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ITOM vs. ITSM: Breaking Down the Key Differences

April 22, 2024 eye-glyph 78

Table of Contents

    ITOM and ITSM are two practices that ensure the smooth overall functioning of the IT environment. They might seem alike, but are they really? If they are, what makes them similar? And if they’re not, what sets them apart? That’s what we’re going to delve into in this blog. Additionally, we’re also going to shed light on the benefits of combining these two.

    So let’s get started with a brief overview of ITSM and ITOM.

    ITOM vs ITSM: An Overview

    IT Service Management (ITSM) is a strategic practice that businesses use to design, deliver, manage, and improve the utilization of IT within their organization. Or, in other words, ITSM brings together processes, people, and technology allowing businesses to fulfill their goals. It includes processes such as incident management, change management, asset management, knowledge management, and more.

    IT Operations Management (ITOM) is a set of practices an organization utilizes to manage the operations of IT infrastructure. Put simply, ITOM tools are accountable for ensuring that all the business services, IT systems, and applications are available and working properly. From setting up IT infrastructure to monitoring capacity, performance, and availability, it manages and optimizes all aspects of IT operations.

    Let’s refer to the following example of an airplane to gain a better understanding of how ITOM vs ITSM stack up against each other;

    ITOM manages the operations of airplanes such as checking fuel levels, ensuring optimal engine performance, and the navigation system is working properly. Generally, it’s about the technical aspects that ensure a safe flight.

    ITSM can be considered as the in-flight experience. It ensures the comfort of the seats, the quality of in-flight meals, and the friendliness of the cabin crew. ITSM focuses on the aspects of making the journey pleasant for the passengers.

    ITOM vs ITSM: Key Similarities

    ITOM and ITSM have some key similarities as follows;

    ITOM Vs ITSM: Key Similarities

    Information Technology Management

    Both ITSM and ITOM are geared towards the management of information technology resources in the organization.

    Business Alignment

    IT Operations Management and IT Service Management are driven by the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the IT services and operations perfectly sync with business objectives.

    Service-Oriented Approach

    Both have well-defined service-oriented approaches to ensure the smooth running of IT systems and services. This approach involves best practices, processes, and tools to ensure the proper utilization of IT services and systems to benefit the business.

    Customer-Experience Focus

    IT Service Management emphasizes customer-oriented processes that deliver high-quality experiences that meet customer expectations ITOM, on the other hand, supports IT services by ensuring the relying tools, and processes are functioning properly.

    Security Focus

    Both ITSM and ITOM have a strong emphasis on security. They have several security policies and procedures to safeguard IT systems and services from potential threats.

    ITOM vs ITSM Difference: Detailed Comparison

    ITOM Vs ITSM Difference: Detailed Comparison

    Let’s discuss the ITOM vs ITSM key differences in the following table;

    Key differenceIT Service Management (ITSM)IT Operations Management (ITOM)
    Scope of responsibilityManaging IT service delivery to customersManagement of IT infrastructure operations and performance
    FocusCustomer services and user experienceOperational efficiency, and system performance monitoring
    VisibilityOutward-facing, it is visible to employees from non-IT departmentsIt is inward-facing supporting the working of the organization’s IT infrastructure.
    UsersIT service teams and end-usersIT operations teams
    SecurityITSM follows various security practices such as;

    • Access controls
    • Patching and updates
    • Risk management
    • Encryption
    ITOM has the following security practices;

    • Enforcing digital and physical security methodologies
    • Manages SSL/TLS certificates
    FrameworksITSM has the following frameworks;

    • ITIL
    • COBIT
    • ISO/IEC 20000
    • Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)
    • Six Sigma
    • eTOM
    • TOGAF
    ITOM has the following frameworks;
    • ITIL
    • COBIT
    • eTom
    • DevOps
    • Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)


    Maintaining service qualityIt has Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure IT services meet the quality an organization expects. ITOM maintains the performance and availability of IT infrastructure by provisioning, monitoring capacity, performance, and availability of IT resources.

    Benefits of Combining ITOM and ITSM

    Let’s dive into the benefits of combining ITOM and ITSM;

    Benefits of Combining ITOM & ITSM

    Single Source of Truth

    Integration of ITOM and ITSM can help organizations build a single source of truth for their entire IT infrastructure. The readily available information empowers the businesses to identify the root cause, and reduce the MTTR (mean time to repair).

    Service Mapping

    This integration will help you understand the connection between various IT components and services. This understanding will help you troubleshoot the issues easily, and ensure the interrupted service availability.

    Real-Time Analytics

    With the centralized dashboard, you can access end-to-end real-time operational insights. These insights help IT teams respond proactively to the issues reducing downtime and improving service quality.

    Automated IT Service Delivery

    Shifting to a unified platform for all your organization’s IT needs will help you innovate to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving market. With automation, it can ensure that IT services are readily available and aligned with the organization’s goals.

    Cost Saving

    Using ITOM and ITSM together can help businesses increase employee productivity. Also, with minimal downtime, IT costs will significantly decline. The availability of contextual data in the workspace empowers employees in their decision-making.

    Optimize your IT Environment with ITSM and ITOM CTA Img

    Final Take

    ITOM and ITSM are essential tools for managing your IT environment. There are several tools available in the market such as ServiceNow ITSM, ServiceNow ITOM, Jira, NinjaOne, and more. Evaluate your needs and choose the tools that are best suited for your needs.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, ITSM and ITOM can be used separately within an organization. They serve different purposes, so businesses can choose the one that is needed. However, integrating both of these can help in managing the entire IT infrastructure from a single workspace.

    Here is a list of the best ITOM tools available; • ServiceNow ITOM • Zluri • SolarWinds • Splunk • Freshworks

    • ServiceNow ITSM • Jira Service Management • Zendesk • InvGate • SysAid Technologies

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