A new global trade body to push the industry forward
ITAM Forum is a professional body for the advancement of the IT Asset Management industry.
A not-for-profit trade body led by ITAM professionals, for ITAM professionals.
ITAM forum has two primary objectives:
1. To educate and evangelise – to encourage more companies to do ITAM and to attract new professionals into the industry
2. To be a caretaker of the new organisational certification program to allow organisations to demonstrate the quality of their ITAM practices
IT Asset Management – A board level imperative in the 2020’s
A compelling post-pandemic business case
IT Asset Management should be a de facto business practice within all organisations. ITAM is an essential prerequisite for modern digitally enabled businesses with multiple compelling business advantages:
• Cost savings - cost savings are typically the main justification for a strong ITAM function, with good reason. Roughly a third of software is wasted or unused, regardless of whether it is desktop software, SaaS subscriptions or cloud infrastructure.
• Enhanced security - ITAM and information security (InfoSec) are closely related, but historically their roles have had limited cooperation and integration. This is starting to change and will become one of the most important areas for ITAM developments in the 2020s. The cost of security failures is well known, because they often hit the press. For example, the Equifax breach has cost already upwards of $1.4bn and resulted in wholesale C-Suite changes. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office is coming down increasingly hard on such situations, with proposed fines of £183 million for British Airways, and £99 million for Marriott hotels, for breaches of customer data. ITAM can help bring visibility and control to such exposures.
• Software license compliance - non-compliance with software agreements is the reason that many ITAM projects are started, because of a costly and disruptive software publisher audit. Software license compliance is therefore an obvious benefit of good ITAM, although its value as perceived by management often decreases after two or three years of successful avoidance of bad audit results. The other types of continuing benefits need to be achieved and demonstrated to ensure management’s continuing support.
• Agility - A significant business benefit for ITAM in the 2020s will be business agility. The better the visibility of what you have, where it’s located, how it’s configured, and how it’s being used, the faster you can change, and the more quickly a business can transform. The common-sense approach to IT Operational & Business Management is ITAM. It’s not the sexy and exciting part of IT innovation, it’s the sharp and pointy business end that facilitates shrewd business decisions. Agility enabled through visibility means Procurement buys the right things to empower innovation and business transformation. Visibility of the adoption of new technology through ITAM-generated usage data ensures that the investment made delivers on its ROI forecast.
• Risk management - Risk management is the flip side of the coin for most of the benefits which good ITAM brings, but the categories used are typically different. Typical risk categories are: Financial risk, Operational risk, Regulatory compliance risk and Reputational risk
The ascendance of the ITAM industry
ITAM teams enjoy more seniority and board level exposure than ever before. Research by The ITAM Review in 2018 suggested that ITAM teams reporting into the CXO has increased from 17% in 2011 to 37% in 2018.
Reasons for this trend:
• IT has become more critical, from a team in the basement to a platform underpinning the whole business.
• The buyers of IT are no longer just in the IT department
The net result is ITAM has increasing board level exposure and senior management scrutiny. Effective management of IT assets is now a board level imperative.
ITAM Forum exists to help elevate the business value of IT Asset Management and help ITAM departments demonstrate the quality of their work.
The ISO standard 19770 is one such way of proving the quality of ITAM teams and value being delivered, increasing the credibility of ITAM teams. First published in 2006, there is no formally recognised way of certifying your organisation against the ISO19770 standard. ITAM Forum intends to deliver this certification process.
Moreover, ITAM as an industry will grow stronger if we work together. A key deliverable of ITAM forum is helping ITAM professionals connect, learn from each other and collaborate to improve the industry.
Why is Certification Important?
Certifying organisations against the ISO standard provides the highest measure of quality to demonstrate the competence of an ITAM department in the face of increasing criticality of managing IT assets and subsequent board level scrutiny. By benchmarking ITAM department output against ISO standards, stakeholders in the ITAM lifecycle, perhaps not fully versed in the complexity of IT assets, can be assured of quality.
Why would an organisation want to certify against the ITAM standard 19770?
Ultimately, organisational certification against the ITAM ISO standard is about demonstrating good governance. This good governance can be demonstrated to both internal and external stakeholders:
• Internal Validation – Internal validation shows to your immediate team, management team and internal stakeholders, via an independent global ISO standard, the level of quality delivered by your ITAM function. This proves the quality of your ITAM services and helps raise the profile and reputation of your team. Internal validation also proves, by unequivocal independent standard, to Internal Audit and subsequently the Board of Directors, that your organization is demonstrating good governance and management of risk.
• External Validation – The second major business benefit of organisational certification against the ITAM standard is external validation. Organisational certification sends a very strong message to the vendors you are working with that you are executing ITAM at a very high level. Otherwise, the competence and quality of your ITAM team must be demonstrated with bravado. ISO provides an independent, verifiable level of quality that you can send to the vendor ecosystem supplying your organization.
By certifying, an organization sends a strong message to its software publishers, partners, hardware manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders that it takes the management of IT assets very seriously and delivers ITAM services to a high standard. A great foundation to strong vendor management, negotiation and market perception.
ISO certification represents an opportunity for avoiding or thwarting audits. Why would a manufacturer or vendor want to audit your organization for potential mismanagement of a contract when an independent measure of quality has been completed? Organisations certifying against the ITAM standard would be in a position to negotiate the removal of audit clauses or supply proactive self-declarations. ISO certification also supports the strong management of hardware assets – especially regarding environmental impact and data management concerns. Organisations face punitive damages from the mismanagement of hardware based on data protection regulation such as GDPR or e-waste legislation.
Software publishers should recognise and reward organisations certifying against ITAM standards, which significantly reduces the risk of non-compliance and reduces the friction created by audits and licensing conflicts. In turn, certified organisations should be recognised for their leadership in the ITAM industry and should negotiate favourable terms based on their high level of commitment and demonstration of quality. Finally, ITAM departments certifying against the ITAM standard are sending a clear message to the ITAM community of their commitment and investment in ITAM, which is likely to make it easier to attract high quality team members into their teams in the future.
https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2019/11/04/push-industry-forward/ (Published November 2019)
http://www.itamstandards.org/2018/01/26/itam-in-2020s/ (Published December 2019)