ITOM Vs ITSM: An Overview On Differences And Similarities

It became difficult for organizations to manage their daily routine issues in the modern technological period. Because there are so many issues and frameworks to address these issues, it became difficult to opt for which framework would be the best for a certain issue. Moreover, some frameworks are so similar that it becomes difficult for organizations to differentiate between them.

IT operation management and IT service management are also one of these frameworks that are difficult to differentiate. Difficult to use different means to determine whether they are two concepts or one. Moreover, it is also difficult to determine whether they are similar, alternative, or opposite concepts. Realizing this difficulty of organizations, in this article, we discussed whether it is right to say ITOM vs ITSM or not. In this regard, we discussed the differences and similarities between them. Before discussing their differences and similarities, first, we should know their basic concepts. So, let’s start by overviewing the main concepts of ITSM and ITOM.

What Is IT Operation Management (ITOM)?

ITOM covers the provisioning of IT infrastructure as well as capacity management, cost-control strategies, performance and security management, and availability management for all IT assets. According to Amartya Gupta, “IT operations management (ITOM) is the process of managing all technological elements and application requirements of an organization. ITOM incorporates activities responsible for the seamless execution of all IT services that support the business-like provisioning of IT infrastructure, cost-control operations, availability management, capacity management, and performance and security management.”

What Is IT Service Management (ITSM)?

Information technology service management is commonly known as ITSM. It includes all the processes of designing, creating, implementing, and improving IT service operations. ITSM believes that IT should be provided as a service. Therefore, it usually manages all the processes of service management regarding IT. According to Stephen J. Bigelow, “IT service management (ITSM) is a general term that describes a strategic approach to design, deliver, manage and improve the way businesses use information technology (IT). ITSM includes all the discrete activities and processes that support service throughout its lifecycle, from service management to change management, problem and incident management, asset management, and knowledge management.”


When we say ITOM vs ITSM, we are talking about the differences between these two. There are many differences between them. Following are some of the differences between them. By overviewing these differences, we will try to understand whether it would be right to say ITOM vs ITSM or not.


The main difference between these two is the difference in their scope of work. ITSM deals with how IT teams provide IT services to the users, whereas ITOM deals with the internal procedures and interactions of IT teams while they are providing a certain IT service.

Point Of Concentration

Another difference between these two is the difference in points of their concentration. IT service management focus on users, that’s why it is end-user-centric. On the other hand, IT operation management concentrates on IT teams and their different procedures like event management, performance monitoring, and other internal operations of IT teams that they deal with themselves.


ITSM is a front-end process. It is visible to end-users because when they request organizations for their services, it means they are dealing with an IT service management system. In contrast, IT operation management is less visible to end-user than ITSM. It is because it dealt with the internal processes of IT teams and did not interact directly with the end-users.


Another difference between ITOM and ITSM is in their functions. ITSM performs functions like; change management, problem management, incident management, release management, or risk management. On the other hand, ITOM performs functions like; network infrastructure, server, and device management, event management, computer operations, and helpdesk.


When we say ITSM and ITOM, we are talking about the similarities between them. We have overviewed these similarities in such a way that we can judge whether it would be right to say ITSM and ITOM or not. Following are some similarities between these two.

ITOM Is A Sub-concept Of ITSM

The main and most important similarity between ITOM and ITSM is; ITOM is a sub-concept of ITSM. In this way, we learned that they could work together and they are not opposite concepts.

Different But Not Opposite

As we stated above that, ITOM is a sub-concept of ITSM. But it does not mean that they are the same concepts. They have some differences between them, but they are not opposite concepts; their perfect combination could give better results.

Effective Asset Management

It is important for organizations to build an effective asset management system so that they can manage their assets more effectively. For this purpose, the collaboration of ITOM and ITSM is necessary.

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

ITSM and ITOM both needs a configuration management database (CMDB) for effective working operations. It takes care of a company’s IT infrastructure supporting the two solutions and maximizing the value of the business’s IT investments.

Common Goals

ITSM and ITOM also have some common goals that make these two concepts more similar to each other. For example, they both work to enhance the user experience; moreover, they both work to standardize the service operations of an organization in its daily routine. In addition, many other goals of both concepts are also aligned, making them near one another.

Could Be More Productive If They Work Collaboratively

From all the above factors, we learned that The perfect collaboration of these two concepts could ensure more productivity in the organizations. There are many benefits of using them together, for example;

  • Facilitates rapid digital transformation of an organization.
  • Automated incident resolution.
  • Facilitates an Agile IT environment.
  • Escalation of incidents to the right teams.
  • Enhanced returns from IT investments.
  • Enhanced level of end-user experience


From all the above discussion, we learned that it is not right to say ITOM vs ITSM. Instead, we should say ITOM and ITSM. It is because the perfect collaboration between these two could give an organization better results than they get by using them alone. From all the above factors that we have discussed, we also learned that they are two different concepts but not opposite. So, we recommend you use the perfect combination of these two to get better results.

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