The ITAM Review

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

The Latest Speaker Spotlight for the ITAM Review US Annual Conference 2019

Last week we released our second in the series of speaker spotlights for our US annual conference. We’re continuing our US Speaker Spotlight series with even more incredible ITAM professionals.

Our 2019 US Conference is taking place on March 13th & 14th at the University of South Florida, St Petersburg

Rich Gibbons, Microsoft Licensing Analyst – The ITAM Review

What is one thing people should know about cloud management?

No matter how tricky you think it is…it’s probably a little bit trickier!

In your session ‘Stories that shook the (ITAM) world 2018’ which is your favourite story?

I’d say my favourite story is Nike vs Quest – there’s so much to talk about and it gives some great teachable moments.

Could you predict anything shocking in the ITAM world in 2019?

IBM are going to try and become a top public cloud player this year – which will be a shock if they pull it off!

Why should attendees come to your session?

Managing cloud infrastructure is going to be the new normal for a lot of IT Asset Managers in a few years. Getting started early will definitely help!

Why do you think end users should attend this event?

The event brings a great group of people together for 2-3 days, giving everyone an opportunity to talk, listen, learn, and connect. Immersing yourself in the sessions and conversations is like being turbo-charged! You’re hearing, speaking, and thinking ITAM so much that you’re bound to make progress on your goals – whether it’s finding a way to solve a certain problem, deciding on the next step to enhance your ITAM practice or something you haven’t thought of yet – the answer is almost certainly at the ITAM Review conference.

Meet Rich at the US Annual Conference

AJ Witt, ITAM Industry Analyst – The ITAM Review

As effective ITAM is becoming more important within organisations, why do you think there is still such a high percentage of subscription wastage? 

Simply because subscriptions can be purchased by anyone in the organisation. The price per user is usually small enough to put through departmental expenses and not be noticed by Finance or IT. The other factor is that SaaS products take time to embed as the accepted tool for the job. The result is that subscriptions can be taken out, used for a while, and then forgotten about. A bit like your Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription – are you definitely getting value from it?

Over the last few months you have been investigating different SaaS vendors, why do you think this is an important area to focus on?

SaaS usage is growing rapidly in all organisation types and is expenditure is expected to overtake spend on perpetually-licensed software within the next two years. That in itself is important from a cost management perspective but perhaps the greater issue is risk management. Your organisation’s data is suddenly being stored on public cloud servers – how do you know whether that SaaS provider is taking the best care of your data? You need to find out which providers are in use, what data is stored where, and which users are accessing it. SaaS tool providers are attempting to answer these questions for you.

Your second session at the conference highlights how ITAM professionals should engage IT security teams, without giving too much away, why is this so important? 

We are fellow travelers. Fundamentally we are both interested in what’s running where on our network, and who is running it.  The threats to business from cyber attack are quantifiable and can even result in your CEO being asked by Congress to explain why their company has taken such poor care of customer data. ITAM Professionals have a wealth of data and insight that can help an IT Security team be more effective. And we can benefit from perhaps the greater senior leadership focus on IT Security.

Why should attendees come to your session? 

To learn how to structure their teams and processes to effectively manage SaaS usage and to understand what tools are available to help them with that.

For the Security-focused session I’ll provide practical advice on how to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship with your IT Security team, enabling ITAM teams to step up in terms of visibility and seniority.

Why do you think end users should attend this event?

The event will give you unrivalled access to industry professionals with years of experience under their belts. It is also a fantastic opportunity to network with your peers in a guaranteed publisher-free environment, enabling you to be open about your challenges and explore ways to address them. And if you’re looking for tools or services to help you on your ITAM journey there will be tool vendors and managed service providers on hand to assist you with that.

Meet AJ at the US Annual Conference

Barry Pilling, Independent Consultant, Cortex Consulting

Why do you think businesses are still hosting applications within their Datacentres when there is so much hype around Cloud?

Most of the larger clients I’ve worked with have pockets of cloud deployments – either IaaS to host a certain internally written application or SaaS for something that might meet a specific business need.  That said, cloud, at this stage, is geared more towards application hosting or for small to medium enterprises and micro businesses to host their IT.  Many enterprise-scale organisations will still host their most critical applications in their own datacentre or, in many cases, have an outsourcing arrangement with a 3rd party provider.  Because ITAM should be a governance role, it’s critical that businesses understand how the technology works, so they can fully understand their licensing obligations.

Why do you think end user ITAM practitioners should have an understanding of the technology in their datacentres?

There are many and varied roles within IT asset management.  There a strategic specialists, process gurus, licensing specialists and commercial specialists.  Technology and licensing specialists tend to go hand in hand.  To understand how the licensing can be applied, you need to have a broad understanding of how the underlying technology functions.  More important than that, however, is the value in equipping all ITAM practitioners with the tools to communicate with their organisation’s technologists and architects.  Being able to speak to them in their own language about the licensing impacts of a particular technology implementation or change is key to good governance of your licences.

You will be covering many technologies within your session, out of all of these, which do you think organisations struggle to manage the most efficiently?

I think most businesses struggle with understanding the real cost benefits to structuring virtual platforms properly.  Something that I talk about quite a lot is consolidation of virtual platforms, a theme that is equally applicable to VMware hosts as it is to an IBM UNIX machine.  In my experience, most IT departments will build their virtual platforms along operational lines with very little regard to how that impacts on licence costs.  As IT Asset Managers, it’s absolutely vital that we can demonstrate the cost savings that would be available were the virtual platforms to be consolidated along licensing lines.

Why should attendees sit in on your session?

The aim of the session is to give those who may not have a technical background or much experience an understanding of some of the platforms they could well be dealing with in their organisations.  It’s an opportunity for them to learn about those technologies so they can return to their own environments and have the conversations they may need to have with technology focused colleagues.

Meet Barry at the US Annual Conference

About Libby Phillipps

Libby has worked for the ITAM Review for a year now and has over six years experience in marketing, and five within the IT Asset Management industry. Libby has recently taken on the additional role of Community Manager - if you are looking to discuss ideas and content for The ITAM Review, please get in touch .

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