Assessment Criteria: Inventory and Discovery Tool Selection Group Test

11 February 2014
3 minute read
ITAM News & Analysis

Assessment Criteria: Inventory and Discovery Tool Selection Group Test

11 February 2014
3 minute read
It's time for another "Inventory Tools and Discovery" battle!

It’s time for another “Inventory Tools and Discovery” battle!

In March, we are planning a refresh of our 2011 review focusing on Inventory and Discovery Tool selection.

The aim of this review is to showcase best of breed Inventory products, highlight the key differentiators and innovation in the inventory tools space and give readers of The ITAM Review impartial market intelligence to enable informed purchasing decisions.

In particular, we are keen to highlight that innovation in this space is alive and well. Accurate and reliable inventory data is the cornerstone of any IT Asset Management practice and inventory should not be viewed as a commodity item. These technologies show how organizations can build and maintain an accurate view of their estate, which will lead to many downstream benefits.


The concepts of Inventory and Discovery go hand-in-hand. Inventory provides a global view of all IT assets the company owns and discovery enables the inputs and outputs to be factored into this global view. The goal is informed decisions based on up-to-date and accurate information.

  • Inventory:  A dynamic list of IT Assets available to the business (which maybe networked or stock). This may include the configuration details for each asset, a history of changes made to that asset and any relationships the asset has with other aspects of IT.
  • Auto-Discovery: The process of discovering all assets on the network to ensure Inventory is accurate and includes all items. Auto-Discovery will help find new assets on the network, identify changes and ensure a network-wide view.

Previous participants

Our 2011 review assessed:

You do not have to have been part of the original review in 2011 to participate in this update.

Assessment Criteria

The aim of the review is to support prospective buyers with their selection process by providing features to consider when selecting and Inventory and Discovery Tool, and highlighting key competitive differentiators between products.

Example review criteria is as follows:


  • What operating systems can your software audit? E.g. XP
  • What platforms can your software audit? E.g. phones, Servers, desktops
  • Brief Description of Infrastructure / Methodology (e.g. Agent / Agentless, SaaS, Client / Server, Web Based, Admin Console?)
  • If your software involves the installation of a central server – please provide a brief overview of any prerequisites for that server.
  • Database repository used


  • What details are collected regarding software?
  • Data and Reporting
  • Is Software Usage Monitoring Provided? (active or passive)
  • What details are collected regarding hardware configuration that might be useful to installed software (e.g. CPU, Cores, Options enabled)
  • How does your software track Virtual applications, Virtual Machines, Partitions (software therein, hardware profile, relationship with physical device)
  • What features aid the recognition and prioritization of software?

Please note: The assessment criteria are just a starting point; they tend to flux and evolve as we delve into products and discover unique features and leading edge innovation. Identifying key competitive differentiators is a higher priority than the assessment criteria.

If you would like a full list of the assessment criteria please let us know.

Vendors who wish to participate in this SAP feature and product review should contact us directly. We also welcome feedback from readers on what they would like to see included in the review.

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