2023 ITAM Trends: 12 Key Things to Keep in Mind for Next Year

Sophie Danby December 12, 2022
- 39 min read


IT asset management (ITAM) is a critical corporate capability for keeping your organization and its assets safe. The global pandemic, in particular, put the need for effective ITAM capabilities front and center for many organizations, with investments in the are growing.

But where is ITAM heading in 2023 and beyond? To help understand its evolution, we asked seven ITAM and ITSM industry authorities for their opinions on the ITAM trends to keep in mind for 2023. 

Keep reading to learn more about where your organization’s ITAM capabilities might need to adapt in 2023 and beyond.

12 ITAM trends to consider for 2023

So, what ITAM trends does the IT industry see as most crucial for 2023? Here’s what we and the seven industry authorities think.

ITAM trend #1: Formalizing ITAM in your organization

Many businesses got caught out by the global pandemic – either not having solid ITAM processes in place or the tools and people to support them. Hybrid working only makes asset management more challenging, so now is the time to get management buy-in for ITAM and have the appropriate governance and support levels.



One of the greatest challenges that the early days of the pandemic revealed was a lack of technology asset inventory. This was followed by a global shortage of hardware of all types, resulting in many organizations that had traditionally adhered to asset procurement standards sourcing whatever was available.

Relatively homogenous landscapes rapidly became highly mixed environments, which led to the need to rapidly evolve asset management practices and support functions to accommodate this new heterogeneous reality. The interesting question going forward is if most will eventually return to homogeneity or if the genie has truly left the bottle.

Doug Rabold
Senior Manager of Customer Support at Amwell


The post-pandemic era has driven one of the most urgent ITAM trends in creating or improving your organization’s IT asset management capabilities to help ensure that the appropriate practices are in place to manage and support the business. 



As a post-COVID business, we started our company as ‘remote friendly’ from day zero. With some exceptions, we hire, onboard, work, and offboard employees remotely. To simplify logistics, we purchase all hardware needed for work locally. We also allow using personal devices. The trade-off of this simplification is the increasing complexity of ITAM.

The multiple combinations of devices used in our company must be maintained, repaired, and supported – with clear reflection in multiple accounting systems. Even as a relatively small company, we understand that it’s impossible to manage our assets in this environment and stay flexible and cost-effective at the same time without clearly organized processes for ITAM backed up by accounting and management tools. We expect the formalization and optimization of ITAM processes to be at the top of our priorities over the next two years, and I think this is important for all organizations moving forward.

Kirill Ivanov
Chief Information Officer at Carely


ITAM trend #2: The hybrid cloud

We all know that organizations are moving more and more workloads to the cloud, but many have business-critical applications still running on-premises. Having a hybrid cloud strategy means having a plan in place for everything from data migration to integration issues. 



“I would venture to suggest that many businesses aspire to 80% in the cloud, with the remaining 20% technology they can’t move to the cloud. It’s important to watch out for indirect licensing here – granting the users of one system access to the features and benefits of another system. Manage your APIs properly!

Rory Canavan
Owner at SAM Charter


A hybrid environment increases complexity, so the key to effective asset management on-premises and “in the cloud” is to visualize all your technology as a single, integrated asset view. This situation is where “having a single pane of glass” is valuable; if you have the right tools in place, you’ll be able to view your services and assets holistically. Because in an ideal world, if you have a complex ecosystem, you’ll need to be able to view it in real-time and understand all the dependencies at a glance. 

This enterprise technology management approach will become the “new normal” for organizations, enabling them to unify and integrate disparate asset data sources into a holistic view.



“Cloud is here to stay… but on-premises isn’t going to disappear completely. So, most organizations will adopt a hybrid cloud approach. All the major cloud vendors, including Microsoft, AWS, and Google, have a range of technologies in this area. Understanding how these may impact your software licensing and asset discovery approaches should be high on your ITAM priority list for 2023.

