Home > Software Categories > Best IT Software & Tools in 2023
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Aug. 16, 2023: We reviewed our recommendations and refined each vendor’s pros and cons lists to preserve our editorial objectivity. We also simplified the page layout for easier navigation and implemented additional opportunities to connect directly with the software vendors we recommend.

At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research, and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. 

By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases. Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process. 

Technology Advice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

IT software is a type of platform that makes it easier to secure, manage, or automate business devices and processes. This could include artificial intelligence, application development, backup and recovery, or network monitoring tools, along with many others.

The right software can be one of the most powerful resources IT professionals can use to align their roles with larger business priorities. This guide will help buyers and procurement teams develop a better understanding of products, features, and specific use examples in order to choose the best IT solutions for their needs.

IT is a vast category that includes many types of software. We curated a list based on our expert recommendations that provides you with the most pertinent information on some of the top players in the field. 

Our picks for the best IT software

IBM Watson: Best AI software


Pros

  • Comprehensive AI suite
  • Efficient speech-to-text capabilities
  • Watson Studio can build, run, and manage AI models
  • Highly accurate results in natural language processing tasks

Cons

  • Complex setup
  • No direct interface (primarily accessed via APIs)

Comprehensive AI Suite: IBM Watson provides a range of AI functionalities, from natural language processing to data analytics, unlocking new levels of productivity by infusing AI into core business workflows.

AI-Driven Assistant: Watson Assistant delivers fast, accurate answers across various platforms, enhancing both customer service and internal operations like IT Helpdesk and HR.

Watson Studio: A platform that empowers data scientists, developers, and analysts to build, run, and manage AI models, optimizing decisions on IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

AutoAI: A feature that automates data preparation, model development, feature engineering, and hyperparameter optimization, allowing for faster experimentation in AI development.

AI Governance: Watson provides tools and processes for AI governance, enabling transparent and explainable analytic results, and managing AI risks, policies, and regulations.

Natural Language Processing with Watson: The Watson Natural Language Processing Premium Environment offers high-quality text analysis models in over 20 languages, created and evaluated by experts at IBM.

IBM Watson Assistant 

  • Lite: Free
  • Plus: Starting at $140/month
  • Enterprise: Contact IBM

IBM Watson Orchestrate

  • Base: $200/seat/month 
  • Enterprise: Contact IBM

IBM Watson Studio

  • Contact IBM

IBM Watson Discovery

  • Starting at $500

IBM Watson’s comprehensive suite offers unparalleled data analytics and natural language processing capabilities. The powerful AI-driven assistant ensures both efficiency and accuracy. Its adaptability to integrate seamlessly with various platforms and handle vast data volumes makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes. Finally, the support, expertise and track record offered by IBM instill confidence in our decision.

IBM Watson, named after IBM’s founder Thomas J. Watson, is a groundbreaking artificial intelligence system developed by IBM’s DeepQA project. Initially designed to answer questions on the quiz show “Jeopardy!”, Watson outperformed human champions, securing a $1 million prize in 2011. Unlike traditional search engines that merely return results, Watson comprehends and responds to complex queries. The system runs on a cluster of Power 750™ computers, processing data equivalent to about one million books. Recently, Watson’s capabilities have expanded, integrating advanced natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics, evolving beyond Q&A pairs to functions like ‘seeing’, ‘hearing’, and ‘recommending’.

Other leading AI software

Zendesk: Best IT Help Desk software


Pros

  • Impactful ticket management tools
  • Muli-channel communication with customers
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Regular updates to the platform

Cons

  • Skill-based routing limitations
  • Reporting and analytics features can be challenging to navigate

Ticket Management: Zendesk facilitates the efficient management and tracking of IT support tickets from inception to resolution, ensuring prompt and effective assistance.

Self-Service Portal: Through this portal, users can access a knowledge base, FAQs, and community forums, helping them find solutions to common IT challenges and reducing the volume of support requests.

