IT Asset Management (also known as ITAM) ensures an organization's assets are accounted for, deployed, maintained, upgraded, and disposed of when the time comes. According to Google, ITAM involves tracking hardware and software assets from the moment they enter the organization to the moment they are decommissioned. This process should include inventorying, monitoring, and reporting of all assets in an organization's network, to maximize efficiency, control costs, and reduce risk. ITAM is essential for organizations that want to maintain an organized approach to managing their hardware and software assets.
Defining an ITAM Architectural Blueprint
Every entity has hardware and software assets that enable the operational processes to conduct their daily operations, as well as plan and set strategy. Gone are the days of using a Big Chief tablet (you may need to Google that one)! Keeping the hardware and software up to date, secure, and within license, requirements are traditionally the focus of ITAM professionals. That in itself is an important and taxing job that often requires the assistance of a Managed Services Provider and crosses organizational boundaries such as IT, finance, and procurement. The Cloud has been around for a while, now we have the terms “FinOps’ and containers. What does that mean for traditional ITAM?
An effective ITAM practice depends upon solid Executive Sponsorship with clearly defined business goals that enable and support the organization's strategic objectives by providing infrastructure and data. There is a clear need to define an ITAM architectural blueprint, mapping out people, processes, and tech building blocks, to accommodate current on-premises requirements while providing a bridge to Cloud migration and FinOps.
Creating a Desired State of Operations
To do that, the first step would be to document the current state of operations to understand the interdependencies between:
- Enterprise IT
- Procurement Process
- Vendor Management
- Hardware-Software Asset owners
This is a failure point for most companies and ITAM processes as each of these functions play a pivotal role in a successful ITAM operation. Often these functions reside in separate reporting chains or lack synergy between executive or managerial leadership. This inhibits ITAM from being recognized as a critical component of a company’s strategy. It is imperative to understand the importance and interconnected role these functions play in a successful ITAM program, the potential impact on the company strategy, and how ITAM can enable that strategy and influence the bottom line.
Once this is complete, the next step is to create a desired state of operations by producing the ITAM-SAM architectural blueprint and implementation plan, a RACI to ensure everyone knows who’s who and what their role is, followed by a Governance Process to ensure adherence and periodic review for process improvement. Key areas to focus on are:
- Establish Senior Executive level support for ITAM-SAM
- Define a Governance Policy for Procurement and Vendor Management
- Outline Enterprise IT dependencies for and on ITAM-SAM
- Application Lifecycle mapping to understand ITAM-SAM dependencies.
- Compliance Management Guidelines and Best Practices
Enabling successful ITAM programs goes beyond just having the right tools, people, and processes. It requires effective management of these three components to ensure that an organization is leveraging its IT assets in a way that will drive value, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create a competitive advantage.
Please note that the same core requirements for ITAM are the same whether On-Premise, SaaS, Public or Private cloud, and containerization. Regardless of technology, accounting for usage, cost savings, cost avoidance, license compliance, and audit readiness are required. An investment in skills and training is far more cost-effective than establishing and maintaining an autonomous organization.
Establishing Strategic Goals and Objectives for Your ITAM Program
When assessing your current ITAM program while establishing strategic goals and objectives for your future ITAM program, there are 4 key questions you must ask:
If you can’t answer those questions with conviction, your ITAM Program still needs to transform and we at ISAM are here to help you. Contact us today!
About the Author
David Gemuenden is a Technology Executive who has held pivotal Senior Leadership roles at IBM, Dell, Flexera, Snow, and Livingstone Group, helping those companies transform their business, and has now joined ISAM Group.
His diverse background in Product Management, Software Development, Service Delivery, ITAM, SAM, and Customer Success provides him a unique ability to bridge customer requirements with business realities, resulting in peak organizational efficiency and increased Customer Satisfaction.