When ITAM and ITSM Come Together

For a long time now, one of the biggest frustrations in the world of IT has been the visible disconnect between cost management and service operations—a division that is reflected in the separate processes that comprise those two spheres. On the one hand, for example, there’s IT Asset Management (ITAM) which falls towards the cost management and governance sides of things, allowing for the complicated language of IT to be translated into a financial, managerial perspective.

In advanced organizations, ITAM—and in particular software asset management (SAM)—plays an important role in helping companies keep and maintain their ever-increasing array of assets, such as hardware, software, and licenses. On the other hand, there’s IT Service Management (ITSM)—which, as you know, is Cherwell Software’s home base and flagship platform.

Historically, ITAM and ITSM have been separately managed and staffed within organizations. One falls more towards the financial and/or infrastructural side of things (ITAM); the other towards service delivery (ITSM). What this ultimately means is that, for many, there is a real disconnect—both technologically and organizationally—between the two processes, despite the fact that they are heavily interrelated and dependent upon each other.

In an article published a few years back in The ITAM Review, Martin Thompson writes about how “There is a desire to integrate ITAM and ITSM. But for the majority they are separate or only partially integrated entities.”

On their own, both ITAM and ITSM each bring an immense value to the business and both play a fundamental role, not only within IT, but to the entire organization as well. But no matter how you look at it, the two are inescapably bound together. The hardware and software that are managed under ITAM are the basis and framework on which ITSM is run. Processes such as Incident Management and Change Management demand frequent interaction with ITAM. It’s not hard to see why there is a real desire to integrate the two.

What, then, would it mean if ITAM and ITSM came together in a more seamless fashion? That question is precisely what’s so exciting about Cherwell Software’s recent acquisition of Express Metrix last month. It not only means a partnership between two exciting and innovative technology companies, each leaders in their respective markets, but a partnership between the very technologies themselves: ITAM-cum-ITSM.

The innovative technologies of Express Metrix will continue to be offered as a standalone product by Cherwell. However, a high-level integration is planned for later this year. That integration will allow the Cherwell Service Management® (CSM) platform to utilize Express Metrix’s industry-leading software recognition technology. After that, a more robust integration is planned which will incorporate all primary Express Software Manager® (ESM) functionality into the CSM platform.

Both ITAM and ITSM have the potential to be proactive tools within the organization—to offer real business metrics that can change the way the organization is run. The problems that, in the past, have tended to marginalize IT from being a true business partner are becoming increasingly irrelevant as organizations begin to comprehend the value of their IT.

Cherwell, with its highly configurable platform (see: Cherwell’s mApp™ solution), has shown that it’s possible to move past that kind of outdated thinking when it comes to ITSM. And now with Cherwell’s welcome arrival into the world of ITAM, the futures looks extremely bright.