ITAM versus CMDB

Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) and Configuration Management Databases (CMDB) share a similar concept and play critical roles in an enterprise that you should be familiar with to determine how the solutions match your IT asset management needs.

A CMDB holds all the information about the IT hardware and software assets in your organization, whereas ITAM gathers information about the IT assets in your organization and offers insights to help you ensure that your IT assets are properly utilized.

ITAM and CMDB are important services for managing IT assets in an organization. They offer critical details about your company’s IT assets. Each service serves a specific purpose and offers unique value to an enterprise.

Consider these two solutions when looking for the best IT asset management software for your company. They’re also part of the latest IT modernization strategies because they are designed to help you manage your IT systems and identify areas that need upgrading.

What is ITAM?

ITAM is a process of managing IT assets in an organization using easy-to-follow ITAM principles. This process ensures that all your IT assets are fully accounted for, deployed, properly maintained and frequently upgraded.

It is also a process that alerts you when your IT assets have reached the end of their lifecycle. This process requires you to invest in an asset management tool that can provide you with an IT asset management process flowchart to monitor the utilization of your IT assets.

In short, ITAM involves ensuring that the core IT assets in your organization‒physical and non-physical‒are continuously monitored and utilized. It encompasses financial, contractual and record functions.

ITAM can be a subsection of the overall IT service management (ITSM) method. It involves collecting a comprehensive inventory of your enterprise’s hardware, software and any other network assets.

This information will help you make informed decisions about your company’s purchase and utilization of IT assets. Your asset management tool will detect your IT assets across the enterprise and capture and record the data. Some ITAM tools can integrate with other systems, such as service desks, to help you integrate the information about your IT assets with requests and incidents for better management and decision-making.

What is CMDB?

A CMDB is a core repository that serves as a data silo in an organization, keeping all the information about the company’s IT environment. This database is purposely built to manage configuration.

A CMDB offers you a central place to store data related to your IT infrastructure and configuration assets. The basis of your CMDB will be the configuration items you use. These are items within the configuration management setup, including routers, switches, servers, applications, etc.

You can identify configuration items across your IT infrastructure and add them to your CMDB using information import tools or manual tools to keep your CMDB updated. However, this method isn’t very effective, as it can introduce errors like duplicates and redundant configuration items.

Furthermore, you have to verify the information you’ve gathered for precision and uniformity, which can be time-consuming. You also need to identify and resolve any data gaps in the unified information about your IT assets.

Differences between ITAM and CMDB

The main difference between ITAM and CMDB is their purpose–ITAM is designed to monitor the procurement, implementation, maintenance and disposal of your IT assets, while CMDB monitors the characteristics, associations and dependencies of configuration items, giving you a clear picture of the effect of variations and occurrences across your IT infrastructure.

Your ITAM tool will provide you with a record of all your IT assets, including their purchase dates and costs, serial numbers, licenses and other important details. A CMDB tool, on the other hand, is a unified repository holding data about the entire IT setup in your organization, allowing you to monitor and manage the entire infrastructure from a central place. Talk to Flexera for more information and advice on the best option for your IT infrastructure today!