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How ITAM and ITSM Are Different in People, Technology, and Processes

IT Asset Management is not IT Service Management




In my previous post, “Two Misperceptions about IT Asset Management”, I pointed out that IT organizations tend to think they have IT asset management practices (People, Technology, and Processes) in place because they have IT Service Management tools.

A big misperception.

By definition, IT Asset Management and IT Service Management are different:

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the management of the financial, physical, and contractual information of IT assets throughout the lifecycle.

IT Service Management (ITSM) is the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business. It focuses on delivering services to the business.

So if an IT organization attempt to use ITSM tools to manage IT assets, it won’t work. Here is why:

  1. ITSM tools are built to support the delivery of IT services to the business users. They will store the technical specification of the assets, the problems and the fixes of the assets, but they are not built to track the life cycle information about “What”, “Where”, and “Who” of the IT assets.
  2. ITSM tools don’t have the features to efficiently support asset inventory and audit, which should be built in the routine practices in an IT organization with good asset management processes. ITAM tools typically have built in mechanism to support various methods of asset inventory auditing, including statistical sampling, inventory by exception, and wall to wall.
  3. ITSM tools focus on delivering the services, with less emphasis on the costs of equipment used to deliver the services. But ITAM tools will collect the information and provide the reports that allow management to assess the cost side of providing the equipment and assets for the business.  

Finally, the implementation of ITSM tools typically is limited to the IT department, while implementing ITAM tools will require cross functional coordination, involving purchasing, accounting, IT, warehouse, facility, etc.

E-ISG Asset Intelligence provides Commercial Off the Shelf IT Asset Management software eQuip! We also provide implementation services to help customers to streamline the processes, train the people, and use the tools to manage IT assets. If you want to find out more, please view a short demo here.

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