In its most basic definition, configuration refers to the arrangement of components to make up a whole system.
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The term configuration can be used for a number of different areas in IT; however, the most common use refers to the specific hardware and software details within a device, the capabilities and the components that make up the system, and this will usually be created by engineers. Other uses for the term include reference to network topology or the methodical process of defining options within the installation of hardware or software.
Whereas, Configuration Management (CM) is the systems engineering process that allows an accurate accounting of an organisations Configuration Items (CIs), such as hardware, software, devices, as well as the capabilities needed to deliver the services, and covers the relationship of these components within an operational environment. All IT professionals will utilise Configuration Management within their works.