Spiceworks IT Desktop replaces your current, paid IT management software with a free administrative interface. Or--perhaps more likely--it offers robust management tools to companies that hadn't been able to afford products aimed at large businesses. Plus, its generally simple interface could work for tech-savvy workers without dedicated IT staff.
Spiceworks IT Desktop handles many IT tasks. It'll automatically recognize most network-connected computers to manage your inventory, plus you can manually add other hardware to its catalog. Help-desk tools let users file tickets, so you can track the progress and solutions to problems. Windows event monitoring identifies PC issues, including antivirus and Exchange Server status. Other monitors track bandwidth use, printer status, and other basics. You can also set up email alerts for any issues.
This common package of features makes Spiceworks IT Desktop a fairly typical network management package except for its free price--and that's a good thing. However, if you'd rather pay and remove the ad sponsorships, the company offers a $20/month option.
Spiceworks IT Desktop runs from Windows systems, but it can recognize and manage parts of Windows, OS X, Linux, and Unix across your network. Give it a shot to see if it fits your company. You'll likely get much more than you pay for.
Zack Stern is a freelance writer and editor based in San Francisco.
This story, "Free Network Management Tool Saves Your Budget" was originally published by PCWorld.