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When defining the rules of IT management services, people often ask about the differences between IT Asset Management (or ITAM) and IT Service Management (or ITSM). We’d like to just touch on a few of the key differences between ITAM and ITSM, what they mean for your IT/asset management, and how those differences will manifest themselves within your network.

We’ll start things off with the easy part.

The quickest way to explain the difference between ITAM and ITSM is that the former applies to a singular application and the latter applies to the entire service management process. In short, the answer is one application vs. all of them. ITAM defines all the rules, regulations, and laws  over a single process within a network. ITSM defines all the rules, regulations and laws which govern the entire service management platform. Service management processes are typically made up of asset management, incident management, problem management and change/release management.

A little more in-depth. First up: ITAM.

ITAM is, essentially, a part of the ITSM prcess. ITAM enables the support team or IT management team to wholly track individual applications within the network.  Individual asset tracking allows managers to keep track of all IT inventory while also avoiding unnecessary costs associated with inventory going missing or breaking. ITAM includes tracking for both software and hardware.

Next, ITSM.

ITSM refers to the IT management/asset management of every single asset (software and hardware) within the network. IT Service Management protocols are deployed by hosting providers to keep track of all solutions provided to a consumer, and to make sure all the moving parts in that solution (servers, nodes, hypervisors, routers etc.) are accounted for, working, and ready to perform their needed task.

Where ITAM works with individual processes, ITSM is more aligned with the provider SLA (Standard Level Agreement) wherein it ensures all service levels listed – uptime for example – are met through proper digital asset management of all provided services. ITSM guides operational efficiency.

How ITAM and ITSM link up.

Individual digital asset management is a part of overall network management. While both exist to address different concerns, they operate in the same support vein and so share a link. That link is known as the Configuration Management Database, or CMDB for short. The CMDB serves as the connective source for all incoming IT data specifically needed to supply effective IT service management. Essentially, the CMDB is a repository of processes and application data (more commonly known as configuration items) which a provider uses to ensure service uptime, determine ongoing issues, and report on network performance. The CMDB will typically house data collected from network servers, hardware, software, and any other devices/infrastructure in the overall network.

While most companies who purchase hosting solutions never have to deal with the internal workings of ITAM and ITSM, the asset and service management platforms manifest themselves to consumers in terms of proactive support measures. Most providers utilize ITAM and ITSM as a catch-all for any technical problems to come, and consumers only find out about the process when their provider proactively resolves an issue through scheduled service downtime.

Network management can take a lot of time and resources out of your business. That’s why Bay Area Computer Solutions exists – we can handle your network management, data services, and managed IT for you, making sure you don’t lose productivity due to outdated technology or data loss. What can we do to help your business? Find out by giving us a call at (650) 887-4601 or contacting us online today!

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Published on 10th July 2015 by James Berger.