It’s tough to keep up with all the new IT tools out there.
And it’s even tougher to know which ones are worth your limited time, attention, and budget. That’s why recommendations from trusted experts and colleagues are so important.
This sentiment is something we consistently hear from our customers and community at Spoke. (And we completely relate.) That’s why we launched IT Kit—a list of the best IT tools available on the market today. We asked a panel of IT experts to curate a list of their preferred tools, and then we invited other IT professionals to vote for their favorites.
Here are the top five:
Everyone with an internet-connected device feels the pain of password management, but it affects IT most of all. It can have a huge impact on IT’s productivity—think of all the time you spend helping people recover lost passwords, and how easily systems can be compromised because of poor password management.
1Password provides a solution to this pain point. The tool makes it simple for users to create strong, random passwords for all of their accounts—passwords they don’t have to memorize or, worse, write down. Generate, store, and manage passwords in the 1Password system. It inputs passwords for you upon login so you only have to remember one account master password.
1Password Teams also gives IT the tools needed to quickly manage passwords and accounts. As one 1Password customer says, “We can fine-tune the passwords so only the right people have access to the right credentials. On top of that, we can manage keys, certificates, and a pile of other secure resources, all in one spot.”
Pricing: The cost for an individual plan is $2.99 per month. Packages for 1Password Teams start at $3.99 per user, per month.
Jamf is an MDM solution for companies that use Mac and iOS devices. It gives IT teams more time to focus on important issues by automating device deployment, inventory, and security tasks. Additionally, Jamf’s self-servicing tools allow end users to download the programs they need directly from a catalog of approved apps, reducing your help desk ticket volume.
Because Jamf focuses solely on Apple products, it’s able to provide instant support for all updates. Additionally, Jamf’s patch management tool provides a comprehensive list of company devices with third-party software that need to be updated. See which devices are using outdated versions, and either push patches automatically or send them to users on demand.
Here’s what some of Jamf’s customers have to say about the tool:
- “For the Mac particularly, please do NOT consider any other product. None of them has the capability or reliability or understanding of the Mac platform.”
- “Software which normally would take hours to deploy and lots of babysitting is now only a click away; no tech time necessary.”
- “We have realized significant productivity enhancements by being able to build automated, repeatable, and monitored solutions to common issues.”
Pricing: Small companies can manage up to three devices for free. Jamf Pro packages start at $3.33 per month for each iOS device and $6.67 per month for each Mac, plus onboarding fees.
Zoom stands out in a crowded field of conferencing software. It offers all of the standard features for tools in this category: voice, video, and web conferencing, screen sharing, call recording, in-meeting instant messaging, and whiteboarding. But beyond its general features, there are two major reasons why people prefer Zoom to its competitors.
First, Zoom is often less expensive than comparable tools. As one customer says: “[Our] primary objective [in switching to Zoom] was cost savings. Zoom is a much lower cost for us than GoToMeeting. What we realized is that Zoom also helped us resolve some user experience issues we hadn’t been aware of with GoToMeeting.”
The second advantage of Zoom is its sound and video quality. Even when users have imperfect internet connections, it doesn’t diminish the quality of the call. And the system doesn’t unnecessarily eat up your bandwidth while participating in a call, making it easy to share your screen while working in other programs—or to multitask during meetings.
Pricing: Zoom is free to use for both one-on-one meetings and group calls of 40 minutes or less. Premium packages start at $14.99 per month, per host.
Envoy is a self-service registration tool that automates the visitor check-in process. When visitors arrive at your company, they use an iPad to enter their information and let their hosts know they’ve arrived. This eliminates the need to have a receptionist or security guard stationed at each door to manually check in visitors and notify employees of their guests’ arrival.
Beyond visitor check-in, Envoy also has features that help keep your confidential data secure. You can require guests to sign an electronic NDA at check-in, or use an Envoy printer to create temporary visitor badges. Visitor badges are customizable and include a photo of the visitor, as well as important details like the visitor’s name and the badge’s expiration date.
Envoy also keeps detailed records of all visitors and the paperwork they completed, simplifying data gathering for audits and compliance reviews. As one customer says: “Before Envoy, we may have struggled to ensure we took all steps to protect our business (e.g., getting NDAs, having a comprehensive log of visitors) but the whole process is streamlined and simple now.”
Pricing: Envoy’s basic plan is free. Premium packages start at $99 per month, per location.
Zapier allows its users to automate actions across more than 1,000 apps. Using pre-built Zaps, users can automatically:
- Update Slack status during Google Calendar events
- Save incoming Gmail attachments to Google Drive
- Create Asana tasks from new Google Forms responses
- Add Stripe sales as new rows in a Google Sheet
- Create Trello cards from new GitHub issues
And these examples barely scratch the surface of the thousands of ways you can connect apps, automate business process workflows, and transfer data using Zapier. The best part is that Zaps are pre-built, so users don’t need coding or API experience to enjoy the benefits of automation.
Zapier helps teams automate repetitive tasks, saving time and reducing the likelihood of error. As one customer says: “Zapier is the extra team member at our agency linking our systems together and managing the push and pull of data.”
Pricing: Individual users can create up to five Zaps for free. Premium plans that allow you to create unlimited Zaps, multi-step Zaps, and Zaps for premium apps start at $20 per month.
Remember when we said these were the top five tools in IT Kit? Well, we lied—but just a little. There is one tool that has more votes than any of these. In fact, it currently has the most votes of any tool in IT Kit. The tool in the number one position on our list is BetterCloud.
But we don’t want to tell you things you already know, and since you’re reading this post on the BetterCloud Monitor, we assume you’ve heard of it before.
Still, if we’re wrong and you haven’t, you should really check it out. After all, Spoke’s audience and the experts who helped us create IT Kit all agree: It’s the most powerful SaaS application management tool on the market.