Slightly long post to follow:

I'd like some advice on Zenworks. I work at a small research institute
and just recently our IT dept have decide to roll out zenworks across
all computers (120-150). I can understand why (software licenses, ease
of support etc), however I am concerned about the effect on my
computer. I'm not entirely convince by IT how it will affect me. - and
I have no experience of Zenworks

I have used computers for over 20 years without anyone else having
anything to do with them - from building them, to installing, to
configuring them - and I've never needed internal IT support to fix a
problem on my computer: I am at least as competent as anyone from our
IT - where the standard is generally good anyway. So I have this
personal barrier to cross before I would willing let anyone remote
control my computer - and that includes automatically updating my
software (with the exception of anti-virus stuff). I'm not bothered
about the inventory side of things, but I've been told I'll be put in
the category where my "desktop and applications will be lightly
managed" - and I don't even like the sound of that.

Now that sounds a bit strong, but I use my computer for development -
I write lots of software and I am often tweaking (and de-tweaking) my
system (usually registry settigs) and 3rd party software (lots of
installing & uninstalling). I also fiddle about with the hardware from
time to time. I also set up my computers in a particular way whihc I
have developed over time. For example my home computer is almost a
duplicate of my office computer. I like to keep track of all patches
and updates for the software and operating system - which I like to
update in my own time (with the exception of Windows critical ones
which get done as soon as they are issed): I do this because even with
major packages likes MS Office (which I use Automation for a lot),
differences in patch level have often led to differences in behaviour
in my software between my computer and a clients.

Is it possible for example to only have inventory running (I accept
the need for this), but none of the other zenworks controls ?