Process – Cornerstone of a Successful ITAM Program

For most organizations, ITAM is formed to resolve challenges that have come to executive management’s attention in one of a variety of possible ways. There may have been a software audit that yielded an unexpected surprise or an internal audit that identified unacceptable risks based on lack of controls. While each company’s journey is somewhat unique, each story has more similarities than differences.

Building an ITAM program requires hardware and software purchase details, contractual data, discovery tools, software and hardware asset management tools, perhaps normalization tools and more. However, a successful ITAM program requires more than just tools and proof of purchases. It’s easy to make strategic mistakes that can stall the maturation of your program as the ITAM team become full time firefighters. Building anything – whether a structure or a team – without a solid foundation and a blueprint for success is a recipe for failure.

ITAM foundational elements are well known – people, process, tools and policies. Sounds pretty easy, right? Yet we know it isn’t. The most frequent trap teams fall into is trying to “boil the ocean” – attempting to do everything at once. Intuitively, if we are going to build a structure, we understand that we need plans or blueprints. When we think of building an ITAM program, however, somehow that isn’t always the first thought! Here are some key elements to develop that plan:

Cornerstones of a Successful ITAM Program

• ITAM Mission Statement: Brief description of ITAM’s purpose (why it exists)
o Initially used internally within ITAM
o Ultimately used to gain management approval for publication on ITAM intranet site

• ITAM’s Charter: Define ITAM’s responsibilities and organizational authority
o Initially used internally within ITAM
o Ultimately used to gain management approval for publication on ITAM intranet site

• ITAM intranet site
o Establish intranet site to share ITAM information with all employees
o Provide guidelines necessary to comply with ITAM policies/processes

• Framework of ITAM internal processes
o Create a list of the ITAM internal processes and controls necessary to effectively manage the company’s software and hardware assets
o Locate corporate standards for process documentation, approvals, and updates
o Document the processes that already exist. Establish a timeline to refine those processes and implement missing processes

• Framework of ITAM inter-departmental processes
o Create a list of the inter-departmental processes and controls necessary to effectively manage the company’s software and hardware assets. Examples:
Process for Procurement to relay purchase and entitlement information to ITAM in a timely manner with adequate detail (automated or manual process)
ITAM involvement in IT change control processes
ITAM regular interaction with stakeholders throughout the business
o Manage in the same manner as internal processes above

• Risk management
o Define ITAM’s responsibility with respect to risks identified within the corporate risk management program
o Determine ITAM’s role in risk mitigation (e.g. if a software license shortfall is identified what is ITAM’s role in notifying stakeholders and/or documenting or resolving the risk)

Planning for a successful ITAM implementation involves many factors, elements and dependencies. Beginning with a solid foundation establishes a clear vision of ITAM’s role, authority, interdependencies, stakeholders, and processes to guide and sustain effective asset management.

About Cj Ortega

CJ Ortega is the Director of ITAM, SAM & Sourcing at SSES Global.