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Software Inventory

Performing a software inventory is the first step in understanding your software assets. The software inventory lets you know what software you or your department is using.

For additional information or help, view Microsoft Step-by-Step Software Inventory animated training.

Steps in completing an inventory

Step 1: Make a list of all computers and servers within department. The list should contain the following information for each:

  • Computer name
  • Computer model
  • Serial number
  • Location of computer
  • Assigned user

You can use the Computer Inventory Report to compile this information

Step 2: For each computer, determine what software is being used by using non-purchasing data. You can perform this step manually or by using a software inventory tool. If you perform a manual inventory, you can gather information from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Browsing the hard drive
  • Look at the installed program list in add/remove programs
  • Gather all original CD's and documentation from retail packages

If you perform an automatic inventory, there are numerous automated tools available to make inventorying software easy. If you use such a tool on a stand-alone computer, you will need to install the tool on each computer.

Manual inventory tools:

Software Inventory Report (use on each computer)

Automatic inventory tools:

Step 3: Match purchasing data to non-purchasing data. Purchasing data may include one or more of the following:

  • purchase orders
  • order acknowledgements
  • invoices
  • license confirmation
  • canceled checks

You may use the software inventory report that you began in step 2.

Step 4: When you’ve inventoried all of your computers, combine the information into one master report. You may use the Software Installation and License Summary Report to summarize your individual computer software data.

**If, as a result of the inventory, you find that you have under-reported licenses, you must purchase the appropiate number of licenses to cover your unlicensed computers.**