Rich Gibbons
ITAM Services Director at ITAM Review


ITAM trend #3: Cloud governance

ITAM practitioners should be considered key players in IT governance, but we must remember that cloud services still need to be managed appropriately. By using the cloud, your organization can outsource the service, not the accountability, so make sure you have a plan for cloud governance



“Cloud moves fast, so many on-premises software management processes will no longer be applicable as they’ll inordinately slow down innovation and progress. Instead, well-formulated cloud governance should be put into place – setting guardrails for teams that enable them to move at the speed of cloud while ensuring appropriate oversight and review of usage and costs.

Rich Gibbons
Founder at Cloudy with a Chance of Licensing


Lean into supporting ITSM practices like Change Enablement and Financial Management, and build strong relationships with suppliers and partners to ensure you stay compliant. Some examples include building ITAM-related questions into your change form to ensure licensing and hardware implications have been considered before a change can be authorized. Or having your supplier management team present during meetings with vendors to help support negotiation and sales activities.



“I’ve seen an exponential increase in the usage of cloud solutions, ranging from infrastructure services to SaaS solutions. With the benefits of freedom of choice for customers, flexible usage, and pricing patterns, cloud services bring a new challenge to ITAM related to control, budgeting, and accounting. This increases the complexity of the tools and processes needed to manage cloud solutions.

For now, advanced cloud platforms provide built-in management tools, but the challenge for organizations is to create a single view of its cloud infrastructure to manage all the resources from one point.

Kirill Ivanov
Chief Information Officer at Carely


ITAM trend #4: Increased software vendor audits

As the business world struggles with the commercial impacts of the pandemic and other adverse global factors, software vendors will be cracking down on compliance to maintain revenues. As a result, companies should expect an increase in software audits in 2023.



“Although some software publishers appear to be reducing the number of audits they conduct in favor of pushing cloud adoption – the threat is far from gone. Vendors such as Quest and Micro Focus continue to be active, particularly with the latter’s recent acquisition by OpenText. At the same time, Oracle appears to be gearing up audit and compliance activities around Java. Ensure your audit defense processes are still robust and keep an eye on compliance both on-premises and in the cloud.

Rich Gibbons
Founder at Cloudy with a Chance of Licensing


Use this increased risk as an opportunity to refresh your approach to software audits. Review your prep-work activities and ensure everyone is comfortable with the audit process, so they're ready if your organization is chosen for an audit. It’ll go more smoothly and hopefully produce a better outcome.



“One of the emerging trends shortly before the pandemic was auditing of mobile applications on enterprise mobile devices. This didn’t have the opportunity to gain a great deal of traction, but I expect it to as we return to a relative state of normalcy.

Every mobile phone user knows how to install an app, but few ITAM programs monitor those installations outside the containerized app store. As we’ve seen with surprises such as 'indirect usage' licensing requirements, software publishers can get very creative in monetizing their revenue streams. As such, I expect mobile apps to be the future battleground for publishers and asset managers.

Doug Rabold
Senior Manager of Customer Support at Amwell





“The world is still as far from 'normal' as one can imagine, at least in Europe and other regions affected by the war. And this indeed impacts the need and objectives of audits.

IT assets subjected to sanctions and their use by countries and organizations subject to sanctions? Security? Transparency of the asset lifecycle in the context of the war? These are just a few considerations for both management and audit of IT assets.

Roman Jouravlev
ITIL 4 Development Manager and Lead Architect at AXELOS


ITAM trend #5: Sustainable IT

We all know that we should be doing more to protect our environment, but now this is being mandated by new legislation and compliance requirements. One example is the EU Universal Charger Mandate. Another is the Digital Fair Repair Act passed in New York, which requires manufacturers of electronic devices to provide consumers and third-party repairs with tools, parts, and instructions to repair those devices. 

This and other legislation will have a knock-on effect on ITAM as it’ll make IT hardware more serviceable, extending its life – which is great news for businesses and the end-users they support. This change will also impact ITAM practices – for example, warranties could be longer but have more caveats, or suppliers may be more active in checking in or upselling other services. Be aware of the potential for sustainability-related change and plan accordingly.



“As organizations and people look to sustainability as a new focus, ITAM is well placed to drive this within a business. Hardware asset management (HAM) is particularly relevant given the possibilities to make a difference around the acquisition, lifecycle, and disposal of laptops and mobile devices in particular. There’s also a growing focus on the carbon footprint of an organization’s cloud environment within Azure or AWS, for example.

