Your workloads are constantly changing both from an application standpoint but also the underlying guest operating system (GuestOS) including patches and upgrades. While many organizations have a change management database (CMDB), it can still be a challenge to true up that information from when the workload was first deployed to what it is currently running.
Back in 2019, VMware enhanced VMware Tools to make it easier to identify applications and processes that was running within a VM and this also provided a programmatic way for retrieving this inventory information which could then be fed back into their CMDB.
Applications are not the only things that change inside of a VM, the GuestOS probably receives the most updates (patches/upgrades) and being able to accurately inventory this information without relying on an in-guest agent is still a challenge for many.
In vSphere 8.0 Update 2, we have enhanced the available GuestOS data using VMware Tools and we have also made it easier to inventory and collect this information even when the VM has been powered off.