Automation and Workflow: Zendesk empowers users to automate repetitive tasks and optimize workflows using rules, triggers, and escalations, ensuring tickets are directed to the appropriate agents for swift resolution.

Collaboration and Communication: The platform fosters internal collaboration among IT teams, enabling agents to exchange information, communicate, and collaboratively address issues.

Reporting and Analytics: Zendesk provides profound insights into IT support performance via comprehensive reports and analytics, allowing teams to measure metrics such as ticket resolution time, agent efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

Integration and Customization: With its ability to integrate with a variety of third-party tools, Zendesk extends its functionality and facilitates connections with other systems, while also offering customization options tailored to specific IT support requirements.

Zendesk Suite – Team

$55/user/month when billed annually

$69/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Suite – Growth

$89/user/month when billed annually

$115/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Suite – Professional

$115/user/month when billed annually

$149/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Suite – Enterprise

$169/user/month when billed annually 

$219/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Suite – Enterprise Plus

$249/user/month when billed annually

Zendesk Support – Essential

$6/user/month when billed annually 

$11/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Support- Team

$19/user/month when billed annually 

$25/user/month when billed monthly 

Zendesk Support – Professional

$55/user/month when billed annually

$69/user/month when billed monthly

Zendesk Support – Enterprise

$115/user/month when billed annually

$149/user/month when billed monthly

After much evaluation, we chose Zendesk as the best IT helpdesk software. Its intuitive user interface, ticket management system, and multi-channel communication capabilities particularly stood out. The seamless integration options and regular software updates further solidified our decision.

Zendesk, Inc. is a Danish-American software company headquartered in San Francisco, California, known for its customer service software solutions. Founded in 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Morten Primdahl, Alexander Aghassipour, and Mikkel Svane, Zendesk initially catered to small businesses but has since evolved to serve larger enterprises. 

The company went public in 2014 and has made several acquisitions to expand its product offerings. Recently, Zendesk introduced new Suite plans that offer a comprehensive customer service solution, including messaging that connects across various platforms. They’ve also enhanced their product tray, introduced trigger categories for ticketing, and provided enriched integrations, ensuring a holistic customer support experience.

Other leading Help Desk Solutions

For a full list, check out our Help Desk Software Buyer’s Guide.

Amtel: Best Mobile Device Management software


Pros

  • Field worker focus
  • Geofencing option
  • Expense management 
  • Easy enrollment
  • Security dashboard

Cons

  • Limited EMM toolkit
  • Registering Windows devices requires links with Microsoft’s Active Directory and additional gateway products

Unified Endpoint Management: Amtel provides a centralized platform to manage both mobile and embedded devices, ensuring consistent policies and configurations across all endpoints.

Real-time Device Monitoring: Amtel offers real-time monitoring capabilities, allowing IT teams to instantly view device health, status, and compliance.

Remote Wipe and Lock: In case of device loss or theft, Amtel enables remote wiping and locking of the device to protect sensitive data.

Policy Enforcement: Amtel ensures that all devices adhere to company policies, automatically detecting and rectifying any policy violations.

App Distribution and Management: With Amtel, IT teams can seamlessly distribute, update, and manage applications on enrolled devices.

Comprehensive Reporting: Amtel provides detailed reports on device usage, compliance, and security, aiding in informed decision-making.

Starting at $495/year

Contact Amtel for specific pricing

Amtel’s unique focus on field workers, combined with its advanced geofencing capabilities, ensures our mobile teams operate securely and efficiently. Its integrated expense management feature streamlines budgeting, while the easy enrollment process simplifies device onboarding. The real-time device monitoring and robust policy enforcement further enhance security and compliance.

Amtel, Inc. is a telecommunications management company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Established in 2004, Amtel specializes in providing cloud-based mobile device security and expense management solutions. The company’s primary focus is on integrated enterprise mobility management, telecom expense management (TEM), and secure messaging software as a service for enterprises. 

