What does ITAM mean?

ITAM stands for IT - Asset Management and it's another term for IT Inventory Management. ITAM entails the administration and documentation of all software and hardware assets of a company, as well as their relationships and dependencies on each other. Moreover, Asset Management provides information to aid decisions regarding a purchase or an investment, contributes towards defining and continuously improving IT strategies, and helps optimize the use of the assets. To be able to make forward-looking tactical and strategic decisions, the lifecycle of an asset should be depicted. Through ITAM, you will always have a current overview of all IT assets and can track when and how a certain asset needs to be serviced, updated, or replaced, as everything is collected in a database. Therefore, the necessary budget, acquisitions and required support can be better planned and downtimes can be minimized.

When properly implemented, ITAM can help mitigate IT costs and potential risks and increase efficiency. It can also influence (almost) all divisions of a company.

Below some major benefits of ITAM are discussed:

Improving Security

ITAM enables you to always have an overview of your assets. In this way, all assets can be monitored, checked, updated, improved and secured. Vulnerabilities can thus be quickly identified and remedied. Additionally, it provides an outline of which employees have what user rights and to what extent they have access to sensitive data. As a result, you can restrict or adjust the respective user rights.

Avoiding Penalties

Furthermore, ITAM provides an overview of legal, contractual and statutory obligations. This includes managing and renewing licenses as needed, thus avoiding penalties. Particularly when you have to regularly undergo audits, this overview can be beneficial. ITAM can help identify where action is needed, helping you avoid penalties and save time and sale, therefore lowering costs.

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Costs

ITAM gives you knowledge of how and where assets are being used by your employees and which are being used less. Superfluous or unused assets can be removed or stored, avoiding unnecessary acquisitions. Additionally, maintenance, support and energy costs can be saved through ITAM, thereby reducing further costs.

Increasing Agility

Finally, ITAM lets you track and oversee the lifecycle and the use of assets over an extended period of time. This provides data that can be used to make decisions about operational necessities and strategic business decisions.

How does ITAM differ from SACM?

While ITAM focuses on the management of assets such as hardware, software and corresponding licenses, Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) is concerned with controlling all the assets required to deliver your services. A service asset includes basically every single aspect of a service, such as the organization, management, company infrastructure, data, staff and applications.

How does ITAM relate to CMDB?

CMDB stands for Configuration Management Database. It's a database for accessing and managing so-called Configuration Items (CI) and brings data regarding this together in a database, as companies typically store different data in different databases. It provides collected data from all databases in one place, making it easier to access.

A CMDB is part of both Configuration Management and ITAM. Its main purpose is to serve as a central point for managing all your CIs as IT assets.

5 Best Practices for Simple ITAM Implementation


Ensure all data is supervised. For example, when a new acquisition or registration is made, it can be tracked by an employee to determine if the procedure was sensible and beneficial.


Not everything should be registered. At the beginning of ITAM it's tempting to include all assets in the database. However, each registration should be preceded by considering whether this asset is significant enough and why it should be included.

Record Key Factors

As part of registration, also consider which factors and data to document. Set the priority yourself. Specify which factors you want to model in your processes.

Current Status

Ensure your assets are up-to-date. Not just the registration of the assets is crucial, but also that data regarding the respective processes are kept current.

Rights and Obligations

Be aware of your rights and obligations at all times. Keep track of who has access to which assets, whether changes can or should be made, what changes are documented, etc. This protects you from unforeseen events with negative consequences.

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