Episode 7: Think outside the box
Jennifer Carr 1 Comment

If you’re looking for an ITAM mentor, you should look no further than Rachel Ryan, and we were thrilled to recently get a 20-minute slot in her busy calendar as First Vice President – Global Head of IT Asset Management at Danske Bank.

Rachel has more than 25 years of software, hardware, licensing and ITAM programme design and strategy experience. At Danske Bank, she manages a team responsible for all asset management activity. She is an ITAM Forum Trustee and a member of the judging panel at the SAM Awards Europe. In 2021, her team won the Project of the Year award at the ITAM Excellence Awards.

(Listen to Rachel’s 18 minute Change Makers podcast episode.) 

Taking ITAM to the next level

Rachel joined Danske Bank in 2019, managing the bank’s global ITAM processes and teams based in the UK, Lithuania and Denmark. She started by looking at the bank’s ITAM processes and governance, upskilling the teams and maturing their major vendor management. Then, it was about taking it all to the next level.

“Because we had done quite well in the first year, we were asked to also manage Hardware Asset Management, so we set up a governance team and brought in some external resources to help us with HAM best practices. We also set up a team in India and started working on renewals management with a focus on cost savings.

We also did a maturity assessment against the ISO ITAM standard and took on improvement areas for both SAM and HAM. Having done quite well in the first SAM assessment, when we did it again, we came out at 98% against the standard.”

Be collaborative

Rachel has done a great job ‘selling in’ ITAM and demonstrating the business value ITAM can deliver, and she’s done this by building relationships across the organisation and upwards to the C-suite. So, what’s her secret for success?

The best place for ITAM is always to be a very collaborative function. So, it’s a case of here are the savings you can make if you so choose to and if this fits into your strategy and your business objectives. If it doesn’t, that fine, but know there’s an opportunity.

And for me, the best way that we can work is to go out and speak to stakeholders and say, let me know what you’re looking for from ITAM. And then also, what are your objectives? There’s normally always a way that ITAM can help.”

Don’t get stuck

We asked Rachel what advise she would give to ITAM professionals looking to move into more of a strategic position to deliver greater business value to their organisations. Thinking out of the box and beyond ‘traditional ITAM’ were the first two things that came to mind.

We don’t just do license compliance. We don’t just manage and track assets. There’s so much more we can do, such as FinOps, SaaS management, Shadow IT, sustainability, etc.  When you move beyond asset tracking and license compliance, that’s when the good stuff happens, and you can really show ITAM’s strategic value to the business. That’s what ITAM has lost sight of. ITAM is so fundamental to so many parts of the business. You just need to get out there and see what more you can do and help with.”

You can never get bored in ITAM

With 25-years of experience, what keeps Rachel interested in, and excited about, ITAM?

“There are so many different areas where you can specialise. You can work in licensing, process and governance, risk management and quality, security and vulnerability, contract management, legal, etc. It’s a good area to work in.”

Listen now to the full 18-minute podcast.

Hosts: AJ Witt and Jennifer Carr


Other episodes in The Change Makers podcast series: