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What is Asset Discovery?

Asset Discovery is an IT term that is used to describe the process of cataloguing your IT assets and monitoring them on a regular basis. IT assets include both hardware and the software that come along with it. In the present cloud-era of technology, Asset discovery is crucial in maintaining integrity of data that is spread across an organization’s devices. As portable devices such as laptops and smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s world, it is necessary for the IT team to regularly track and monitor them. 

Watch the video to learn about Asset Discovery in Freshservice


How does Asset Discovery work?

Asset Discovery is usually done through an application that is installed on a specific asset like a laptop. It can also work if the application is installed on a company-wide server that provides access to all the assets in the company network. The latter will work better in the case of printers, scanners or other network equipment installed within the company network. The application, once installed, will regularly scan the asset for updated hardware and software information. These periodic scans will ensure that the device is up-to-date and also checks for vulnerabilities or anomalies in the asset or network. 

Top 5 benefits of the asset discovery process

1. Automates the process of cataloguing all your assets 

An asset discovery tool helps in eliminating the process of manually tagging all your IT assets like laptop, printers or scanners. Once installed in the company server/asset, the application communicates with the devices in the network to gather critical hardware and software related information for further use by the IT support team. This increases efficiency while ensuring the team can focus on solving really important problems instead of spending time filing assets. 

2. Provides a single database for all your asset needs

After the asset discovery application gathers data through periodic scans, it is usually stored in a separate database. This will be extremely useful when there are issues within the company network or within a specific asset. The IT agent in-charge of resolving such issues need only reference the database as it not only provides updated system information but also contains the history of software or hardware installations, if any. This helps in greatly reducing the time to resolution for any issue. 

3. Helps detect software anomalies in the network or asset 

An important reason why an asset discovery tool is employed in big organizations is to ensure that the software used in the company assets are in compliance with their security policies. It is cumbersome for an IT team to manually tag and scan every asset to check if it meets their security standards. Scheduled scans of the asset, through the asset discovery tool, will help flag any issues and they can be resolved quickly before things go out of hand. 

4. Enables you to visualize your asset network

With the data collected by the auto discovery tool, it is possible to build out a network map of all the assets in your network. The regularity with which assets move in and out of the network can easily be visualized with the help of this application. It can also provide you with micro-level details like the maximum number of assets connected to your network at any point, the geo-location of your assets and number of online assets categorized by location. If you needed to migrate all your assets to a specific standard, having a bird’s eye-view of things will certainly make it a lot easier. 

5. Better reporting and analysis 

As the asset discovery tool frequently monitors the assets in your network, the data is very useful when running an audit of your network or when planning an upgrade of your IT infrastructure. Redundant software installed in your network assets can be periodically flagged and removed. In the era of BYOD (Bring your own devices), there might be assets of previous employees that have privileged access to your network. Those devices can also be removed with the help of the asset discovery tool. In addition to the above, software licence management is also an important benefit of using an asset discovery application thus saving time and money in the process.

Asset Discovery features in Freshservice

Auto-discover assets in your network 

Identify all the assets used within your organization using the Discovery Agent to manage computers, and Discovery Probe to scan for all assets within your network.

Periodically scan your assets

Schedule automatic scans across your network to periodically update asset information to ensure up-to-date and accurate data.

Scan and identify assets on the go 

Use the barcode or QR capabilities from your mobile within our IT asset management module to scan for assets even when you’re away from your desk.