ITAM by design

Kylie Fowler, founder and principal consultant of ITAM Intelligence, discusses building a truly pro-active IT asset management service.

Many of you who are CIOs and IT directors will be aware of IT asset management (ITAM) as a constant niggle in the back of your mind. You know that poor IT asset management exposes your organisation to significant risks, some of which, such as a vendor licensing audit or loss of an unencrypted laptop, can have such an explosive impact that jobs could be on the line.

The problem is that ITAM risks tend to be relatively low probability. So, although you know you should be doing something about them, real action constantly slips down the agenda as other, higher priority risks move to the front of the queue. Many of you reading this article undoubtedly see ITAM, and its more specialist relative, software asset management (SAM), as necessary evils that you just wish would go away.

The core of the problem is that IT service management in general, and indeed the ITAM industry itself, sees ITAM as fundamentally administrative - it secures and tracks existing assets, identifies and manages existing risks, and tries to minimise the costs and maximise the ROI of existing assets. The result is that IT asset managers spend their time fire-fighting issues that have their origin in the dim and distant past, where the root cause is poor solutions and process design.

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