For a number of reasons IT Asset Management (ITAM) has increased its relevance over the last few years.
And now as one of the thirty-four practice areas in ITIL® 4, it has become more mainstream and not stuck out on a limb.
I was asked recently whether an IT Department needed to invest in separate ITAM training now it was part of ITIL® 4.
This Is How My Response To The Conversation Went...
Firstly, ITAM is just one of thirty-four practices documented in ITIL® 4, and to be honest its not documented in depth in the ITIL® 4 ITAM Practice Guide.
Secondly, ITAM is not IT Service Management. It is closely related and there are loads of interfaces between ITAM and ITIL®.
Thirdly, ITAM is a big framework in its own right incorporating Hardware Asset Management, Software Asset Management, People And Information Asset Management, not to mention Cloud Asset Management and Software Licence Management.
After some thought, they agreed that they really should do some IT Asset Management (ITAM) training.
But what about integrating ITAM and ITSM, how should they do that, and what should we do first?
Here's Our Top 5 Tips For An IT Asset Manager:
1) Get management commitment and backing from management.
These will likely be the same managers in charge of both ITAM and ITSM. Ensure that you have developed a convincing business case for ITAM. Investment in ITAM should not be a knee jerk reaction to an external software audit.
2) Identify your key stakeholders and engage with them.
These are the people that you will provide asset data to enable them to carry out their roles. Find out what asset data they want you to hold for them. Many of the technical specialists should be able to contribute to gathering the initial data and keeping it up to date. Many of the stakeholders will want to use the date for various purposes like risk assessment. They will include Change Management, Problem Management, IT Service Continuity and Information Security Management to name a few.
(You might like to read this post looking at ITAM, SACM and ITIL4)
3) You will need tools, so make a convincing business case for them.
Many tools will be common to both ITAM and ITSM and others will be invaluable to the modern IT Asset Manager. The days of crawling under desk to collect data of the back of base units are long gone, I hope.
4) Get the initial scope of ITAM right.
Set the scope too big and you will likely fail to achieve it. Too small, and no one sees any benefit. Once you have proven the worth of accurate, complete, and accessible asset data you be able to expand the scope but remember to speak to the ITSM Specialists first to see what asset data they need access to first.
5) Educate, educate, educate.
Spread the message. You need to communicate that ITAM is important, it’s the foundations that we build other ITSM practices upon, and needs everyone’s support to make it work and to keep on delivering value. Knowledge about our assets is the basis of most of the decisions we make within IT.
So, do we really need to do ITAM? Have I convinced you yet?
What's The Worst That Can Happen If You Don't Do ITAM?
Let me tell you a story…
I always start my ITAM training courses conducting a brief introduction session to find out why the delegates are on the course. I was surprised a couple of years ago when a delegate on the course announced that they were there because their organisation had just been hit by a £6 million bill for being under licensed, I was extremely shocked when another delegate announced that £6 million was ‘nothing’ they had just been hit with a £46 million bill… Wow.
The reason for the heavy costs were both down to errors in deployment, a lack of understanding about entitlement and a complete lack of any evidence to show their licence position over the last six years.
Get a grip of ITAM before it gets a grip of you.
8 Tips On Bridging ITAM & ITSM
We hope you found this article helpful.
And you could also take a look at one of our posts looking at ITSM skills.