The Chaos and Despair of the ITAM Basement

In my childhood home was a basement. Not an HGTV-worthy, fully-finished basement with a theater room and a pool table. It was dark, dank, and cold. What few windows it had only let in a sliver of light. It had no other purpose other than for storage. Holiday decorations, unwanted furniture, and most of my childhood art projects — they all had their designated space in the basement.

I guess the point of this overshare is to highlight that my basement wasn’t a place where you wanted to spend too much time. Much the same can be said about the basement of the Ivanti IT Asset Management / Software Asset Management Attainment Model. Yes, dear readers – this is a segue.

There are five stages of the ITAM/SAM Attainment Model:

  • Level 0: Unmanaged
  • Level 1: Initial
  • Level 2: Managed
  • Level 3: Shared
  • Level 4: Optimized

In Level 0: Unmanaged, asset management is non-existent. Ivanti ITAM evangelist and former Gartner analyst Patricia Adams says organizations at this level lack resources, staff, and funding. To put it bluntly, welcome to the basement.

Companies who exist at Level 0 are small, highly distributed, and likely aren’t in growth mode. ITAM/SAM isn’t a priority here, especially when you have other problems with higher visibility – like paying employees, securing investors, or keeping the lights on.

When it comes to the software, most Level 0 companies are looking for open source or cloud-based options they don’t have to track or secure. Hardware lifecycles are not managed, so they trend towards extremes. Assets may be refreshed frequently because users ask for replacements. Some of those assets may be in use for a long time since retirement dates aren’t typically tracked at this level. Hardware and software is used until it breaks or until users get fed-up with performance and reliability issues.

The bottom line: there’s no leadership, tools, process, standards or visibility. It’s a dark, audit-driven, decentralized mess. Costs and risk are high, timeframes are extended, and service quality is low. It doesn’t sound like a place where you want to spend too much time.

A little growth and investment can catapult organizations out of Level 0. That’s when you’d want to start looking at implementing an ITAM/SAM process.

Ivanti can help your organization move past the ground floor and closer to the penthouse. Click below to download our ITAM/SAM Attainment Model. It’s a 15-minute read that can help you get started on the next phase of your asset management journey.