So find who within your organization is tasked with improving sustainability and/or ESG and speak with them. Show them how, in many cases, ITAM already has the data needed to drive these efforts forward. Not only will this help sustainability, but it’ll also help increase the strategic visibility of ITAM within your organization.

Rich Gibbons
Founder at Cloudy with a Chance of Licensing


This need might be part of a corporate Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) approach, with an organization’s efforts and practices focused on sustainability, social responsibility, and corporate governance.



“If your company has a sustainability or environmental awareness officer, ask them for ideas on how to build ESG into your ITAM practice. Another approach is to look for small ways to make ITAM more sustainable. For example, reusing existing equipment rather than automatically buying brand new equipment each time or not automatically issuing charging cables unless the user specifically requests them.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd





ITAM trend #6: Greater focus on the asset lifecycle

The global pandemic shifted the employee workplace from the office to homes and shared spaces, with this working arrangement staying for many (especially in hybrid working practices). With this in mind, we need to up our game in tracking IT assets. We need to plan for better lifecycle visibility and have the tools and processes in place to detect, monitor, and track assets throughout their lifecycle.



“It’s impossible to fully secure an enterprise without knowing and managing every device connected to its network. ITAM is the key to understanding every device, who uses it, and whether it has been appropriately configured to address known security vulnerabilities for that type of device.

A complete ITAM database should include a record of every device expected to connect to the network, its operating system, applications, and loaded patches. Any organization that professes to be serious about security must also be serious about ITAM.

Phyllis Drucker
Consultant at EZ2BGR8


This trend is where the newish ITIL 4 ITAM guidance can come in (and there’s more on ITIL 4 later). It notes that one of the primary indicators of a successful ITAM practice is the effective management, control, and protection of the service ecosystem via the asset lifecycle. Here are some ideas of what your organization should focus on for each asset-lifecycle stage:

Planning and budgeting Work with the business to identify what’s needed (in terms of ITAM capabilities), capture the requirements, and agree on costs. Create a template for this approach so it can be reused and your stakeholders receive a consistent experience when planning or requesting new equipment.
Acquisition Where possible, work with the IT service desk and procurement teams to manage all asset requests through a central process to ensure nothing is lost or duplicated. 
Assignment When deploying assets into the live environment, work with your change, release, and deployment practices to ensure that any new assets are approved safely and with the proper testing.
Optimization This part of the lifecycle looks at how you can optimize service levels. Things to consider include the following:
  • Having a store for frequently used hardware and equipment.
  • Making sure that any service level agreements (SLAs) are updated with the correct asset information.
  • Having a central repository for installing software.
  • Embracing continual improvement so that minor tweaks to functionality can be made over time.
  • Decommissioning.
  • Working with configuration management teams to identify dependencies for more effective impact analysis when prioritizing incidents or assessing change activity.
Disposal It’s essential to have a plan for responsibly disposing of IT equipment by reusing or using a registered waste disposal company (ensuring all confidential data has been removed first). 




“From a SAM perspective, we’ll be less concerned with the cost of an instance of SQL server, but rather the OSI 7-layer reference model that underpins that instance of the SQL server. Remember: in the cloud, everything is leased – from storage to IP addresses to compute power. I suggest your attention should be driven toward the solution lifecycle.

Rory Canavan
Owner at SAM Charter


ITAM trend #7: The importance of ITIL 4

The latest version of ITIL included ITAM as a core ITSM practice rather than just a supporting player, promoting its significance in a service-orientated organization.

One of the most valuable things about the ITIL 4 ITAM guidance is that it has adapted ideas from other frameworks such as Agile and DevOps. This focus can be seen in the third ITIL 4 guiding principle, “progress iteratively with feedback.” Instead of the big bang, waterfall approaches seen in previous versions; the new practice encourages organizations to break work down into small achievable chunks with time limits so people can take what they’ve learned on to the next cycle. 



