ITAM Projects – Putting the Cart Before the Proverbial Horse!
Good morning! I took time off from blogging last week, I hope you enjoyed the ITAM in a perfect world series and missed me!
As I was enjoying my coffee this morning, I thought about all the ITAM projects I’ve been involved in over the years and I’m forever amazed how they all start off with lofty goals. I say this will respect to customers who have great intentions and I applaud them for actually making ITAM a priority.
However, in almost every case the ITAM project is triggered by an event, either internal or external, like a hardware upgrade, a technology shift, a software audit, corporate acquisitions, industry compliance requirements or organizational changes from which an eagerness to reap the benefits of a mature ITAM practice is born.
I’ve rarely seen the initial objective of an ITAM project be to simply gain control of the IT hardware and software asset inventory. Not sexy enough I guess…
The reality is that the perception of the operational effort to gain control of the IT asset inventory is usually assumed to be straightforward and therefore taken for granted by IT stakeholders (those who benefit from up to date IT asset information to make sound business decisions).
Gaining control is easier said than done since “IT Operations” always seem to be assigned the responsibility of solving this problem (tag you’re it!) but is more concerned with the pressures of keeping the lights on and technical objectives.
Operations typically takes a reactive approach to satisfying ITAM information requests from the “C” side of the organization. There are a number of reasons for this; for example the lack of time and a lack of clear objectives to guide their activities.
Regardless of the lofty (but strategically critical) goals expected by management, gaining control of the IT asset hardware and software inventory is a basic requirement to ITAM and like it or not, you will need to get there (sometimes by backtracking) before those lofty goals can be reached.
Let’s talk about tackling those lofty and trendy ITAM goals?
- Software optimization (also applies to hardware but it’s not as fashionable!)
- You first need to know what the organization owns (CONTROL). This includes understanding the terms and conditions associated to the ownership (CONTROL). You then need to know who should be using it, who is using it and how it’s being used (CONTROL). You then will be able to determine how to better use the asset (OPTIMIZATION)
- Total cost of ownership (TCO)
- You first need to know what the organization owns, when it was acquired and how much it initially cost (CONTROL). You need to know what it’s costing the organization to keep it running (CONTROL). You then can calculate the TCO and make decisions whether you should keep it or replace it.
- You first need to be able to determine the total cost of ownership (see TCO above). You also need to know who is using the IT Asset (CONTROL)
- IT as a Service (ITaaS) is a biggy and relies on realizing the objectives mentioned above and then some… I’ll be repetitive now (CONTROL)
The control and transparency of ITAM, through policies, processes, procedures and reporting, is the horse that pulls the cartload of business results.
My coffee is cold.
Until next post,