Organizational networks today have evolved into dynamic, ever-expanding, and complex structures that include virtual, multi-cloud, hybrid, and wireless components.
As companies continue to expand in terms of their services, employee size, and geographical spread, their networks evolve rapidly. This puts added pressure on IT admins who have a hard time managing these sprawling network infrastructures.
The network landscape in an organization supports advanced technological processes and business-critical workflows. A steady network is key for running seamless business functions including but not limited to e-commerce websites, cloud data hosting, software development, customer relationship management, and video conferencing.
Network assets typically include routers, switches, servers, firewalls, printers, etc. If these assets are not monitored properly, it can lead to network breakdown, disrupting primary business operations. It is therefore important to ensure consistent and proactive management of network assets in a company. Outdated and manual solutions can hinder effective tracking of network infrastructure and lead to various network asset management challenges some of which are detailed below.
Key network asset management challenges faced by organizations
1. Low visibility into network infrastructure
Manual cataloging and tracking of network assets via spreadsheets often result in poor visibility into a business’s network landscape. The problem aggravates when organizations scale their IT infrastructure and fail to account for the newly added assets. Many employee-owned devices working on an organization’s network go unnoticed as well.
Adding to this, precise location tracking of network assets is another problem that keeps on stacking. Let’s say, a router on one of the floors of your office building is malfunctioning and disrupts internet flow to half the building. How will you identify where the problem lies if you don’t have the router added to your IT asset repository? Is there a way to visually track the router? With manual network asset management, the issue may take hours to resolve and cost your business in terms of lost revenue and employee productivity.
Furthermore, with outdated methods, virtual and multi-cloud network environments may be inaccessible, resulting in blind spots that often make ways for cyber threats to enter. This makes end-to-end network visibility a key challenge for IT admins to tackle.
2. Outdated network information
Growing organizations with expanding network infrastructure often find it hard to keep a current and accurate picture of their network assets. Moreover, with ever-changing IP addresses, data of network devices that have already been cataloged becomes futile too. There’s also no way to identify devices that have been recently added to your organization’s network.
Lack of updated network data may expose your IT infrastructure to malware attacks. According to CNN Business, nearly 1 million malware attacks are released every day that may go undetected if your network endpoints are not monitored. Similarly, without current information, compliance risks are exacerbated. Auditors may fine your company for gross negligence, leading to dire financial consequences.
Although some tools allow IT admins to run manual discovery scans and fetch the device details on their network, these scans cannot be automated. They are time-consuming and inefficient, occupying your IT team with tedious processes and preventing them from focusing on more important and strategic issues that their team might be facing.
3. Lack of actionable insights
Without a complete picture of your network, it is hard to monitor and improve metrics such as utilization, uptime, or ROI of network assets. While many spreadsheets and tools gather details of devices on your network, they fail to carry out data processing and provide meaningful insights about your network landscape.
Let’s say, a switch costing $1,000 keeps malfunctioning and you send it for repairs frequently. How will you figure out if that particular switch is creating value or negatively impacting your bottom line.
Data isn’t necessarily useful if it can’t be analyzed by looking at historical patterns, trends, and total figures to make informed decisions. Lack of insights into your network may mean that your network asset management efforts are ultimately futile.
What is AssetSonar’s Network Discovery Tool?
AssetSonar integrates with Open-AudIT to tell you what is on your network, how it is configured, and when it changes. AssetSonar’s Network Discovery Tool intelligently scans your organization’s network and stores the configurations of discovered devices such as routers, switches, printers, computers, etc to offer you a single source of truth for your IT landscape.
The integration with Open-AudIT enables you to find and quickly identify connected devices on your network and map your IT landscape with automated network scans. You can tie in your network assets with the advanced ITAM and ITSM capability of AssetSonar by tracking custody and location management of network devices, implementing incident and change management on them, and running detailed reports to identify key network utilization metrics.
Strengthen your network asset management strategy with AssetSonar
1. Greater visibility into your network landscape
AssetSonar enables you to discover everything on your network from traditional network devices and servers to virtual machines, VOIP phones, and software-defined devices. Quickly identify, catalog, and provision the devices connected to your organization’s network into AssetSonar for greater visibility into your network infrastructure.
Create end-to-end visual maps of your network devices and components with the location management module. This helps you easily track down faulty assets and expedite the incident management process. Our integrations with Zendesk and Jira service desks enable you to access contextualized information about faulty network assets and generate tickets and issues against them.
Greater visibility into your network ensures that you can quickly troubleshoot problems as they arise. It also locates any blind spots and highlights rogue devices should they enter, thereby improving overall infrastructure security.
2. Automated network discovery scans
Many tools in the market offer manual network scan. With AssetSonar, you can schedule your network scans based on your requirements. This ensures that any devices that have been recently added to your organization’s network are provisioned into AssetSonar without extra human effort.
Automated and scheduled scans help IT admins save time, maintain an accurate central network asset database, and eliminate any tedious manual updates. AssetSonar also sends you email-based alerts to notify you about the newly added devices, their IPs, and configuration details so you can stay on top of your network data.
In addition to this, scheduled scans bypass the issue of dynamic IPs by updating details associated with your network assets and maintaining a current database. With AssetSonar’s Network Discovery Tool, you can scale your network asset management efforts as your network evolves.
3. Centralized IT asset intelligence
AssetSonar enables you to provision not only the devices running on your network but the ones that are off-premise with its ITAM Agent. This ensures a centralized, organization-wide IT asset intelligence.
Unlike other tools, AssetSonar also offers insightful reports that help you make informed decisions regarding your network. Create dashboards with relevant metrics and run detailed reports on the availability, operational, and financial status of your network assets. Gain useful insights into device availability, utilization, maintenance history, ROI, and cost patterns for optimization.
Consider the classic example of purchase vs repair. Let’s say, you have a malfunctioning switch that you often send for repairs. By viewing a report on the maintenance history of the switch, you can decide whether the cost of keeping the switch is more than purchasing a new one. If the cost is higher, you can purchase a new, well-functioning asset and cut down on your network costs.
You can also create customized reports based on your unique requirements and have them emailed to your supervisors as and when needed.
Who needs AssetSonar’s Network Discovery tool?
Below, we illustrate the types of organizations that can reap benefits with AssetSonar’s Network Discovery Tool.