IT asset management (ITAM) is a key organizational capability for any organization in meeting its legal, regulatory, and financial obligations. From software license compliance to the effective financial stewardship related to IT asset spend.
This said, it can be difficult to get senior executive backing for any new ITAM initiative and the related spend. To help, this blog looks at three key ways to get your management team to support and actively champion ITAM.
The Effective Positioning of Your ITAM Capabilities
There are a variety of ways to get support from your senior management. Every organization is different, but you’ll probably need to use a combination of approaches to increase the visibility and perceptions of ITAM. For example:
- Socializing about ITAM benefits, quick wins, and longer-term successes with senior management such that they’re comfortable – and on board – with the need for ITAM. Your senior management are more likely to support a new initiative or project if someone has taken the time to explain it using language that they understand and tailored to their own experiences.
- As a solution in response to a recent crisis. Sometimes people don’t understand the importance of ITAM until there’s been some sort of calamity that’s disrupted business operations and outcomes. Maybe it’s a huge fine from a software vendor. Maybe it’s a major service outage as a result of licensing issues. If there’s been a recent issue, that’s caused severe pain to the business, then use ITAM to contribute to the remediation plan.
- Creating a clear and compelling business case – setting out the benefits of ITAM in a formal business document, and linking those benefits to business goals and desired outcomes.
Clearly Stating the Key Benefits
When positioning your ITAM initiative, focus on the business benefits rather than the IT benefits. Here are some to consider:
Benefit #1 – GRC Support
Governance, risk, and compliance (or GRC) activities usually receive a senior management or executive board level of attention. So, ask if you can see the output of the most recent risk meeting such that you can understand current GRC needs and challenges. Look for issues that could be supported or even managed by ITAM so that you’re making your case (for new ITAM activities) relevant to the rest of the business.
- Audit findings – have any recent software audits resulted in findings or financial penalties?
- Increased hardware and software costs and the need for better control of, and reductions in, this spend
- An increase in security incidents or cyber threats
- End users raising escalations and complaints about the length of time it takes to fix incidents or to fulfill service requests (because of the adverse impact this is having on business operations).
Benefit #2 – Stronger Alignment with the Business
The use of asset data increases business intelligence and helps to ensure products and services are being used efficiently as well as effectively. Some examples of this include:
- Stock levels. There’s nothing worse than a new hire starting on their first day and IT not having any equipment for them. By using ITAM you can be more proactive in how you manage stock levels so there’ll always be an appropriate level of hardware and software assets available for the business.
- Digital transformation and a smarter workplace. ITAM can help you to understand what is needed for your workplace to adopt digital and flexible work practices. For example, moving away from the traditional PC set up to tablet and cloud-based technologies will be made much easier with ITAM in place to ensure that the appropriate licenses are in use and that end users have a choice of devices that are most appropriate to their role.
- More accurate demand management. Demand management allows you to understand when your busy times are and to ensure that you have the resources in place to support them. ITAM will enable you to keep track of your IT assets such that you can forecast more accurately and ensure that you have the appropriate technology equipment in place to meet business demand.
Benefit #3 – Agility and Increased Responsiveness
Part of any ITAM practice is to link hardware, software, and cloud-based assets to end users and services so that when a ticket is logged with the service desk, the agent gets a more complete view rather than a snapshot. Some of the benefits related to this include:
- Being able to link to knowledge content and fix-information to end user scenarios such that the end user can use self-help if appropriate.
- If the fault can’t be fixed at the first point of contact, then it will be assigned to the right group first time.
- Having a more complete view of hardware and software assets lends itself to automation and self-service. One example of this could be where the end user requests their own hardware and software via a self-service portal. In the case of the software, they can download it there and then. For hardware, they can collect it at a time convenient to them from a smart locker.
Benefit #4 – Effective Management of Costs
ITAM can help organizations keep IT costs under control by ensuring what’s recorded accurately reflects the live environment. By knowing exactly what’s out there, you can forecast more accurately and be in a stronger position come negotiation time with hardware and software vendors.
Knowing What to Ask for (in Terms of Management Support)
When getting buy-in for ITAM from senior management, it’s important to ensure that your new capabilities are:
- Backed by policy – and the policy must be clearly written and applicable across the organization.
- The changes to ways of working are communicated clearly to the business – here, one single message from senior management, stating the importance of ITAM, can have the same impact as months of training at a technical level.
- Embedded in the company culture – such that ITAM is viewed as a way of working that needs ongoing activity and management.
- Focused – for example, being able to explain what legal and regulatory requirements the business needs to adhere to.
- Part of business objectives and goal setting – this involves establishing specific business-related goals and targets for ITAM, including its scope and what areas need to be prioritized.
What do you think? How did you get management to buy into your ITAM practices? What would you add to my list? Please let us know in the comments.