Software inventory management software

Your systems are a complex mixture of hardware, software, and configuration information. Maintaining up-to-date inventory data is critical to effective asset management. When managing inventory across multiple locations, identifying and optimizing resources becomes exponentially more complicated. A high-quality software inventory management solution, like PDQ Deploy & Inventory or PDQ Connect, scans your systems to collect relevant asset data for instant insights that help you make informed decisions.

man in plaid shirt working on computer
man in plaid shirt working on computer
Solutions "Scan Systems" UISolutions "Scan Systems" UI

What is software inventory management?

Also known as software asset management (SAM), software inventory management oversees the full asset lifecycle from acquisition through disposal. The end-to-end process includes procurement, deployment, utilization, updating, maintenance, and retirement of software. Depending on your organizational needs, it may also entail consolidating licenses or changing software licensing models.  

In short, software inventory management is a critical strategy to help businesses align their goals with their IT infrastructures, software, and other resources. The PDQ product suite supports the process.

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Must-have software inventory management features

To optimize your software assets and ensure compliance, it’s crucial to find an SAM solution with robust features that balance convenience and customizability.

Asset discovery

Software inventory planning requires the documentation and tracking of all software assets deployed across the organization, including installed software applications, versions, and associated hardware.

PDQ UI showing machines based on Dynamic Collection featurePDQ UI showing machines based on Dynamic Collection feature

Automatic scanning

Perform asset discovery to gather configuration data from 50 or 5,000 machines.

Custom scan profiles

In Inventory, collect the information you need without running a time-consuming full scan. That leaves more time in your schedule to stream the latest Marvel movie (for work-related reasons, of course).


Organize machines based on filter criteria for more control.

License compliance

License compliance ensures legal and ethical business practices while optimizing software investments, minimizing cybersecurity risks, and supporting strong vendor relationships. The PDQ suite makes it easy to maintain and prove compliance.

Report UI in PDQ Inventory with chart iconReport UI in PDQ Inventory with chart icon

Up-to-date records

Keep an accurate and current database of your software and hardware assets.


See how many computers have a certain software application installed, which version of an app is on each machine, and more.

Software removal

Remove any unused software product from machines quickly and easily. Purge the scourge when Alex in accounting adds the desktop TikTok app for the fifth time.

Patch management

Patch management focuses on keeping software up to date, which is a critical component of software inventory management. PDQ Deploy & Inventory and PDQ Connect make the process simple, secure, and pretty damn quick.

Scheduling UI i PDQ Deploy with Timer iconScheduling UI i PDQ Deploy with Timer icon

Scheduled deployments

Use set-it-and-forget-it deployments to schedule routine updates without coming into the office during off-hours.

Automatic retry

Initiate scans or deployments when an offline machine comes back online. No need to wait around for your brief window of opportunity. Every moment is an opportunity. At least that’s what my life coach (AKA bartender) tells me.


You need a unique solution for your unique fleet. The PDQ suite gives you the flexibility to fit software inventory management seamlessly into your existing workflows.

PDQ Deploy UI showing prebuilt tools feature with decorative custom iconPDQ Deploy UI showing prebuilt tools feature with decorative custom icon

Prebuilt tools

With PDQ Deploy, use prebuilt tools to perform reboots, Wake-on-LAN, and other common tasks with just a few clicks.

Custom tools

In PDQ Inventory, develop the right tools for the job so that you’re only limited by your imagination, ambition, and current blood caffeine concentration.

Active Directory sync

Automatically update your inventory by adding or deleting computers based on Active Directory.

Software inventory management for remote devices

Use our new agent-based solution, PDQ Connect, to keep your fleet up to date and secure via the cloud. View real-time data, deploy software using custom or prebuilt packages, and automate IT tasks — from one platform to any internet-connected Windows device.

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PDQ Connect homepagePDQ Connect homepage

PDQ vs. leading software inventory management competitors 

PDQ Deploy & Inventory’s software inventory management

PDQ Connect's software inventory management

Leading competitors

Agentless local software inventory management




Agent-based remote software inventory management




Patch management integration




Library of ready-to-deploy packages




Easy to use




Extensive knowledge base




Includes expert support from former sysadmins




Software inventory management FAQs

What are the benefits of software inventory management?

Effective software inventory management offers financial, legal, and security advantages.

Good software license management supports license optimization, which can reap major benefits for your bottom line. An SAM tool, like the PDQ suite, can also make license compliance easier, reducing the risk of purchasing too few licenses and incurring hefty penalties. Finally, monitoring your software gives you an opportunity to delete solutions that you no longer use. Not only can this enhance computer performance, but it can also reduce security risks associated with unused apps.

  • Make informed decisions

  • Cut costs by reducing excess inventory

  • Simplify budgeting

  • Reduce legal compliance risks

  • Support digital transformation and business growth

  • Enhance your cybersecurity posture

How do you incorporate software inventory management?

Rolling out a software inventory management program may take a little time and effort upfront, but it should ultimately reduce your workload and simplify the management of your IT resources. To incorporate a software inventory management system, follow these steps:

  • Perform a software audit of your current tools for accurate inventory counts

  • Develop a software license inventory

  • Establish software procurement, purchase order, and work order management guidelines

  • Analyze software usage

  • Implement software asset tracking procedures to monitor the inventory level

  • Incorporate an IT asset management software or inventory control software

A comprehensive software asset management system makes it easy to deploy the right patches to the right machines, which is one of the cornerstones of maintaining a strong security posture. Microsoft Windows releases updates on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday), so you can act quickly if you know what software is already on your computers.

What are software inventory management best practices?

Following software inventory best practices can help you get the most out of your software inventory management program. Consider incorporating these methods:

  • Put a team or individual in charge of software asset management

  • Forge strong relationships with software vendors

  • Conduct audits

  • Categorize assets

  • Recycle licenses as needed

  • Select KPIs to measure success

Proper software inventory management goes hand-in-hand with hardware asset management and effective service management. The best SAM program is part of a much more robust information technology management program.

How do you choose the right software inventory management tool?

Picking the right inventory management software requires assessing these factors:

  • Functionality

  • Cost

  • Ease of use

  • Compatible devices

  • Available support

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few top contenders, read reviews to get an idea of their potential pros and cons. Always schedule a demo to see the inventory software for yourself before deciding. Select the best option for your business to help you manage inventory with ease.

How do you manage software inventory for remote devices?

An agent-based software asset management tool is the quickest and easiest way to track inventory on remote devices. PDQ Connect uses an agent-based approach, allowing you real-time visibility into your environment and the ability to update any Windows device with the agent installed whenever it's online.

Remote inventory tracking is also possible using an agentless, on-prem solution, like PDQ Deploy & Inventory. However, users would need to connect to your VPN, so your information is unlikely to be up-to-the-minute.