Don’t Depend on IT Discovery Tools for Your ITAM Needs

An IT spcialist works on a computer server

With the increasing amount of connected IT devices, IT asset discovery tools are widely deployed to collect information about connected IT devices on corporate networks.

While these tools have helped IT departments to keep track of some IT assets, they are not adequate by themselves for IT asset management.

Why is this?

What is ITAM?

Let’s take a look at the definition of IT asset management:

IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.

Gartner IT Glossary

IT asset discovery tools form a part of this function. IT discover tools allow users to monitor their organization’s network of devices, and “discover” any devices that were unknown or hidden.

This helps the ITAM team to ensure their network is monitored and secured.

Where IT Discovery Tools Fall Short

IT discovery tools help IT asset managers improve their network security. This is incredibly valuable, in an age where BYOB policies can create unprecedented challenges for IT Asset Management.

However, IT discovery tools have several limitations that need to be kept in mind.

IT discovery tools can not manage the life-cycle information of IT assets. They also do not work with physical, contractual, and financial information of IT assets.

Because all of this information is vital for adequate IT Asset Management, IT asset managers shouldn’t depend on IT asset discovery tools for all of an organization’s ITAM needs.

Here are the top 3 reasons why IT Asset Discovery tools are not adequate for IT asset management:

  1. IT asset discovery tools only track connected IT devices. Many IT devices, like projectors, unused servers/laptops, are not connected, therefore are not visible to IT asset discovery tools.
  2. Each IT asset discovery tools has its own limitations. For example, SCCM only focuses on devices with Window OS. Some IT asset discovery tools may not be able to discover connected printers. Because of these limitation, not all IT assets are captured by IT discovery tools
  3. IT asset discovery tools typically have very limited functionality in describing the location, category, and custodian information of assets. For example, they may only have one field to describe the location. They may not have any information about asset categories.


Despite the limitation of IT Asset Discovery tools, the fact that it discovers connected devices in real time can support the IT asset management process.

IT discovery tools are a part of a robust and secure IT asset management system.

If set up properly, IT asset discovery tools can be connected to IT asset management systems to provide a real-time update to asset information.

We have published a guide on how to set up that connection. If you would like to learn more, download the guide “Connecting IT Asset Discovery to IT Asset Management.”

In addition, if you would like to find out more about the eQuip! IT Asset Management solution, you can visit here.


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