Amtel’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution was launched in 2010, combining mobile device security management with mobile apps management on a telecom information management system (TIMS) platform. In 2016, Amtel was acquired by Netplus and later by StoneCalibre. 

Other leading Mobile Device Management Solutions

BitDefender Total Security: Best Cybersecurity software


Pros

  • Top-notch anti-malware
  • Excellent VPN
  • Comprehensive security suite
  • Web filtering
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • Considerable impact on system speed
  • Complex dashboard

Multi-Platform Coverage: Protects devices across Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS.

Anti-Malware: Recognized for its effectiveness in detecting and neutralizing malware.

Performance Impact: Designed to run without slowing down your device.

Real-time Protection: Actively scans and blocks malware, viruses, and ransomware as they appear.

Online Safety: Offers tools to help users safely browse the internet.

Comprehensive Security Suite: Provides a range of features to ensure device safety.

$39.99/user/year for the first year

$94.99/user/year upon renewal

Bitdefender Total Security stands out as the premier cybersecurity software due to its multi-platform coverage, ensuring protection across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Its top-tier anti-malware capabilities consistently receive high marks in independent tests, ensuring defense against threats. With features like real-time protection, web safety tools, and a user-friendly interface, users can navigate the digital world with confidence. Additionally, its integrated VPN and comprehensive security suite offer added layers of privacy and defense.

Established as a top-tier offering, Total Security provides extensive protection across various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. One of its standout features is the support for mobile devices and macOS, supplemented by a OneClick Optimizer for PCs and an anti-theft tool for remote access in case of theft. The software also boasts real-time antivirus protection, web attack prevention, and a VPN for enhanced online privacy. However, the VPN comes with a 200MB daily limit. 

Other leading Cybersecurity Software Solutions

Get the Buyer’s Guide to Security Software for a full list.

IDrive: Best cloud storage backup software


Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Advanced file sharing
  • Physical hard drive service
  • Works on multiple devices
  • End-to-end encryption options

Cons

  • Clunky web interface
  • Storage limitations

Multiple Device Backup: IDrive allows users to backup multiple devices including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices into a single account. Additionally, data from external hard drives can also be backed up.

Cloud Drive: With IDrive’s Cloud Drive, files and folders are synced in real-time across all linked devices. The storage used by Cloud Drive does not impact the backup storage and matches the backup storage limit.

IDrive Express: This feature offers quick backup and retrieval of data in less than a week via physical storage shipment, ensuring no bandwidth usage.

Snapshots and Versioning: Snapshots provide a historical view of data for point-in-time recovery and help protect against ransomware. IDrive retains up to 30 previous versions of all files backed up to the user’s account.

Manage Computers: IDrive offers a web-based console that helps manage data backups, restores, application settings, and more on remote computers.

Security and Privacy: IDrive ensures the transfer and storage of files with 256-bit AES encryption using a user-defined key that is not stored anywhere on their servers.

Free plan available

Storage: 10 GB

IDrive Mini

100 GB Storage: $2.95/year (approx. $0.25/user/month)

500 GB Storage: $9.95/year (approx. $0.83/user/month)

1 TB Storage: $19.95/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

IDrive Personal:

