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3 min read

Unveiling the benefits and limitations of the power couple: ITAM and CMDB

Phill Fox
Phill Fox
27 July 23 ITSM
Scales showing the importance of having good ITAM and CMDB with good data.

If you are only just delving into the complexity of IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and would like to know the differences between them and their capabilities. Then head to 'An Introduction to IT Asset Management and Configuration Management Databases'. 

Before we go any further, it is important to remember that ITAM relates to the entities that an organisation owns. Whilst CMDB is the configuration and relationships between the assets because assets may be either physical or logical items.

Managing the vast array of the ever-increasing complexity of IT assets can be a daunting task, akin to taming a wild beast. Enter the dynamic duo of ITAM and CMDB. Together, they offer a comprehensive solution that empowers organisations to streamline their IT operations, achieve optimal resource utilisation, and conquer the challenges that lie in wait. 

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The key benefits of ITAM and CMDB

There are many potential benefits properly integrating practices, such as ITAM and CMDB, can have on your organisation. Here are just a few:

Cost optimisation

ITAM and CMDB enable organisations to optimise costs, avoid unnecessary purchases, and negotiate favourable contracts by providing visibility into asset utilisation, redundancy, and maintenance requirements. CMDB supports this further by providing insights into assets that have been identified to be underutilised, for example, helping you understand the impact of dissolving the assets. They can also identify inactive assets, which may highlight opportunities to save costs. 

Enhanced efficiency

With streamlined asset tracking, organisations can eliminate manual, error-prone processes by automating low-impact tasks. Allowing admins to focus on high-impact tasks that improve the customer experience and the broader operating performance of the IT function. Overall, allocating resources more effectively will boost the overall efficiency of your ITSM service delivery.

Knowledge management

This is a prime example of ITSM practices crossing over. A robust ITAM and CMDB infrastructure enforces and supports Knowledge Management by providing information on assets, such as instructions for department platforms, encouraging employees to be self-teaching and developing their skill sets will little to no intervention. 

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Decision-making power

The consolidated and accurate information available within a well-maintained ITAM/CMDB enables informed decision-making, whether you're planning for future technology investments, optimising workflows, or strategically allocating resources.

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The challenges and limitations of ITAM and CMDB

Where there are opportunities, there will be challenges and limitations. As IT assets constantly change and organisations look towards digitalisation, organisations' IT ecosystems are becoming more complex. Let's take a closer look:

Data Accuracy

Maintaining accurate and up-to-date information within ITAM and CMDB systems can be a Herculean task, especially within large and complex organisations. Human error, incomplete records and lack of process standardisation can compromise the integrity of your data. Regularly scheduled quality checks are essential to mitigate these challenges and capture new data, including the items that have been acquired, disposed or stolen from the organisation.


As organisations grow and their IT infrastructure expands, scalability and reliability become a concern. Ensuring that your ITAM can handle increasing volumes of data whilst maintaining its performance can be challenging. Having processes and automation set up can support your teams to manage an increase in assets and complexities.

Implementation and adoption

Implementation requires careful planning, resource allocation, and organisational buy-in. Therefore, investing in specific maintenance of a register of configuration changes and relationships is key to ensuring optimal results from your new systems. Resistance to change can also be a hindrance. This can result from a lack of stakeholder involvement and inadequate training. Engaging with key stakeholders through a project committee and providing adequate training can help overcome these challenges.

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When making any informed decision, knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly is important. There are many benefits that will help your organisation and the employees within it thrive. However, to reap these rewards, you must not forget about the challenges that may arise. You must actively manage your ITAM and CMDB to provide the information at the right time and place with a level of reliability.

At The Adaptavist Group, our experts are well-equipped with knowledge and experience to guide you through the challenges of ITAM, CMDB and beyond. You can learn more about the full range of services we offer our customers for building a robust ITSM solution fit for now and the future.

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