“ITIL 4 certainly recognizes the importance of ITAM. Not only is it a practice separate from Service Configuration Management (in ITIL v3, they were merged). ITIL 4 has just been amended with a new module focused solely on ITAM, further developing the ITAM practice guide. In fact, it also addresses many of the others trends and challenges listed in this article, such as sustainability and management of cloud assets. Organizations that follow ITIL 4 recommendations now have detailed and practical guidance to effectively integrate IT asset management into their service value system.

Roman Jouravlev
ITIL 4 Development Manager and Lead Architect at AXELOS


This approach has the advantage of quickly building a minimum viable product and feeds into the DevOps “fail fast” idea. In other words, we can very quickly create a workable model, and if it’s not right, we can fix it or adapt it to get it right next time. Too often, ITAM projects stall because the asset database is not maintained correctly or scope creep. 

So, if you take anything from the ITIL 4 guidance of ITAM – start small. Start with your most significant area of exposure, your most costly software, the most complicated hardware, or your most critical services. Start small and build up from there. By starting with one service or product, you can sense check your practices and tweak as and when needed to get the right fit for your organization.



ITAM trend #8: Better integration between ITAM and ITSM

In other words, no more silos. Done well, ITAM and ITSM can support each other, remove duplication, and ensure business services are effectively managed, controlled, and protected.

Use ITAM to springboard to a more proactive and inclusive IT support model by using asset information to assist with events and alerts.

Suppose you already have your environment mapped out. In this case, you can add alerts to each asset, meaning that you can use automation to notify technical teams if a service isn’t working correctly or becomes unresponsive. Build your event management practice from the information in your asset database by linking services to support groups and setting a threshold for when support needs to be notified. 



“Waiting for devices to fail and expecting users to log an incident is a reactive form of IT support that’s been around for years. We can now eliminate this practice, vastly improving the employee experience (or customer experience for MSPs), leading to improved satisfaction and less downtime. Organizations with an effective ITAM practice have the foundation to elevate their monitoring practice and achieve observability, which leads to proactive end-user device management.

Phyllis Drucker
Consultant at EZ2BGR8


Ensure the support tool(s) has the correct contact details for each team so they can be notified by text or email in the event of an appropriate alert. This linkage results in IT being able to proactively respond to alerts and events rather than relying on end-users reporting them, meaning improved service levels, happy end-users, a happy IT department, and no more silos!



“As the cloud starts to demand better management of spend, ITSM and ITAM will have to come together under the banner of FinOps (Trend #10).

Rory Canavan
Owner at SAM Charter


ITAM trend #9: Post-pandemic learnings

Have a plan for future risks and challenges. The global pandemic exposed many corporate weaknesses, including that more focus needs to be given to ITAM, and that it’s much more than tracking assets and ensuring they are maintained. 



“Distributed and office-free businesses with many people working from home and related changes to the IT architectures introduce new requirements for ITAM. Remote control of IT assets, remote audits, and involvement of multiple third parties in handling IT assets are just some of the challenges faced by today's ITAM professionals.

Roman Jouravlev
ITIL 4 Development Manager and Lead Architect at AXELOS


When looking to the future, we need to consider the ITAM-related risks, challenges, and improvements related to areas such as:

  • Asset procurement planning
  • Digitization of servicing and maintenance processes
  • Internal auditing
  • Intelligent knowledge base management
  • Real-time monitoring of not only the status and location of IT assets but their usage as well.


“Consider this as an exercise in future-proofing your ITAM practice. Some practical suggestions for building these activities into your ITAM offering include reviewing your asset lifecycle activities to ensure they’re still fit for purpose, and engaging with your service transition and knowledge management teams to agree on common triggers, inputs, and outputs for knowledge management.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd


ITAM trend #10: Leaning into FinOps



“FinOps and ITAM are friends and allies – the similarities between the two disciplines are numerous, and their objectives align very well. Each team has data, strengths, and weaknesses the other doesn’t; working in tandem with your FinOps team will provide your organization with the most comprehensive holistic view of software spending possible – across on-premises, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and beyond.

End-to-end visibility will allow the most effective decisions, such as hybrid licensing, contract re-negotiation, and new approaches to architecture. Find your FinOps colleagues and start the conversation – find out where your objectives align and start sharing data ASAP!

