Our Wisdom UK 2019 conference theme is “Taking ITAM outside IT”. As industries, businesses, and roles continue to morph, modernise, and multiply – the world around ITAM looks significantly different than it once did.
Gone are the days of IT’s central control and instead we have new stakeholders, with new business goals, new ways of thinking, and new budgets. To grow an internal reputation for being business critical, and to maintain control over assets procured outside the “traditional” channels, ITAM must, like Captain Picard* – boldly go – to seek out new business units and new stakeholders.
*(feel free to insert your favourite captain here although, if it isn’t Picard or Janeway, you’re wrong 😉)
In light of this, we spoke to the Wisdom UK 2019 conference sponsors to get their take on what this means for ITAM and where you should begin within your own organisation.
ITAM is uniquely positioned to deliver value across the enterprise, but where to start? There can be a myriad stakeholders just within IT, including Operations, Finance, and Service management. There are also the ancillary stakeholders to consider like Security Operations, Internal Audit GRC and Enterprise Infrastructure as well as those less commonly thought of such as HR, Legal and Vendor Management.
When ITAM is getting started outside IT, it’s important to establish credibility early with all stakeholders by demonstrating a solid win to show what ITAM is capable of. ITAM can deliver immediate, and recurring, value to Procurement and we believe this is the wisest place to start outside IT.
Limited visibility: Procurement functions are responsible for developing a strategic approach to the corporate acquirement and materials management process for the purchase of direct and indirect goods and services. Procurement often faces cost reduction pressures amid business growth. Frequently, Procurement must enter negotiations blind, without any data to inform what is really needed.
If, when entering a software ELA or maintenance renewal discussion (for example), procurement worked with ITAM on preparations, it would save a tremendous amount of time and effort.
Data driven procurement: The ability to forecast how much hardware and software a company might need to keep up with business demand in the next 18 months would be nirvana for procurement. Surprise million-dollar purchases from audit settlements are not fun for anyone. These are unbudgeted expenditures that kill procurement’s metrics. If ITAM starts with procurement stakeholders, they would be a welcome force.
A marriage overdue: ITAM is also perfectly positioned to help procurement with their largest growing pain point: SaaS. Rogue employee purchasing, and shadow IT, are growing blind spots ITAM could shed light on. The majority of customers agree that centralized location for all an organization’s SaaS products and licenses will help optimize their SaaS spend and usage.
The best stakeholder for ITAM to engage first is the one that’s begging for help.
Ryan Wood-Taylor, Product Marketing – SAM, ServiceNow
We believe a key business stakeholder is the “Office of the CIO” – or its equivalent within your business. To be successful, any SAM programme requires several gifts which can be bequeathed by this level of stakeholder. These include:
Political muscle: Showing that the SAM programme is sponsored by a senior figure will help drive company-wide adoption, for fear that not getting on board would be seen as active dissent.
Disciplinary muscle: Enabling the SAM programme to implement sanctions – such as financial penalties to localised budgets – for teams/business units who fail to comply with new SAM processes.
Financial muscle: Giving the ability to command the budget for a multi-year programme of investment.
A seat at the top table: This will help the SAM programme effect change on any corporate cultures which would impinge on the success of the programme. Sometimes those in the boardroom have no real grasp of the power of SAM and its ability to reduce risk and deliver real cost savings and spending efficiencies. A top-level sponsor who “gets” SAM is a highly valuable asset.
Jason Pepper, Head of SAM Practice, Version 1
An effective IT asset management program delivers significant benefits for the company through IT cost management, increased agility, and reduced risk. Their day-to-day function is to ensure the business has the right IT infrastructure in place to support the business today and map out their future needs. Integral to ensuring that the ITAM team is successful is the relationship they have with the CFO. The CFO needs to understand the value of investing in a solid ITAM practice as well as the risks of not doing so. These need to be quantified for the business, and the CFO needs to be the sponsor of this.
Tomás O’Leary, CEO, Origina
Preo Software AG
Procurement, working alongside ITAM, can help drive new approaches to software purchasing and cost efficiencies. Understanding and meeting the necessary requirements for users, and the overall business, whilst creating a healthier cost/productivity balance reflected in the overall license budget?
This co-operation can help ensure assets and value are maximised, particularly as you move to the cloud.
Lennart Martens, Key Account Manager, Preo Software AG
ITAM is often only seen as crucial when the business is under duress, such as during an audit, but it is much more than that. What encapsulates ITAM, what makes it really work is the buy in and commitment from all corners of the business.
As an example, you don’t want users to purchase software on their credit cards and start using it without informing anyone else. Who would need to be involved to prevent this? First up, board approval for the new policy. Next, Procurement would need to devise a purchasing strategy and Finance would need to track POs and credit card bills. Even better would be if a board member disseminates this new policy to the business as a whole via email, intranet or newsletter. Only when you have action do you have real commitment.
Everyone who has a touchpoint with IT, or a related function, is a stakeholder. Demonstrate ITAM success stories through emails, intranet and newsletters. Invite others to share in your success, invite comments and suggestions on where improvements can be made, or money saved. This way a successful ITAM strategy can, and should, encompass the whole of the business.
Phil Hibbitt, Operations Director, Discount Licensing
With the advent of the cloud and SaaS, IT and procurement have the opportunity to take charge of the new category of cloud-based software. By creating processes and implementing tools to adopt, monitor, and report on SaaS apps, procurement can now see that use of SaaS apps is strategic within every department across the enterprise. Additionally, procurement can help ensure business objectives are met as a result of strategic digital transformation.
Paul Pieske, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Flexera
Having heard from some of our Wisdom 2019 UK sponsors, it’s clear that, when it comes to engaging stakeholders, there are many different places to start – with different reasons for doing so, and different ways to go about it. Whether you start with procurement, the CFO, the CIO, or someone else – and whether you use the carrot or the stick – the important thing is that you start.
Start working with others, start engaging in new parts of the business, start sharing what you’re doing, start talking about budgets and cost efficiencies, start taking ITAM outside of IT.
There’s still time to register for the Wisdom UK 2019 conference and meet these sponsors (and others) as well as hear end-users and industry figures talk about various topics including their successes at work, audit experiences, managing the cloud, and much more.
See more info, and book tickets, here: https://marketplace.itassetmanagement.net/event/wisdom-uk-2019/
About Rich Gibbons
A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!
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