5 TB Storage: $79.50/year (approx. $6.63/user/month)

10 TB Storage: $99.50/year (approx. $8.29/user/month)

20 TB Storage: $199.50/year (approx. $16.63/user/month)

50 TB Storage: $499.50/year (approx. $41.63/user/month)

IDrive Team

5 TB (5 computers, 5 users): $99.50/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

10 TB (10 computers, 10 users): $199.50/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

25 TB (25 computers, 25 users): $499.50/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

30 TB (30 computers, 30 users): $599.50/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

35 TB (35 computers, 35 users): $699.50/year (approx. $1.66/user/month)

IDrive Business

250 GB Storage: $99.50/year (approx. $8.29/user/month)

500 GB Storage: $199.50/year (approx. $16.63/user/month)

1.25 TB Storage: $499.50/year (approx. $41.63/user/month)

2.5 TB Storage: $799.50/year (approx. $66.63/user/month)

5 TB Storage: $1499.50/year (approx. $124.96/user/month)

We called out IDrive as the best storage software due to its multi-device backup, top-tier security with 256-bit AES encryption, real-time syncing, and affordable pricing. Features like snapshots for point-in-time recovery, quick data retrieval through IDrive Express, and remote management of computers make it appealing to both individual users and businesses. Its user-friendly interface and positive user reviews further contribute to its reputation as a leading cloud backup solution.

IDrive Inc., headquartered in Calabasas, CA, is a privately held company that specializes in cloud storage, online backup, and remote access. The company’s core offerings include IDrive, RemotePC, and IBackup, serving over 4 million customers. IDrive stands out by allowing consumers to securely backup multiple computers and mobile devices into one account at the same cost. For businesses, it offers the flexibility to create multiple user accounts and manage the backups of their computers/servers seamlessly.

Other leading cloud backup and storage software

Google Drive: Best file sharing software


Pros

  • String collaboration features
  • Easy access to files from any web browser
  • Seamless file synchronization
  • Easily share data with file links

Cons

  • Personal information collection
  • Privacy concerns

Sync All Your Files: Google Drive allows users to effortlessly sync files across desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, ensuring that data is automatically updated across devices.

Save to Google Drive Chrome Extension: This feature enables users to quickly save web content directly to their Google Drive without the need to download and then upload, streamlining the process of storing online content.

Convert PDFs to Docs: Google Drive offers the capability to transform PDF files into editable Google Docs, making it easier to work with content from various formats.

Cloud-Based Storage: Google Drive provides a cloud-based storage solution, offering users 15 GB of free storage for files, photos, documents, and more, accessible from any device with an internet connection.

File Sharing and Collaboration: Users can easily share files and collaborate in real-time, with the ability to set specific viewing and editing permissions for each shared file.

Organize and Search: Google Drive allows users to organize their files into folders, move, search, and preview files, ensuring that data is easily accessible and manageable.

Basic (15 GB) free version available

100 GB: $1.99/month

200 GB: $2.99/month

2 TB (Advanced): $9.99/month

We selected Google Drive as the premier file-sharing software due to its seamless integration with other Google services, robust collaboration tools, and unparalleled accessibility across devices. Its intuitive interface ensures that both tech-savvy and novice users can share and collaborate with ease. Furthermore, Google Drive’s generous free storage offering and advanced security measures instill confidence in data safety.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, it allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files. Google Drive integrates with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, enabling collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Files created and edited through the Google Docs suite are saved in Google Drive. It offers users 15 GB of free storage, shared with Gmail and Google Photos. Additionally, Google Drive provides advanced search features, allowing users to find files using natural language queries. A significant component of Google Workspace, Google Drive offers enhanced collaboration tools for businesses and organizations.

Other leading file sharing software

Red Hat Ansible: Best configuration management software


Pros

  • Automation and configuration integrity
  • No agent required
  • Ease of use
  • Secure vault that can integrate with other systems

Cons

  • User interface issues reported
  • Role-based access control limitations 

End-to-End Automation: Ansible Automation Platform offers comprehensive automation capabilities, allowing users to create, manage, and scale across the entire enterprise.

Event-Driven Ansible: This feature enables IT automation with user-defined, rule-based constructs, creating end-to-end automated scenarios for various IT use cases.

Ansible Content Collections: Users can reuse code to automate faster with collections containing Red Hat Ansible Certified Content and Ansible validated content from Red Hat and its partners.

Ansible Content Tools: These tools assist developers in creating consistent code, streamlining the building and deployment of execution environments.

