When evaluating core business practices, IT Asset Management has not made the list for most enterprises. In the past, ITAM has been viewed as a practice that lies solely within the realm of IT and not considered to add measurable value to the organization.
IT was often viewed as foreign to executive management with little buy-in and business practices within IT were often immature compared to other business practices with little executive buy-in and not necessarily viewed as adhering to the overall goals of the organization.
When evaluating the ITAM program on its merits, you can see it yields quantifiable benefits such as budgetary savings, risk reduction and enterprise-wide efficiencies. By definition, ITAM is the process of managing the business side of IT, therefore as a business practice, the targets and measurements must adhere to standard business methodologies and adhere to the organization’s goals and contribute to the bottom line.
As with other core business practices, the implementation of an ITAM program across the enterprise can be a daunting task, but with a solid plan, a bit of education, an understanding that IT Asset Management is a program not just a project the organization can succeed. One reoccurring drawback in many ITAM initiatives is the lack of executive buy-in. IT Asset Mangers become not only the program champions, but are tasked with the sales and marketing aspects of the program. Regularly scheduled bulletins, program progress and successes are an integral part of gaining the buy-in that it frequently lacks.
To start on this journey of brining value to the enterprise, an organization must first determine a direction and pathways to success. To build an ITAM Program, it will begin with three solid foundation processes:
- Backed by Policy: ITAM as with other business practices must be backed by enterprise-wide policy. All policies should be clearly written, easily understood and uniformly enforced across the enterprise. Without strong policy to back the ITAM initiative your program is certain to fail.
- Communication & Education: The intent and progress of the ITAM program must be communicated regularly to those impacted as well as internally selling or marketing your program’s successes in order to maintain the backing necessary for continuation. All within the organization should be educated at some basic level regarding their involvement and the impact the ITAM program has on their role or job function.
- Program: IT Asset Management is clearly not a project and needs to be communicated and understood as such. As a program, it does not have an end date and requires ongoing management as any other core business practice.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also 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.
On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.