The business value of IT Asset Management (ITAM) is definable. Companies will save money by retiring unused assets, avoiding penalties for poor license management, and keeping contracts and warranties current. With vulnerability databases and tools such as ServiceNow Vulnerability Response, an up to date ITAM solution is essential for preventive security measures. So if ITAM is so darn useful, why don’t more organizations implement at least some of its components? I see three barriers.
1. Assets are frequently managed across multiple organizations
At a minimum there is a “hardware” group and a “software” group in charge of IT assets. More likely, there are groups for network, enterprise applications, servers, mobile devices, laptops and desktops and so on. Each of these groups has its own repository and its own needs for asset management. These groups need to be willing or mandated to give up autonomy around the financial control of these assets. Further complicating the picture is cross billing. IT assets may be owned by different departments so there may be “sales” laptops, “development” laptops, etc. Any decent ITAM program and process should be able to handle this diversity and demarcation, but organizations have to relinquish control for that to happen.
2. Variety and dispersion of assets
ITAM is hard to set up and requires a set of dedicated ITAM specialists. The variety of repositories and management systems will have to be integrated into an ITAM system. When new types of assets are acquired, they will need to be incorporated into the asset management process. That is an upfront expense and managerial headache many companies are not prepared to accept. Those of us in the ITAM space know that any upfront expense will be more than offset by tangible savings in the long run.
3. ITAM is not a top priority
As Stephan Mann points out in his article “What is preventing greater ITAM Adoption?”, in spite of a clear need and clear standards, companies do not adopt ITAM because they do not have to. Each year some new initiative like Big Data or BYOD or DevOps comes up and “boring” ITAM moves to the bottom of the queue once again. Mann has it right, “IT organizations are fooling themselves if they think they are acting in the best interests of the business without ITAM adoption.” In the long run, IT organizations may find themselves forced into asset management because it is the only way to show business and security compliance.
By addressing these three barriers, companies can reap the benefits of ITAM now and into the future. To learn how Effect-Tech can help you transition into this vital process for Business Oriented IT, contact us today.