The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

How the ITAM Review 12 Box Model maps to ISO/IEC 19770

The table below shows how the 12 Box model from The ITAM Review compares to the International Standard for SAM, ISO/IEC 19770-1 (2012).

The major competency areas for the 12 Box model are on the left hand side and the major process areas for ISO/IEC 19770 are along the top column.

ISO/IEC 19770-1

ISO/IEC 19770-1 main process areas versus 12 Box model competency areas – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Introduction to ISO/IEC 19770

The main best practice International Standard for SAM is now in it’s second edition. The standard also has several additional components published and in development. The major components are -1, -2, and -3. Dash 1 refers to best practice, -2 refers to software ID tags and -3 refers to entitlement tags. Further dashes are under development.

ISO/IEC 19770 Certification

At the time of writing there is no formally recognized way of being certified against the ISO SAM standard, although a few organizations we know have asked their SAM partner to assess them against the ‘spirit’ of the standard to assess their maturity and identify opportunities for improvement.

The ISO standard is divided into four tiers, in theory an organization could be benchmarked against these tiers in isolation.

In layman’s terms the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Trustworthy Data – The ability to generate good quality SAM data
  • Tier 2 – Practical Management – Putting controls in place to manage SAM lifecycles
  • Tier 3 – Operational Integration – Driving efficiency
  • Tier 4 – Full ISO/IEC SAM Conformance – Aiming for full conformance against the standard.

The free online maturity assessment from The ITAM Review suggests organizations have Poor, Partial or Good coverage against the competency areas of the 12 Box Model. If your organization is hitting Good in most areas, it might be worth considering exploring the ISO standard.

The free maturity assessment against the ITAM Review 12 model is available here:

In module 12, VERIFICATION, we explore what we can learn from the ISO standard when it comes to building a world class ITAM practice:

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.


  1. Eric Eskam says:

    An excellent and free overview of ISO 19770-2 can be found in NIST Instructional Reference (NISTIR) 8060:

  2. AJ Witt says:

    Eric, many thanks for this link – very useful resource for our readers.

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