An Introduction to the International Standard of ISO 19770

Discover the significance of ISO 19770, a global standard for IT Asset Management (ITAM). Learn about its framework, tag aspects, and how it benefits both vendors and consumers. Contact us to implement these standards effectively.

ISO 19770 is a globally recognized standard designed to enhance IT Asset Management (ITAM) practices, benefiting both hardware and software vendors and their customers. 

If you are a hardware or software vendor, our initial query to you would be, "Why haven't you embraced this opportunity yet?" ISO 19770 is a means for you to furnish standardized details about the products you offer to your customers, streamlining their management process.

If you are a hardware and software consumer – especially for multiple vendors – and want to track your hardware and software, the question is, “Why aren’t you asking for ISO 19770 right now?”.

In this informative piece, we delve into the world of ISO 19770, exploring its significance, the different tags it encompasses, and its ability to foster a robust IT Asset Management (ITAM) practice.

What is ISO 19770?

ISO 19770 is a comprehensive set of standards for IT Asset Management (ITAM), encompassing both policy documents and tags. For those who are new to this field and are looking for a starting point, ISO 19770-1 is highly recommended. This particular standard provides a framework that organizations can use to establish and implement effective ITAM practices.

In addition to ISO 19770-1, ISO 19770-5 is also of great significance as it offers an overview of various ITAM concepts and dictionaries. By referring to this standard, businesses can enhance their ITAM vocabulary and gain a better understanding of the essential elements required for successful IT asset management.

A valuable tip to keep in mind is that ISO 19770-5 can be downloaded for free from the ISO website. This allows individuals and organizations to access the standard easily and begin their ITAM journey with a solid foundation.

By utilizing the framework provided by ISO 19770-1 and familiarizing themselves with the concepts outlined in ISO 19770-5, hardware and software vendors can optimize their ITAM practices. These standards enable vendors to provide standardized information about their products, simplifying the management process for their customers.

For hardware and software consumers, especially those dealing with multiple vendors, ISO 19770 is a valuable tool for tracking their assets. By requesting that vendors adhere to ISO 19770, consumers can ensure that they have access to accurate and standardized information about the hardware and software they utilize.

Overall, ISO 19770 plays a crucial role in fostering a robust IT Asset Management practice. Its comprehensive framework and tag aspects, such as the SWID tag, Entitlement tag, HWID tag, and the Resource Utilization Metric (RUM) report, provide organizations with the necessary tools to effectively manage their IT assets. Whether you are a vendor or a consumer, embracing ISO 19770 can bring numerous benefits to your ITAM processes.

If you are interested in learning more about ISO 19770 and how it can benefit your organization, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts is here to provide you with further information and guidance on implementing these standards effectively.

Tag Aspects of the 19970 Standards

Once you have a better idea of the basics of ISO 19970, especially if you are a hardware or software supplier, we suggest you look at the tag aspects of the 19770 standards. There are four tags you should start with:


The first tag is 19770-2, or the software identifiers. This is also known as the “SWID” tag. The SWID tag keeps track of the software that might be installed on a particular instance.

The SWID will also keep track of things such as:

  • Software  Product ID
  • The version the software is running on
  • Available upgrades
  • Accurate identification of the software that’s running on it at any point
  • ENT-Tag
  • The next tag is the Entitlement tag, or ISO 19770-3, usually called the “Ent-tag”. The “Ent” refers to the entitlement itself. This is what the sells and that gives the customer the rights to do things with their assets. It might be a software license, a support contract or even the ability to upgrade. This is very useful when combined with the -2 tag or the -6 tag, as it ties privileges and capabilities to the product on which the software is running.


The next tag is the hardware identifier, or 19770-6, usually called the “HWID” tag. This hardware identifier helps identify the actual piece of hardware. The HWID tag also allows you to identify individual pieces of hardware accurately. It could also be used for virtual machines in cases where that is important.

The HWID tag answers questions such as:

  • What product is this?
  • What REV is it?
  • What serial number is currently on it?

The HWID has not been released yet as of time of this posting, but it should be released relatively soon.

The RUM Report

All three of the previously mentioned tags can be referenced together using the fourth type of tag. The fourth tag is called the “Resource Utilization Metric”, or “RUM” report also known as ISO 19770-4. The RUM report is useful because it tells you how something was used.

For example, the RUM report tells you that a software identifier was used, or an entitlement identifier was used in a particular place for a particular amount of time, or that it consumed a particular number of resources. This is especially useful for vendors when it comes to both prepaid and postpaid pricing models, where they need to know how the software or the hardware was used in order to be able to price things appropriately.

ISO 19770 is crucial to a sound ITAM practice. ISO 19770 can be effectively by both hardware and software vendors and can serve many purposes. Exploring the various tag aspects of ISO 19770 can be extremely useful for your organizations specific needs.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more.

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