In our latest member-only webinar, our panel of ITAM experts focused on ITAM Power Skills, those soft skills ITAMers need to master to successfully elevate ITAM’s role and contribution within an organisation. The conversation largely focused on the ever-present challenge of stakeholder engagement. We explored angles such as:
- building relationships with key stakeholders
- influencing others
- speaking effectively with the C-suite
- translating ITAM speak into business speak
- unearthing ITAM opportunities
Our panel of experts consisted of:
- Rebecca Horton; Managing Director & Business Lead; USU
- Ted Miale; SVP – Practices; Cask
- Shadi Khoshab; Global Director, ITAM & Software Sourcing Solutions; SoftwareOne
Together, they have more than 30 years of SAM/ITAM experience.
No stakeholders, no ITAM
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the panel agreed that stakeholder management is critical to ITAM’s success. They also stressed the reciprocal nature of the ITAM-stakeholder relationship.
As Shadi said, “Stakeholder engagement is crucial. On its own, ITAM can’t deliver much value. It’s about the information, data and insights it can offer stakeholders. But conversely, there’s the data ITAM teams need in return that helps them do their job. Without buy in from stakeholders, ITAM can’t really function.”
Rebecca agreed commenting that problems arise when stakeholders don’t understand ITAM’s role. “I have found that whenever there’s a problem, it comes down to a branding problem [for ITAM]. You’ll hear phrases like, ‘Oh, SAM, you’re the audit people,’ or ‘you’re the license people, the request fulfilment people,’ etc. ITAM is often an integral part of the company’s ability to meet its objectives.”
Stakeholder management top tips
The panel provided a number of key tips for effective stakeholder management, including these three:
- Align ITAM’s goals to those of the organisation: If you read your company’s annual report, you’ll find something that ITAM can support. How can ITAM help to achieve these goals? Who’s responsible for achieving them? If you can contribute, this is the stakeholder to engage with.
- Offer something of value. You must align your services to the specific needs of each stakeholder. Said Rebecca, “It helps to view ITAM as a service. Ask yourself, what service can I provide to this person, team, department? If you’ve sold in a service you can’t deliver, you’ll lose trust and credibility.”
- Establish a service framework. ITAM’s relationship with each of its stakeholders is always reciprocal. For ITAM to deliver on its promise, stakeholders need to deliver to ITAM what ITAM needs. Regular engagement with each stakeholder will help to achieve this. As one expert said, “Get connected and stay connected.” It’s a win-win.
How do you measure success?
Lastly, the panel tackled the all-important question of how to measure engagement. What does good look like?
Shadi summed this up perfectly: “Successful stakeholder engagement requires having a seat at the table. A good way to gauge your success is how involved you are in their decision making.”
Do you have a seat at the table?
If you’re an ITAM Forum member, log in to access the ITAM Power Skills webinar on-demand.