Automation Controller: A centralized management tool, the Automation Controller helps manage inventory, launch and schedule workflows, track changes, and integrate reporting with a centralized user interface.

Automation Analytics: This feature, combined with Red Hat Insights for Ansible Automation Platform, offers rich reporting and advanced analytics to optimize automation, proactively identify potential issues, and improve resolution times.

Free trial available

Contact Red Hat Ansible for a customized quote.

We selected Red Hat Ansible as our top configuration management software because of its unparalleled simplicity and efficiency. Its agentless architecture ensures seamless integration without additional installations. The human-readable code fosters collaboration across teams, while its extensive module library accelerates automation tasks. Ansible’s scalability caters to both small setups and expansive infrastructures. Its security features and active community support instill further confidence in its capabilities.

Red Hat Ansible, launched in 2012, is an open-source automation tool designed for configuration management, application deployment, and task automation. Acquired by Red Hat in 2015, it has since become an integral part of many IT infrastructures. Ansible operates in an agentless manner, ensuring ease of integration. Its human-readable YAML scripts foster collaboration and simplify complex tasks. Recent enhancements include Ansible Content Collections for faster automation and Ansible Content Tools for consistent code creation. 

Other leading Configuration Management Solutions

Find your new IT software

Types of IT software

While most software could be considered “IT software,” including project management software, accounting software, and CRM software, we provided vendor information on enterprise software for device and cloud management in this article. For example, remote monitoring and management (RMM) software allows IT professionals to access, update, and analyze organizational devices. On the other hand, task management software, while technically something that could fall into the purview of IT software solution, does not deal directly with devices or cloud environments.

Enterprises and small businesses looking to improve their technology processes should consider the following types of IT software:

Configuration Management Software

Configuration management (CM) software — often referred to as a configuration management system (CMS) — helps IT professionals manage the physical and virtual IT environment by monitoring changes made during software development, implementation, and updates.

The end goal of a CMS is to maximize system performance and serviceability by reducing mistakes and inconsistencies. This is typically accomplished by mapping an IT environment (an ongoing process), keeping accurate documentation (for updates, releases, asset inventories, structural modifications) and storing the subsequent data in a configuration management database (CMDB). CM software also uses internal verification and audit tools to determine compliance with predetermined baselines and regulatory standards.

Most CM tools incorporate some or all of the following common features:

  • Configuration management database
  • Discovery automation
  • Dependency mapping
  • Change management
  • Impact analysis
  • Asset inventory management
  • Baseline management
  • Incident/Fault Reporting

IT Help Desk Software

Help desk software allows IT departments to automate customer service management. It serves as a platform where staff and network users can report issues and IT administrators can systematically address them. Most products use a ticketing system to log requests, prioritize, and queue them for completion, which saves administrators the time and effort associated with manual troubleshooting (e.g. phone calls, emails, repetitive office visits). Help desk software also increases employee productivity by allowing users to submit help tickets through an online portal, rather than leaving their work-in-progress to visit an IT manager.

Beyond one-off troubleshooting, help desk solutions offer smart tools for automating the resolution process, such as auto-assign features (allocate tickets to specific technicians based on skills required or issue type), shared macros (predetermined fix actions auto-prescribed for a simple or recurring issue), and self-help resources for your staff. Finally, reporting and analytics tools can offer valuable insight about your help center operations, such as average resolution times, trends in past tickets, and user sentiment.

Here are some common features found in IT help desk software:

  • Ticketing/Issue management
  • Custom SLAs (service level agreements)
  • User/customer portal
  • Self-help database
  • IT purchase requests
  • Asset scanning
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Integration with other IT tools (CMDBs, asset and systems management, etc.)

Also read: How to Create a Software Implementation Timeline

Mobile Device Management Software

As an increasingly tech-savvy, mobile population enters the workforce, IT managers are seeing a growing presence of personal devices in the workplace. Since personal mobile devices aren’t governed by the IT department, they present additional security and privacy concerns. Even so, approximately 87% of organizations need their employees to be able to access enterprise applications from their mobile devices.

