What are standards? Blog
Jennifer Carr No Comments

By Martin Thompson, founder of the ITAM Forum

At the ITAM Forum, we talk a lot about the ISO ITAM family of standards (ISO 19770). These standards, of which there are seven, are created by the ITAM Standards Committee, which has more than 175 members from 25+ countries. One of these standards is 19770-1. It specifies the requirements for an ITAM management system within the context of an organisation.

As you probably know, earlier this year, the ITAM Forum created the world’s first, globally recognised ISO 19770-1 certification scheme. For the first time ever, organisations can now demonstrate the quality of their ITAM practices in a consistent, uniform and globally accepted way. This certification scheme provides unrivaled recognition for an ITAM team’s work. We firmly believe it will help the ITAM industry to grow and mature.

What role do standards perform? How do they help industries develop?

The following three examples highlight industries that expanded and pushing out quality thanks to standards:

  • The humble plug. No matter where you are in the world, you can buy a toaster or kettle (for example) for your home. You don’t need to consider if it will work because there are standards in your country that makes sure it will work. Everything is standardized, which makes things easier to buy and safer at home. Now, consider if this wasn’t the case. Consider mobile phone chargers. When you buy a phone, you don’t know if it will fit your existing chargers or car kit, etc.
  • The British kite mark for glass. In the UK, when you build a house or undertake a house extension, your local council will have building standards and regulations that must be met. This enforces a level of quality and safety. The British kite mark for glass is one example. It specifies that the new glass used meets the specified standard. This simplifies the market and the sales process and allows quality to be transmitted to a market.
  • Train travel through Europe. You can now travel from Kings Cross train station in London under the sea to France, and on the same train, travel across France to Belgium and onto Amsterdam. That’s four countries and under one sea while sitting in the same seat on the same train. This is possible because of implemented train line standards and train management systems across Europe. This facilitates tourism.
What are the benefits of standards?
  • Improved efficiency and productivity, which brings faster maturity
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • Increased credibility and trust
  • Access to new markets
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Continuous improvements
ISO ITAM Standards

As mentioned, ISO 19770 is a family of standards and family members include:

  • 19770-1: Requirements for an ITAM system within the context of the organisation
    • Seeks to integrate the people, processes and technologies necessary to manage each and every stage of the IT asset lifecycle.
  • 19770-2: Software identification tags
    • Helps overcome the technical challenges associated with soft­ware discovery, identification, and contextualization, thereby enhancing the accuracy and reliability of SAM processes.
  • 19770-3: Software entitlement scheme
    • Provides a technical definition of a schema that can encapsulate the details of soft­ware entitlements, including usage rights, limitations, and metrics.
  • 19770-4: Resource utilization management
    • Seeks to enhance and automate the process of ITAM by offering information structures designed to align with the identification information defined in ISO/IEC 19770-2 and the entitlement information defined in ISO/IEC 19770-3.
  • 19770-5: Overview and vocabulary
    • Contains an overview of ITAM/SAM, the ISO/IEC 19770 family of standards, the foundation principles and approaches on which ITAM is based. It also contains the terms and definitions used throughout the ISO/IEC 19770 family of standards.
  • 19770-6: Mapping of industry practices to/from ISO/IEC 19770
    • Defines requirements, guidelines, formats and approaches for use when producing a mapping document that defines how industry practices map to/from the ISO/IEC 19770 family of standards.
  • 19770-7: Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of 19770-1

Hundreds of volunteers (who are ITAM professionals) worked together and collaborated to create these standards to better ITAM. They are also responsible for improving these standards (ongoing) and ensuring market needs are met.

There are a number of other ISO IT-related standards such as ISO 27,000 (info security) 20,000 (IT service management). 19770 complements and adds value to these standards.

If you’d like to get involved in this work, please contact Ron Brill, Chair of the ITAM Standards Committee, or email info@itamstandards.com.


If you’d like to learn more about the ISO/IEC 19770-1 certification scheme: