Don’t Forget About ITAM for Driving IT Maturity
At its core, the mission of the IT organization is to deliver services by leveraging assets and data that are the living infrastructure of the business. While most IT professionals would agree with this statement, we commonly see the focus of the organization moving to service delivery or security due to the perceived higher visibility and risks associated with these elements of IT. This can be a mistake if the focus comes at the expense of sound IT asset management (ITAM), and the clear reality is that the most mature and highest performing IT teams have developed a strong appreciation for and commitment to ITAM.
If you are unsure about the role of ITAM in your organization, this is a great time to focus on a few key things that can put your business back on the right track and in a position to fully leverage the tremendous value of ITAM done well.
The role of sound ITAM for the journey of IT maturity can’t be overstated.
Given the key role of ITAM in driving IT maturity, let’s look at three examples of things to focus on for ITAM success:
1. Data accuracy is everything.
Data today is recognized as a precious corporate asset and the quality of our data is a remarkable enabler, or when anything less than current and accurate, an equally remarkable risk that can result in spectacular failures. The impact of failing an audit due to poor data quality is hard to quantify. There is a level of trust that must be achieved with asset data—including a description of the asset itself, its history, current condition, the employee it’s assigned to, current versioning, relationship to services, and much more.
The key here is that the necessary information must be accurate and current. Yes, this seems simple enough, but with the complexity of the modern IT organization application portfolio and the many databases that support these applications, it’s a goal that is not easy to achieve. Data integrity requires commitment and having a plan. This simple formula is leveraged by the most mature IT organizations and is virtually universal among those IT teams we can call the very best.
In many cases, an ITAM initiative should begin with the data itself; creating a method and cadence for ensuring accurate and current data is fueling the broader ITAM business processes and practices. This focus sets up ITAM for success.
2. Who’s the boss?
IT asset management and the data that supports it is strategic to the IT organization and to the business because it is all about the health and performance of the precious assets on which the business runs every day. Because there is so much value here, a good practice of high performing IT organizations is to name a process owner that watches over both the ITAM processes and the data (normally an asset inventory or CMDB) with regards to data accuracy, data integrity, and the process to be used in order to keep the data fresh.
I met a a VP in IT recently who described this well: "Everybody just knows that you don’t mess with our asset data." With strong ownership and accountability in place, the common risks go down, and the value of ITAM goes up.
Mature IT organizations have strong process ownership, and ITAM is a great example of where this oversight is more important than ever.
3. ITAM makes every employee better and every customer happier.
Business today is conducted on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and servers. Of course this mix is ever-changing, and the motion of business is rapidly migrating to smart phones, tablets, and laptops with an emphasis on the mobile lifestyle and agility. With this reality upon us, every employee is at their most productive and at their very best every day when these assets are healthy and performing as expected through a full and managed lifecycle.
This simple dependency brings us back to the importance of sound ITAM. Then, with a productive workforce, every business is able to provide the best possible products and services to customers everywhere, every day.
ITAM at its best is a success that goes unnoticed because everything just works. This is a wonderfully powerful reality and one that is key on the journey to IT maturity.
Keep the faith my friends.