What's the difference between ITAM and CMDB?

14 April 2021
3 minute read
Best practice

What's the difference between ITAM and CMDB?

14 April 2021
3 minute read

Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 11: What’s the difference between ITAM and CMDB?

Whiteboard Wednesday is me, a whiteboard and learning about all things IT Asset Management (ITAM), every Wednesday!

This week, ITAM and CMDB. What the difference is, how could we potentially work together?


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What’s the difference between ITAM and CMDB?

Abbreviated transcript:

This is the lifecycle of an asset from start to finish. You start here with plan, you go and acquire it, manage it, etc, all the way through to disposition at the end of the life of an asset, which is when you take it out of the business or repurpose it. Then the CMDB is typically here, when the assets are live and in production, delivering value back to the business part of the configuration.

What are the motivations?

It’s important to note the differences in motivations, why do we do these things. Asset is primarily concerned with governance, risk, cost, making sure you’re getting the value intended out of the asset throughout its lifecycle and deliver that back to the business. Service has different motivations, their primary motivation that they are obviously concerned with risk and cost, but their primary motivation is keeping the lights on, making sure that the business is getting the service that it built, and development intended. So, their motivations are service and availability, keeping the lights on, and delivering a great service and we need to be cognizant of this when we’re managing CMDB and ITAM together, they have different motivations.

How can they work together?

CMDB and ITAM are close, but they have different goals, they have different motivations. So, they can work together and they can potentially collaborate, even use the same database, same platform, but they need to respect that each other has different motivations and different desires about why they’re collecting this configuration data in the first place. It’s a bit like a village hall. In a small village, you might have a village hall and on Tuesday night, the boy scouts rent the village hall and on Wednesday night Coakley dancing does their thing on a Wednesday night. So, they have very different motivations for being there, but they are sharing the same infrastructure and they’re helping each other. They can coexist as long as they respect each other’s boundaries and what they’re there for in the first place.

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