If you ask me, the main difference between the two areas is their goals. Configuration management (CM) aims to provide the current and adequate picture of entire IT to other processes (ITIL), whereas IT Asset Management (ITAM) is responsible for maximising the value of IT. ITAM exists between the following worlds: the IT and the business ones.
We deal with ITAM whenever we talk about: managing software licenses (to make sure that we do not have them too many of them– we’re losing money, or too few – we’re at risk), managing hardware / software life cycle(from its purchase to retirement), savings associated with the standardization of IT assets, and so on Generally where we have to do with money, costs optimizing , life cycle, then we can talk about ITAM.
By contrast, the configuration management is connected with the topics like: CMDB, CMS, data federation, the ability to inspect the current state of infrastructure, SLA storage, the possibility of analyzing the impact of changes on other services, etc.
It seems that CM and ITAM are linked very closely, especially it’s hard to imagine the ITAM without the CM. I can’t say whether in every case, you will be able to easily tell the difference between CM and ITAM.
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