Desktop management solutions allow you to streamline and unify any network management tasks that need to be carried out on endpoint devices. Common tasks include the implementation of virus, or malware protection, patch management, helpdesk functions, and install/move/add/change (IMAC) tasks. Desktop management solutions will work not only on your PC desktop, but also your laptops, tablets, and other user devices.
Some desktop management solutions will also allow you to monitor and control identity and access. This ensures that your devices are being use by valid users, and that you can control this from a central, unified dashboard. Desktop management solutions can be configured in house or managed by a third-party provider.
Desktop management solutions are closely linked to remote management and monitoring (RMM) solutions. While both types of solutions are capable of monitoring devices, analysing events, and performing management tasks, they differ in the way this is achieved. RMM solutions operate at scale across an entire network, and can encompass all of the servers, workstations, and network devices. They can manage software updates, identify hardware failures, and security threats. Desktop management solutions are more focused on managing individual desktop devices, with specific configuration needs. There is, understandably, a lot of overlap in this category; many RMM solutions work as effective desktop management solutions, too.
In this article, we’ll identify the top 10 desktop management solutions, and cover their key features and use cases. We will offer our expert opinions on each solution’s stand out features and identify the type of organization that would benefit from each platform.
What Is Desktop Management Software?
Desktop management solutions allow you to unify the management and security of devices across your network. These tools often allow you to roll out changes such as patch management, software updates, and ensure that security policies are in place across devices. Desktop management tools also allow for remote management and control of endpoint devices to resolve any issues that occur. This type of solution works on your desktop PCs, as well as mobile devices, IoT devices, and tablets.
What Are The Benefits Of Desktop Management Software?
Troubleshooting – In a world where workforces are increasingly geographically disparate, desktop management solutions allow IT teams to resolve technical issues and misconfigurations without being onsite. This results in swifter issue resolution, as well as reduced costs (through reduced transport and drop in productivity).
Policy Unification – Large organizations may easily have hundreds of devices to manage, there may also be a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place. Desktop management solutions allow you to ensure that the same security policies and configurations have been deployed across every device within your workforce.
Improved Productivity – Desktop management solutions allow you to automate key maintenance tasks – such as updating software patches – to ensure all devices are adequately protected. As this process can be automated, it requires less admin time to instigate, and updates can be scheduled to happen outside of work hours. This reduces the workload for network administrators, thereby improving productivity.
MSPs – For MSPs, installing an effective remote desktop management solution is essential. Without one, MSPs will be limited in their utility and the range of remediation that is available to them when an issue does occur. While some specific applications may have the capability to be accessed remotely, only remote desktop management solutions allow complete access as if the remote user were using a local device.
What Should You Look For In A Desktop Management Solution?
It can be difficult to know what to look for when considering a desktop management solution. In part, the ideal desktop management solution depends on what your specific use case is. You may be focused on finding a solution that can help you manage software patching and software deployment. Alternatively, you may want a tool that helps you resolve troubleshooting and user experience issues. These are very different use cases, but both can be achieved with desktop management software. Some other features to look out for include:
- Patch and software management
- Asset discovery and management
- Remote troubleshooting
- OS imaging and deployment