The ITAM Review

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

INTERVIEW: Larry Shoup, “The ITAM Career Glass Ceiling and How to Smash Through It”

Larry Shoup is founder of Silvertree Solutions. I had the opportunity to meet Larry, an ITAM Industry veteran, at the IAITAM Conference in Las Vegas.

Larry describes the ITAM career glass ceiling that commonly exists and how ITAM professionals can smash through it.

Q. Does a Glass Ceiling Really Exist?

Larry: ITAM Professionals tend to stop progressing in their careers at the manager level. Unfortunately very few reach VP level in their organisations.

I have seen many people who are passionate about what they do and are good at getting senior management to listen to them, but still end up having to leave ITAM to progress their careers.

Q: Why is that?

The CIO is typically looking at cost control and he looks to ITAM to help with that. However it is a necessary evil, what the CEO and CIO really want to be dealing with is innovation – which is where the growth lies.

Q: So how do ITAM Professionals get in on the Innovation conversation?

To truly smash through the ITAM career glass ceiling you need to consider how the CEO or CIO are thinking and move from commodity IT to Strategic IT.

Making ITAM Strategic

Making ITAM Strategic

Q: What would you recommend as a first step?

The first step is to identify what the corporate goals are and align yourself to those priorities. Strategic IT is about being proactive rather than reactive. Find out what the corporate goals are and what you can do within ITAM to support that.

Avoid conversations that are not strategic to the business. For example virtualisation is a great strategic IT initiative leading to potential cost savings but it is not strategic to the business. It won’t create more customers or generate more revenue.

One of the pivotal roles ITAM can play is in enabling something we call Strategic Relationship Optimization – whereby business relationships with vendors or partners can be managed as a strategic business asset. Better management of relationships increases the number of successful relationships achieving or exceeding expected results. These successes have bottom line impact through increased revenue and/or reduced cost.

Larry is founder of Silvertree Solutions – find out more about Strategic Relationship Optimization here.

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.

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