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ITAM and ITSM are two IT organization disciplines that can assist you in maximizing your IT resources and complete optimal IT-business alignment. But while their acronyms only vary by two letters ITAM and ITSM they do have significant differences.

Because these two disciplines view your complete IT environment from two different perspectives, they also focus on a separate area. As such, even if they overlap at period, ITAM can suggest benefits that ITSM can’t and vice versa. Knowing the difference between these two disciplines can assist you in adopting the right advance for your organization.

What is ITAM?

ITAM is a group of business practices that takes financial, contractual, inventory and risk considerations in managing the life cycles of different IT assets. Its primary function is to maximize the value of these assets while also minimizing risk.

To elaborate, ITAM has designed to bring down expenses typically incurred throughout the lifecycle of an asset. It may include licensing, maintenance and support costs. At the same time, ITAM aimed at minimizing financial, legal risks and operational.

The assets covered by ITAM traditionally contain locally installed software (e.g. operating systems, server applications, office suites, databases) and stationary hardware (e.g. desktops and servers). Still, they now can also include mobile devices (e.g. laptops, smartphones, tablets) as well as virtualization environment and cloud assets.

Note that only those substance that has significant value to the organization have frequently managed. So, for example, a regular USB stick might not be included in ITAM initiatives. No fast and hard rule dictates which items must be included in or excluded from ITAM. This result depends on the organization.

The people exciting to lead ITAM activities in a company are frequently the IT Asset Management Program Manager, IT Asset Manager or IT Asset Analyst. However, in practice, IT asset management is a collaborative effort between several members of the organization.

For instance, in asset acquisition, which is just one of the actions generally governed by ITAM, the people mentioned earlier will have to work closely with the acquisition manager, the financial manager, the end-users, technical staff and other stakeholders.

What is ITSM?

While it’s a primary concern is maximizing the value of IT assets, IT Service Management is more concerned with maximizing worth and delivery of IT services. It consists of policies, procedures, processes and technologies for planning, designing, supporting, delivering and managing IT services.

There are several different procedures under the ITSM umbrella, but the most regular ones are the following:

Incident Management – This procedure deals with IT issues and often connected with a help desk or service desk.

Change Management – Sees to it that modify in the IT environment are done in a well-coordinated fashion and with the least amount interruption to the business.

Service asset and configuration management – An ITIL procedure that’s focused on IT assets and the relationships between those assets. The ‘asset’ part of this procedure is, for all purposes and intents, ITAM. So, yes, ITAM can be considered a module of ITSM.

As you maybe see by now, there’s no sense comparing ITAM and ITSM. It’s not even like comparing apples to oranges. It’s also like comparing an apple with the whole fruit basket. While it’s true that ITAM views the IT environment in conditions of assets and ITSM views it in terms of services, ITSM is vast disciplines that subsume ITAM.