RFP Checklist | Asset management tools
- By David Essex
- Jun 19, 2007
Selecting the best ITAM solution for your organization requires a close look at your infrastructure, reporting needs and integration requirements. Here are some important questions you'll want to answer before investing in a specific solution.
Is the software agent-based or agentless? The former requires installing client software on every piece of hardware, which can be done remotely over the network but adds overhead that can bog down network and desktop performance. Its advantage is constant updating of the asset database. Agentless requires no client software and performs better, but it can require users to log in to a server-based script application whenever an update is needed.
Ask for details on how a tool presents and visually displays asset data. Some are only collection engines with little analytical or graphical ability.
Run a pilot or a bake-off among vendors. At the very least, ask each vendor for a live ' not canned ' demo. ITAM software lends itself to real-world test drives on your network.
Beware of discovery tools that can't identify dual-CPU or multicore systems, inaccurately reporting them as having a single CPU. Some may also struggle to identify software installed on virtual machines.
Don't be swayed by low prices that don't take into account higher maintenance costs down the road. Instead, ask vendors how they'll maintain an ongoing relationship, and look for research and development plans that suggest a viable upgrade path for at least two years.
Make sure all your platforms are supported and fully recognizable.
Judge each vendor by how well it matches your agency's current ITAM maturity level and its ability to grow with you.