The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

Basic ITAM metrics and red flags for auditors

One of my first blog posts on The ITAM Review back in 2008 referred to inventory accuracy and total number of assets.

An accurate, up-to-date and dynamic view of the total number of IT hardware assets in an organisation is probably the most basic of ITAM metrics to monitor.

“IT Asset count serves as a basic litmus test to assess the IT Asset Management maturity of an organisation. Asking five different IT decision makers in a business how many IT assets exist quickly highlights the degree of control in place.” Source

Audit Red Flag

ITAM Metrics, Audit guidance for Microsoft Partners checks for rounded figures as a sign of immaturity

Audit guidance for Microsoft Partners checks for rounded figures as a sign of immaturity

Poor visibility of total asset count is also a red flag to software auditors. The “SAM Services Baseline Guide” from Microsoft (a guide to help Microsoft partners submit audit data to Microsoft), cites “Round number deployments i.e. 400” as a checklist item to verify the accuracy of a Microsoft ELP submission.

In layman’s terms, 400 sounds like you are estimating, 456 sounds like you have a handle on things (Even if you don’t have a handle on things put your poker face on and don’t submit a rounded number!!).

Over half not measuring inventory accuracy

Our March 12-box training session covered Inventory and how to maintain trustworthy records.

  • You can watch the session on demand here.
  • See all other recorded or planned sessions here.

During the module I asked, “Are you measuring the accuracy of your inventory data?” For example, if you claim to own 10,000 assets and your boss asked you to justify and verify the number 10,000 – how would you demonstrate accuracy?

47.2% claimed to be measuring accuracy, 53.7% either were not measuring accuracy or were not sure. So for this basic of metrics, many are leaving themselves open to potential exposure. Our next module will cover How to build a three-year ITAM roadmap. Learn more and register here.


About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the 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. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. What a nice article. I am always suspicious when I see rounded numbers as well. I have seen the other way as well. When an audit was executed, a team from the audited party produced usage figures that exactly matched the figures in the contract. That looks like assumptions instead of actuals.

    Be careful with auditors and their tools. Also be careful when you hire a company with lack of capabilities.

Leave a Comment