First of all let’s get the acronyms out of the way:
What is the difference between SAM and ITAM?
In my view, both HAM and SAM are components of ITAM.
SAM tends to get more exposure and emphasis (especially on this site) because:
- Software audits are an expensive, compelling focus
- Software is mysterious, expensive and ephemeral, unlike hardware which can collect dust, take up space and hold open doors when not in use. Just try explaining to a non-IT finance person where the money got spent on physical servers versus client access licenses – one is significantly more easier explain than the other.
However rather than being separate disciplines I believe there is significant overlap. You can’t really do one without the other. Implementing a good SAM practice will undoubtedly have good repercussions on the management of other assets but will fall short of full ITAM. The key dependency between HAM and SAM is the platform – which is usually very important. It could be firmware on a switch, the number of processors on a server or the operating system of a desktop.
What’s Your View?
About Martin Thompson
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.