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ITAM: A Prerequisite for Building a CMDB (Part 5/6) – “Summary of Comparisons – ITSM vs. ITAM”

itam-vs-cmdbThis article series has been contributed by Peter Salfi at Provance.

In this series Peter explains why an Asset Registry, created within an IT Asset Management program, comprised of the appropriate mix of people, process and technology, is often an overlooked prerequisite to creating a CMDB.

It describes a less painful approach to creating a reliable and accurate CMDB that allows organizations to realize a high return on their investment in time, effort and expense.

Part Five Summary of Comparisons – ITSM vs. ITAM

A Summary Comparison of IT Asset Management and Configuration Management

Participants in an IT Asset Management program, consumers of an Asset Registry and users of IT Asset Management technologies include, but are not limited to: IT Operations, Procurement, Finance, Contract Management and the Receiving departments the business. Participants in a Configuration Management program, consumers of a CMDB and users of Configuration Management technologies include the Service Desk and those engaged in the operation and management of IT.  This includes those supporting and participating in IT Service Management activities; IT Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.
An effective IT Asset Management program is enabled by People, Processes and Technologies – all three! It is core to ensuring that the desired ROI from IT investments are realized and that they are fully optimized, utilized and in compliance to contractual obligations.  It is essential to maximizing the use of IT Asset Management technologies and establishing the accuracy and integrity of the Asset Registry. It supports decision making across multiple functions such as finance, contract management, inventory management, procurement, etc. An effective Configuration Management program is enabled by People, Processes and Technologies – all three! It is core for the provision of effective, efficient and economical IT Service Management.  This is accomplished by overseeing the  establishment and utilization of the appropriate processes and procedures to ensure that configuration items are identified, maintained and accurate, as well as, establishing their relationships to define consumable services. .  It is essential to maximizing the use of Configuration Management technologies and establishing the accuracy and integrity of the CMDB.


IT Asset Management technologies are solutions designed to support effective IT Asset Management. Through business rules and automation, they support adherence to IT Asset Management policies, processes and procedures, updating the Asset Registry to ensure it is current and accurate.  They facilitate the consolidation, reconciliation and management of the asset data that otherwise is inaccurate and dispersed among a collection of systems, spreadsheets and files.  These solutions provide user friendly interfaces, alerts and reporting of core information to support ITAM decision making and Software License Compliance. Configuration Management technologies are often integrated with ITSM solutions.  Their primary focus is to service the Service Desk function in the resolution of incidents and problems, and in request fulfillment.  They also capture and report data pertaining to defined service levels, key performance indicators and critical success factors in support of IT Service Management from a consumer perspective.
The Asset Registry is the definitive source of information regarding what the organization owns, utilizes and needs to account for.  It includes discovered and non-discovered hardware and software, contractual, financial, warranty, supplier, license, invoice, lease, geographic, ownership and allocation/assignee details. The CMDB is the definitive source of information (CI’s) necessary for the effective, efficient and economical delivery of IT Service Management.  It includes data resident in the Asset Registry, data (CI’s) specific to Service Management (incidents, problems, changes) as well as the relationships between CI’s to comprise a consumable “IT Service”.
Peter Salfi, Provance

Peter Salfi, Provance

Read Part Six: ‘Conclusion – “Back to the Apollo 13 Story”.

This article series has been contributed by Peter Salfi. To find out more about Provance IT Asset Management for Microsoft System Center visit Provance.

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals.

Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.

On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Informative write-up.

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