At a minimum, IT leaders should institute a clear bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy that addresses password protection, encryption, and best practices for mobile access of company data. But many companies are going the extra mile by implementing mobile device management (MDM) software — which gives IT administrators the power to monitor and control application access and configuration settings for smartphones, tablets, and other devices used by employees, whether personal or company-owned. Many solutions also have the power to remotely lock or erase device data in the event of loss, theft, or hostile termination.

Some MDM products are available as standalone, “best-of-breed” solutions, while others are part of a larger IT management suite. Compatibility with mobile OS (Android, iOS, Windows) varies by vendor.

Common features of MDM software include:

  • Passcode and encryption enforcement
  • Loss/theft protection
  • Mobile application management
  • Enterprise or group-specific apps
  • App blocklisting
  • Enterprise purchasing
  • Secure distribution
  • Mobile content management
  • Email management
  • Device security (malware protection, web filtering)
  • Network access control (WiFi, VPN)
  • Geolocation triggers (lock devices outside of specific locations)

Cybersecurity software

Cybersecurity software keeps malware and attackers out of an organization’s network. These tools may use signature matching, artificial intelligence and machine learning, or other methods to identify and contain attacks on the system. Security software ranges from basic antivirus solutions all the way to full endpoint protection platforms. There are cybersecurity tools built specifically for networks, endpoints, and even cloud environments.

Small businesses should consider software companies that offer managed cybersecurity solution software because they likely don’t have a large in-house IT team. This allows them to keep their data safe while leaving their internal IT staff free for digital transformation projects and help desk support. Enterprises, on the other hand, may prefer best-of-breed tools that integrate easily with each other. Easy integration allows these large businesses to monitor every aspect of their network environment from a single console, making it easier to spot and remediate breaches quickly.

Some common features include:

Cloud backup and storage software

Cloud backup and storage software has become a critical IT software category for businesses of all sizes. With the rise of data-driven decision-making, the ability to store and retrieve vast amounts of data has become essential. Cloud backup and storage software provides businesses with a reliable and secure way to store their critical data, without the need for physical storage devices.

One of the major benefits of cloud backup and storage software is its scalability. As businesses grow, their data storage needs grow as well. Cloud backup and storage software allows businesses to easily expand their storage capacity without the need for costly hardware upgrades. Additionally, cloud backup and storage software provides businesses with a high level of data security. With data breaches becoming increasingly common, businesses need to ensure that their data is protected. Cloud backup and storage software providers offer a range of security features, including encryption and access controls, to keep data safe.

Common features include:

  • Automatic backups
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Remote access
  • Version control
  • Disaster recovery
  • Compliance

File sharing software

With remote work becoming increasingly common, the ability to share files securely and efficiently has become critical for collaboration and productivity. File sharing software provides businesses with a centralized platform for sharing and collaborating on files, regardless of location or device.

One of the major benefits of file sharing software is its ease of use. With file sharing software, businesses can easily share files with team members, clients, and partners, without the need for complicated file transfer protocols or email attachments. Additionally, file sharing software provides businesses with enhanced security and control over their data. With data breaches becoming increasingly common, businesses need to ensure that their data is protected. File sharing software providers offer a range of security features, such as encryption, access controls, and audit trails, to keep data safe and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

Common features of file sharing include:

  • Granular permission sharing
  • Large file support
  • Custom branding, colors, and themes
  • Activity tracking
  • File storage

AI software

One of the major benefits of AI software is its ability to automate tasks that would otherwise require significant time and resources. For example, AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and support requests, freeing up human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues. Additionally, AI software can analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns or trends that may not be immediately apparent to humans. This can be particularly useful in IT, where AI software can be used to monitor network traffic, detect anomalies or security threats, and optimize system performance.

