There are at least three major categories of software institutions should include in the software inventory: operating systems, application software, and back-office and environmental applications. Application software includes core processing applications, as well as desktop and workstation office productivity software. Back-office and environmental software consists of applications that reside above the operating system and that support primary applications. Examples of back office and environmental software include database engines, back-up and storage management software, Internet servers and application support software, file transmission systems, system performance monitoring applications, scheduling and change control systems, utilities, front-end processors (for mainframes only), and problem and issue tracking software.

The following provides examples of information to capture in software inventories:

  • Type or application name (e.g. general ledger, payroll);
  • Manufacturer or vendor;
  • Serial number;
  • Version level;
  • Patch level;
  • Number of copies installed;
  • Number of licenses owned; and
  • Types of licenses owned (e.g. site, individual).


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