Over the last twenty years or so, organizations have been adopting ITAM practices and benefiting from savings and reduced risks. Quite a few of the organizations which were slow to value ITAM adopted ITAM practices after the economic downturn of the late 2000s; searching for “that employee who said we could save a lot of money on our software if we actually managed the licenses.” The successes that have been achieved along with the growth of knowledgeable professionals has invigorated IT Asset Managers to be assertive during change and to keep asset processes dynamic so that they remain synchronized with organizational goals.
One of the challenges that we continue to face is that this success does not always turn into lessons learned for executives. As seen in recent mobile, cloud and virtual projects, executives still have unrealistic expectations for the effort involved in supporting “new IT things.” Department heads eager to take advantage of the next greatest techno marvel often turn into process mavericks. In their haste, they leave employees scrambling to add the structure necessary to manage the risks and financial consequences from the change. Once again, ITAM inherits a mess that could have been avoided. The same mistakes that ITAM best practices help to avoid are costing organizations money and generating risks. For example, articles about the implementation of cloud storage include steps to prevent errors that ITAM helps to solve such as:
- Handling the legal issues and governance that is part of data management such as data breach, privacy and access
- Neglecting to plan for vendor changes including vendors going out of business and identifying transition paths to and from a vendor
- Forgetting to update the disaster recovery and business continuity plan
- Losing track of the hardware and software investment displaced by the cloud
- Introducing risk from out of date policies
These issues are good examples of why ITAM brings value to the organization: we accept the responsibility to close technology process gaps and use an asset-centric perspective to do so. After all, technology is the principle facilitator of work in every modern organization and requires new and enhanced management due to its criticality and prevalence. With an underlying and successful knowledge framework and processes that can dynamically include new technology, IT Asset Management is exactly what is needed.
As IT Asset Management professionals step up to the plate to take on more challenges, be prepared to be innovative as well as experts at the management of technology.