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”ITAM should be at a higher level in most organisations”

ITAM Review Podcast: Change Makers Series

Sherry Irwin

In the latest episode of our ITAM Review podcast Change Makers series, we speak with Sherry Irwin who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 ITAM Excellence Awards. Sherry has spent three decades working in ITAM and 11 years as a volunteer with Working Group 21 (WG21).

She began her career as an IT Security Analyst and Software Planner before starting (in 1995) her own ITAM consultancy. In 1992, she started the Canadian ITAM Users Group.

To define Sherry as an ITAM trailblazer is truly, an understatement.

She was thrown into ITAM back in the early-to-mid 1980s before ITAM had a name and when ITAM was in its infancy. There were very few people at the time with knowledge about managing hardware or software as an asset (“I’m not sure we used that vernacular then.”). So, she gained much of her knowledge simply through doing her job.

A lot of it was self-learned and self-taught.”

In this 18-minute podcast, we speak with Sherry about:

  • How she got into ITAM
  • How the tools market has changed
  • The big opportunities for ITAMers in the next few years
  • Where ITAM should ‘sit’ within an organisation
  • How we can draw people into the ITAM profession

ITAM is a business discipline

One thing that shines throughout the podcast is Sherry’s passion for the ITAM profession and the role ITAM plays in delivering business value – if it’s positioned and leveraged correctly.

“First and foremost, ITAM is a business discipline. Yes, there are technical aspects to it, but it is a business discipline. Some see it as a Service Management or Configuration Management within IT and that too is a red flag for me. There are dependencies amongst those functions, service, configuration, and ITAM and others, but I do think ITAM has value in and of itself independent of those functions, and too often I see it become swallowed up within those and it loses its potential and its significance.”

Opportunities for ITAM

Sherry also speaks about the opportunities she sees for ITAM in the next few years, which includes increasing ITAM’s visibility and the value it generates.

“Often times, the value is there, but it’s just not well promoted or recognised. That’s always been a challenge for ITAM to basically promote itself and what it’s accomplished. ITAM should be at a higher level in most organisations.”

“Most of it has to do with communication. Communicating what ITAM’s objectives are. I will say also documenting. Capturing data. Documenting in some way the benefits that have been realised.”


Hosts: AJ Witt and Jennifer Carr.

Podcast back catalogue: https://www.itassetmanagement.net/podcast/

View all our podcasts on SoundCloud or iTunes.

About Karen McAllen

Karen McAllen is Managing Director for The ITAM Review. Connect with Karen on Twitter or LinkedIn or better still come and meet Karen at our Events!

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