whether repairs are needed. Asset management software (AMS) automatically collects all of that data and compiles reports the business can use to optimize the use of its assets.
A well-implemented asset management software system provides the business with in-depth visibility into every asset inside its environment to help:
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Eliminate obsolete assets
- Inform decisions on new IT purchases
- Optimize software license utilization
- Increase protections against security risks
- Make the business more compliant and audit-ready
How Does Asset Management Software Work?
Asset management software collects and compiles data on all assets for tracking through their entire lifecycle, including their requisition, acquisition, installation, configuration, maintenance, decommission, and disposal. As an asset moves through its lifecycle, AMS tracks its location, who's using it, as well as its downtime and uptime. Automated reports provide management with critical data and analysis of each asset.
Why Is Asset Management Software Important?
Without the means to track their assets, businesses can't know what they own and what it's costing them. While it might be possible for some businesses to track their assets using a simple spreadsheet, when their assets number in the dozens or hundreds, there is no way to maintain an accurate and regular accounting.
When implemented properly, AMS can lower the administrative costs of tracking assets, reduce human errors, and save the business time and resources that can be put towards revenue-generating functions. It can also provide the framework for holding employees accountable for the proper handling of assets.
More importantly, AMS can provide deep insights into business performance by identifying trends of asset utilization and understanding how they contribute to the business's growth.
How Much Does Asset Management Software Cost?
Pricing for asset management software varies depending on the features offered and the pricing method. Some AMS providers base their pricing on the number of users, while others base it on the number of assets or a combination of the two. Some providers charge a flat annual fee based on a range of users and assets. So, it isn't easy to compare pricing unless you know precisely what you are looking for in an AMS system.
At one end of the pricing spectrum, a smaller business can pay $6 per communication endpoint or workstation per year per 250 endpoints, or $1,500. A larger enterprise would pay $6,000 for 1,000 workstations. Some providers charge for add-on features such as remote access and a backup system, while others include them as standard features.
How Does Asset Management Software Help in Audits?
All organizations—private and public—are required to keep accurate asset records for various reasons. Schools and nonprofit organizations need to accurately classify and track assets by funding source or risk losing grants. Without accurate asset records, a business's balance sheet could be incorrect, leading to problems with the IRS or a lender.
These are all reasons why organizations need to audit their assets at least on an annual basis. Without a detailed and accurate asset audit, businesses can't know whether they are performing at an optimum level or are losing productivity due to underperforming or underutilized assets.
However, with the proliferation of IT assets and increasing regulations, preparing for an asset audit can be very complex. Asset management software provides businesses with a streamlined process for tracking assets with efficient data management. AMS delivers complete visibility into asset costs, usage, and return on investment for improved business performance insight. It can also track depreciation for tax purposes and determining the useful business life of an asset.
How We Chose the Best Asset Management Software
Choosing the right asset management software can be daunting. There are many moving parts within an AMS program, and programs can vary widely in terms of their feature sets and pricing. Your challenge begins with having to choose from more than two dozen AMS providers.
To narrow your choices to the best AMS programs, we considered several key factors, including ease of setup, ease of operation, standard features, mobile capabilities, reporting, and pricing. Ultimately, choosing the right AMS program should be based on these key factors and, more importantly, whether the program applications are suitable for your specific business needs.
Deloitte. "Cost savings and brand protection from software asset management." Accessed November 30, 2020.