Better IT through Governance—A How-to Guide

Let’s cut to the chase here. If you’re involved with ITAM and SAM management in your organization and need insights into charting a direction for your program, here’s your chance to learn from the best.

Patricia Adams is Ivanti’s IT Asset Management evangelist who spent more than 21 years as an industry expert at Gartner Inc. She’s written the thought-leadership white paper “Ivanti IT and Software Asset Management Attainment Model” that you can download below.

As a research director at Gartner, Patricia was the lead analyst for IT hardware and software asset management tools and best practices. Throughout it all, her primary focus was advising companies on how to establish governance programs unique to their organizations, build the business case for ITAM, measure the success of the program, design policies, define roles and responsibilities, implement tools, and build a strategic road map for integrating ITAM into other domains.

A road map or reference manual

Most organizations concede that they don’t know exactly what hardware and software assets exist in their environment. They also agree that their No. 1 concern is audits from software license vendors.

As long as there’s an IT infrastructure supporting the business, there’s a definitive need for ITAM/SAM.

However, as you’ll read in the paper, there are several levels of ITAM/SAM attainment, and the “attainment model” isn’t intended as a definitive roadmap that applies to every organization. It can be considered a road map or reference manual to help you chart a course for the program’s direction that can also be shared with other IT domains.

From level 1 to level 2 – embarkation to the managed level

Patricia writes that the Initial level or Level 1 is where Ivanti has witnessed the majority of its customers embarking on an ITAM/SAM program. And Level 2 or the Managed level is what every ITAM/SAM program should strive to achieve in order for the business to have confidence in IT’s ability to fulfill its charter.

Patricia recommends that organizations beginning their ITAM/SAM program focus on inventory, time, and cost-specific metrics. These metrics will expose the locations of inefficiencies.

For one Ivanti customer, Sealed Air Corporation, reclaiming unused software licenses wasn’t high on the list of must-have features that its project team was looking for when it was considering Ivanti’s IT systems management automation tools. But it turned out to be an unexpected and rewarding benefit.

George Leonard. Sealed Air’s IT Asset Manager, says, “Within the first three months of using the solution to automatically identify and remove unused software, we had cost avoidance savings of $958,000 in licensing fees. And that feature comes ready-to-use, right out of the box. It was unbelievable. Another big benefit is that we are now compliant on all of our software true ups.”

The necessity of IT governance

Patricia writes in the paper that IT Governance (ITG) is defined as “the processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.”

Another Ivanti customer, West Berkshire Council in the UK, feels Ivanti solutions have fit its IT governance requirements perfectly and enabled it to broaden its approach to asset management from simple inventory into an automated, end-to-end solution.

The council provides municipal and civic services such as education, highway maintenance, social care, benefits, libraries, etc., to roughly 150,000 residents.

Ivanti provides West Berkshire Council a powerful set of tools for managing IT assets from procurement through to disposal. The council can easily audit its assets, check that the correct software licensing is in place, monitor equipment leasing arrangements, check the physical location and assigned owner of each asset, and apply standard management approaches to all assets. The solution also assists with maintenance and with the planning of new IT purchases, by providing full details on all existing equipment down to the level of individual components.

According to Paul Bartlett, the council’s ICT Technical Project Manager, Ivanti “centralizes and standardizes our view of the IT assets, and brings together all the financial and non-financial information related to each asset. With a single point of control and clear visibility, we save significant time and effort as well as improving the quality of reporting and auditing.”