The first processes involved with patch management are discovery and inventory. You can’t manage a device if you don’t know it exists on your network. Then you would need to run a patch scan on all the devices to see if there are any missing software updates. These should be grouped by criticality.

When building a patch management strategy, it is important to consider the three general categories of updates when prioritizing issues: critical, important, and optional. Critical updates typically involve security, privacy and reliability, while important updates address non-critical problems to help enhance the computing experience. Optional updates can include updates to drivers, for example, or new software, and they often enhance computing as well. A solid testing environment is recommended as well. Never use your own device to test patches. The final step is to deploy the patches and report results.