Using Group Policy to Improve Software Management

The typical large organization supports hundreds, sometimes thousands, of programs. The number can be significantly larger if you also count different versions, patches, fixes, and templates as separate programs in your inventory.

Because they do not have efficient means of managing their software portfolios, many organizations fail to update their application software on a timely basis. When they do decide to retire obsolete software or implement new applications, the changeover can be extremely disruptive.

You can use Windows 2000 to help simplify your software management processes in the following areas:

  • Preparation. What software do you want to manage? How do you want to format the software for distribution and installation?

  • Distribution. From where do you want to manage the software?

  • Targeting. Whom do you want to receive the software?

  • Installation. How will the software be installed on the computer?

Figure 24.3 illustrates the major planning issues involved in each of these stages.


Figure 24.3 Key Planning Issues to Address in IntelliMirror Software Deployment

You will need to perform these planning steps even for applications that were installed along with Windows 2000 Professional. You will also need to proceed through these planning steps to deploy, update, and maintain applications on existing computers.