In the IT industry, AI software has a wide range of applications, including network optimization, cybersecurity, and data analysis. For example, AI-powered network monitoring software can identify network congestion or bottlenecks and automatically adjust network settings to optimize performance. AI-powered cybersecurity software can detect and prevent security threats in real-time, protecting businesses from cyber attacks. Finally, AI-powered data analysis software can help businesses analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns or trends that may not be immediately apparent to humans.

Common AI features for IT include:

  • Automation
  • Predictive analytics
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning
  • Data visualization
  • Integration with other tools
  • Cloud-based deployment

Also read: Top IT Service Management (ITSM) Software

What are the key features of IT software?

While there are many variations of IT software, they should at least have a few things in common.

Deployment options

The best IT software will allow organizations to choose whether they deploy it on-premises or via the cloud. Cloud-based software makes businesses more agile and better enables remote work because employees can access the information from anywhere, but some companies may have regulatory requirements that would force them to deploy software on-premises.

Automated backups & version control

Data backups are crucial for organizations to avoid the loss of valuable data during a natural disaster or cyber attack. IT software should include regular, automated backups, so companies don’t have to remember to backup their data. Additionally, version control allows users to revert to an earlier version of a file in the event that it gets changed accidentally.

Customization

Not all companies will have the same requirements for their IT software solution, so there should be customization options available. Whether that’s the types of features included, the number of licenses, or the way the dashboard looks, customization makes it easier for organizations to get what they need from the software.

Integrations

IT software should integrate with many other tools in an organization’s ecosystem in order to pull necessary data and be able to automate processes. Native integrations are the best option, but API connections will work as well as long as the business has someone to set them up correctly.

Trends affecting the IT software market

Modern IT departments face a maelstrom of new, unpredictable variables, with essentially two options: adapt or remain in the dark. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many digital transformation projects and introduced new challenges in the rush to enable remote work.

Shadow IT

On average, companies have three times more applications running on their networks than their IT department is aware of.  Examples might include a file storage site, a homemade spreadsheet for company data, or an email service. Shadow IT poses a threat, since it isn’t ruled by the same security measures as approved solutions, but it also represents a failure of the established IT environment to meet end-to-end needs.

Cloud infrastructure

Instead of building on their own in-house servers, many businesses now host their IT environment through an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) provider such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Rackspace. This helps reduce overhead costs and maintenance, but a multi-tenant environment brings added complexity, multiple virtual machine (VM) layers, and a higher demand for security and access control.

Many organizations also rushed their cloud migrations in an attempt to allow remote work sooner than they intended. This means their connections may not be as secure as they should be, and they could likely optimize their setup for better results.

Democratization of technology

As employees and lines of business (LOBs) increasingly scout out their own solutions on an as-needed basis, many IT managers have decided — instead of cracking down — to take on a new role as a technology broker, which some have referred to as “IT-as-a-Service” or ITaaS. In this approach, IT is responsible for supplying the technology needs for LOBs by vetting and aggregating third-party providers, often at the request of employees themselves. This stands in stark relief to the traditional framework, where CIOs impose solutions from the top-down.

Big data

Approximately 43% of IT decision-makers worry that their current IT infrastructure won’t be able to handle their future data needs. How much more so for middle-market companies and small businesses? Data analytics software can be highly complex, requiring knowledge of mining and governance techniques, as well as the capability to integrate third-party platforms with multiple data sources. Many companies are relegating their big data responsibilities to the IT department, which means IT professionals need to understand how the moving parts of their infrastructure work together in order to derive useful business intelligence.

Choosing the best IT software for your business

The right IT software better positions CIOs, CTOs, system administrators, etc. to confront their challenges by simplifying infrastructure and enhancing visibility, integration, and security without slowing the pace of innovation. 

Businesses should consider their current IT resources and choose software that fills any gaps. For example, small businesses may look for managed software solutions, while enterprises may need better visibility into their network environment.

TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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