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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Inventory Software?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Open source software is any kind of program whose source code is available to the public at no charge. Inventory software is a computer program that professionals can use to count, track, and sometimes order assets. To choose the best open source inventory software, your first step should be to generate a list of functions that you need in inventory software. For example, if you are concerned about network and computer inventory, you should make sure that you find a program that enables you to keep track of software updates and usage. To generate a complete list of desired features, you might want to meet with professionals from all departments that could potentially use open source inventory software to brainstorm for ideas you might not otherwise consider.

One problem that professionals can have when trying to find the best software solutions is budgeting. Open source inventory software is free, however, so budget should not be a concern. Instead, think about factors such as security, capability, and reliability.

Critics of open source software often posit that these programs tend to have security flaws that make users vulnerable. If this is a concern for you, research open source inventory software before making a decision. By reading trade publications, you can find out about the security levels and performance levels of various kinds of software. It is also important to remember that if you have access to information technology (IT) support, you can consult IT professionals about risk management options.

Compatibility is another key factor to consider when choosing open source inventory software. Not all programs function well with all operating systems. Most times, an informational website lists the operating systems a software is compatible with. Again, it is always advisable to do some research first, since a program might be compatible with an operating system but still may not be the best fit. Likewise, some programs might function better with other elements of your current business systems.

Take advantage of the cost effectiveness of open source inventory software by downloading several of the programs that you are considering. Without actually implementing these programs into your inventory system, try them out with some test data. This is a great way to learn about usability of programs. It is also a great way to test features and find out whether promotional writing is accurate. Once you have chosen the open source inventory software that you think is best, slowly add data into the new system so that you have time to solve problems as they arise and before they impact your larger inventory operation.

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