Rich Gibbons
Founder at Cloudy with a Chance of Licensing


FinOps is an evolving cloud financial management cultural practice and discipline that enables businesses to get maximum business value by helping finance, engineering, technology, and business teams to work together on data-driven spending decisions. It involves KPI-driven, tool-optimized, repeatable cost management that works across the organization, ensuring that finance and tech management stay aligned. 



“Work with your finance team to see what aspects of FinOps you can build into your ITAM and procurement activities so that you can prove the value add and increase it year on year.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd


ITAM trend #11: Increased uptake of ITAM intelligent automation capabilities

As automation becomes increasingly important in IT best practices, intelligent automation and machine learning will also play a more critical role in ITAM. For example, automation can be used to poll assets, track usage, manage license optimization, and provide data to facilitate better decision-making. 



“Chances are, if your organization has an ITSM tool, there’ll be existing intelligent automation that you can repurpose for your ITAM practice. If there isn’t something you can reuse, involve your colleagues from ITSM practices in the design stage, so you get multiple ideas and perspectives and reduce duplication further down the line.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd





“Businesses will not be able to scale if they don’t use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) (in or outside of their service/ SAM management toolsets). Air gaps are very revealing in an organization – intelligent automation is a great way to close off these areas of the business that are hampering activity/decision-making.

Rory Canavan
Owner at SAM Charter


ITAM trend #12: Enterprise Asset Management

 This trend is the extension of ITAM best-practice capabilities to other business functions. Just as Enterprise Service Management extends the benefits of ITSM to the rest of the business, more and more organizations are doing the same with ITAM. 



“With the growing complexity of technology and the ease and speed with which it can be procured, Enterprise ITAM is an absolute necessity going forward.

For example, at one point earlier in my career, Enterprise Asset Management was my team’s responsibility. Yet our centralized responsibility resided in an organization that had distributed IT. As we worked with our software publishers on annual true-ups and audits, we became abundantly – and painfully – aware that business area IT teams were working without a net regarding procurement and asset tracking. A lot of sleepless nights and budgetary overruns could have been avoided with better cross-functional coordination of the asset management program.

Doug Rabold
Senior Manager of Customer Support at Amwell


Whether a standalone initiative or part of a broader ESM, corporate ITAM capabilities can be used to support other company areas, such as stock and inventory management and ITAM tools to improve operational efficiency.



“Look for business areas that are process-driven and offer to share your workflows. Within these areas, look for teams reliant on paper, email, or spreadsheet-based processes. Work with each team to understand their processes and then look for ways to automate them.

You can use your ITAM tool to create workflows for service requests, asset tracking, and lifecycle management; you’re ultimately going to do the same thing but for business processes.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd


Final thoughts

ITAM is the practice that will help you level up your IT service offerings. Not only will it help you manage, control, and protect your environment, it’ll also make it easy to keep costs under control and plan for future challenges. The above ITAM trend list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully, it gives you an idea of what might need to change within your organization and its ITAM operations.

In short, there needs to be a balance between ensuring you have the ITAM basics in place, and looking at new areas of ITAM best practice and building in improvements in a sustainable way. This balance will include the following:

  • If you don’t yet have a formal ITAM practice, communicate the associated risks to senior management to get support and buy-in. 

  • When starting, look at the ITIL 4 ITAM guidance and focus on developing a solid process that interlocks with existing processes for request management, procurement, and change enablement. 

  • Get people on your side, from the end-users requesting the software to the techies that install it to IT Security. 

  • Centralize your processes as much as possible and ensure that you’re collecting all the data necessary to provide software license validation.  

  • Look for ways to improve governance.

  • Have a plan in place for your cloud-based and hybrid services.

  • Build sustainability into your ITAM processes as soon as possible.

The key message is that it’s time to take stock. Make sure you have the basics in place; if you don’t, these ITAM trends are a great place to start!  

Lastly, when looking to improve, focus on outcomes – work with the business to ensure that what you improve at an ITAM practice level also adds value at an enterprise level. Make sure these improvements are sustainable and make your ITAM practices easier to use and engage with going forwards.

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