Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete our “State of ITAM” community survey last month.
This article shares some of the preliminary results based on the first 150 responses. The survey is still open, so if you wish to share your views please do so here:
10 Years of ITAM Review
November marks our 10th birthday. We’ve been publishing for 10 years and pride ourselves on what we hope are relevant resources for worldwide ITAM professionals.
Our pursuit of topics that we think our readers will find useful is not through divining rods, but simply through listening. Specifically, by asking ‘what are you struggling with?’ and ‘what do you need help with?’ If you think we’re missing a major subject – again, please let us know via the survey link above. We’re listening.
Based on your feedback, we’ve identified our major areas of focus for 2019. These can be aligned to three major trends.
In 2018, three major mega-trends continue to dominate the ITAM landscape and IT departments and business in general. These mega-trends are not new for 2018 but have been at work for a number of years, arguably they’ve been slowly marinating since our founding in 2008.
1) Business (non-IT department) buyers of IT assets
Our ITAM Analyst AJ believes this is more of a cycle than a trend. The Finance Director used to go out and buy an accounting system, then we saw a shift to IT looking after it as an IT project, and now it’s returning to the FD as a turnkey cloud system.
This IT Autonomy outside the IT department requires the ITAM function to engage with more stakeholders, work with new people and be proactive – an ethic fully reflected in our PITAM methodology and something we’ll continue to support through 2019.
You told us, with the highest response of 32% of respondents, that organisational commitment (Establishing and maintaining a mandate, getting buy-in and securing budget) will be your biggest challenge in the next five years. Whilst this has been a perennial issue for IT Asset Managers since our founding, the challenge is compounded by many new personalities to work with outside the IT department.
The growth of ITAM outside the IT department is also reflected in your organisational structures and reporting lines.
Compare reporting lines in 2018 to those in 2011:
Where does your ITAM function report?
- 2011: Service Management (45%), Finance 24%, CXO (17.24%), and Other 14% (source)
- 2018: CXO Direct Report (37%), Service Management (35%), Finance 12%, Security 3%, Other/IT 13%
ITAM is ascending in seniority and non-IT attention. Out of the shadows of operational process and configuration management (45% reporting into ITSM in 2011) to the limelight of the C-suite (37% CXO in 2018).
Whilst 38% of you believe you will report into a similar function in five years time, 34% believed it would shift to a c-suite direct report (19% CIO, 16% CFO).
As we fast approach the 2020s, smart management of assets is a shrewd business practice with benefits well beyond IT. Bye-bye software compliance, hello competitive advantage in ability to execute IT.
I’ll explore this topic further and share more results during my keynote at our Australian conference in Sydney entitled “Where is your role heading”?
2) Continued Technology Sprawl
The diversity of asset types and new technologies continues to expand unabated.
Perhaps most significantly, for every new technology added, an old one is not being removed. ITAM must remain the responsible adult trying to diplomatically highlight risk and curb the enthusiasm of technologists who might put the business at risk through unmanaged or unfettered access to technology.
In particular, you tell us Open Source, Internet of Things, Containers and Serverless need exploration. We intend to address these new technology challenges via a series of ‘Explainers’ – explaining new technology in plain English, exploring risks and opportunities with these nascent technologies.
Finally as a mega trend, the shift to the cloud. Specifically, whilst we have been addressing this topic on the ITAM Review for a number of years, we feel that 2018 reached a tipping point in the number of organizations waking up to a) the size of their spend on XaaS and b) how little control and visibility they have over it.
When we asked you what would be the biggest challenges in the next five years, managing public cloud and subscription licensing represented half of the responses.
For 2019, The ITAM Review will produce two major courses and professional certifications on Managing Public Cloud Governance and Managing Subscription Licensing – what you’ve told us are the two biggest areas of concern.
Thank you for your continued support, please keep giving us your feedback:
Do you agree with these trends and key concerns for IT Asset Managers? Please let me know in the comments
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 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.