Dr. Barbara (Barb) Rembiesa is the founder and CEO of the International Association of IT Asset Managers, Inc, (IAITAM), a global organisation focused on bringing education and best practice standards to IT asset management. As a staunch ITAM advocate, Barb has influenced and authored ITAM frameworks and standards through IAITAM’s certification courses and Best Practice Library, and actively participates in the International Standards Organisation (ISO), specifically as they endeavour to set software asset management standards.
ITAM Review: Your scope extends across 100 countries today, what advantages come from this kind of global reach in terms of knowledge share would you say?
Barb Rembiesa: There are plenty of advantages when an organisation spans so many countries but I want to emphasise the one I view as key which is the wealth of knowledge sharing that occurs and the input that the different global regions convey. Our members contribute to the organisation in many ways but primarily by means of knowledge sharing and expert advice. The organisation is the happy recipient of their efforts which over the years has enhanced our best practice posture and increased the body of information that we make available back to the profession.
ITAM Review: You talk about the importance of developing a “code of ethics” to govern the process and operation of ITAM in the workplace, what challenges do you think companies have in this area and how should they move forward?
Barb Rembiesa: The code of ethics that was developed for ITAM professionals is more than something that governs ITAM operations; it extends into the behavioural side of the practitioner and adds clarity and a definition to the profession as a whole. Just like other professionals, the ITAM code addresses the importance of this field to an organisation and the behavioural strategies of its followers and the enterprise. It’s another necessary step to legitimise the practice as a critical role and strategic characteristic of every organisation.
The challenges today are no different than they were yesterday for many in the ITAM profession, the recognition factor for an ITAM and the importance the practice plays in the organisation are still significant issues. More education is needed at the C-level and throughout the enterprise on the value that ITAM brings to the table which is why IAITAM’s CXO program was launched this year – to educate and show the value of ITAM to the executive suite.
ITAM Review: We loved your concept of the ITAM Superhero last time we got to speak to you. How do you convince the boardroom sceptics that don’t believe in the power of the IT Avengers and their superpowers?
Barb Rembiesa: How about dollars and cents facts such as:
“Since my completion of the CITAM training and certification course I have been able to save the United States Marine Corps over $1.2 million dollars from incorporating the knowledge I was able to bring back from the CITAM course.”
Marine Corps’ Don Brookins
“our team…saving the company $8.3M in maintenance and support costs for both hardware and software for a period of one year. Our understanding of software contracts terms and conditions as well as software licenses types aided us in transferring existing contracts, licenses and hardware assets while ensuring that we stay within our entitlements.”
Sherri Cart, CSAM, a member of VeriSign, Inc.
These are only two of the many examples we have documented or hear every day as a result of IAITAM training and ITAM best practices that we teach. The ITAM Superhero has powers far superior to those of the average IT manager or service manager. The ITAM Superhero brings more to the table by addressing the three key elements that all world leaders want to hear – financial return, risk mitigation and efficiencies created. No other corporate citizen can add so much value.
ITAM Review: Everything comes down to communication these days, how would you describe your relationship with some of the bigger vendors out there these days and how do you win over their hearts and minds to your cause and core values?
Barb Rembiesa: I think our vendor relationships are on par with what we had intended when the organisation first started over 10 years ago. There was a time when the vendor community watched and waited for IAITAM the organisation and ITAM the profession to mature – and boy did we! The relationship we have with all our vendors is positive, but as an organisation, being vendor neutral, we don’t “play” favourites, which I think is respected in this industry. IAITAM, as well as our Provider Member community are devoted to building the profession and educating organisations on what is best practice in ITAM today and what’s to come tomorrow.
ITAM Review: It’s not the most creative question, but it’s the one we all want to ask you — how do see ITAM developing and evolving as a core element of every firm’s IT ecosystem in the next five years?
Barb Rembiesa: I see ITAM developing as a fixture in every organisation over the next five years and scaling in importance as the growth of the entity and its dependence on technology grows. As long as IT remains the vehicle that supports an organisation’s day to day operations, whether it’s in-house or outsourced, so will the need for asset management and educated practitioners with expertise within an organisation.