Why Attend ITAM Sessions at Interchange 2018: A Q&A with Director Phil Merson
Wow, we’re just days away from Interchange 2018 in Dallas—and being able to hear from Ivanti knowledge experts on how our solutions can help you meet your IT challenges successfully.
Ivanti product marketing manager Mareike Fondufe, who has overseen the Interchange 2018 session tracks surrounding IT Asset Management (ITAM), reached out to Director and ITAM Specialist Phil Merson on what Interchange attendees can expect to learn about in the ITAM track:
Q: In your view of the world—and within the context of the Interchange 2018 ITAM track, what are some of the greatest challenges on the horizon facing Ivanti customers?
- Visibility / Management: Customers often don’t have visibility into the software and hardware their organization is using, how much the IT assets cost them, and if they have potential to optimize their business. From a hardware perspective, being able to track a device from the time it first enters an organization and is assigned to a user, to the changes of software and upgrades on that device through its life in the organization, to the time it is disposed is now an imperative demand on and requirement by all organizations. The management of the server environments is even more important; these are the business-critical devices that enable organizations to fulfill IT obligations to their business. The server environments are becoming more and more complex with virtualization, clustering, containers, and other new technologies becoming available to enhance the power of delivering the tools for the business to operate.
- Optimization: Software makes up a large chunk of an organization’s annual IT budget (Forrester estimates that 21.5 percent of an organization’s overall budget is swallowed up by software spend.) With the constant imperative to reduce costs, IT asset managers should not overlook opportunities to optimize their software spend. According to Gartner research, organizations that improve their ITAM optimization capabilities typically report up to 30 percent software spending reductions within one year. Gartner research indicates that 90 percent of organizations could benefit from software license optimizations. Taking advantage of software usage data to harvest unused applications can lead to savings and cost avoidance. Reclaiming unused software on client devices and reducing virtual machine sprawl are great first steps to begin optimizing the software portfolio.
- Innovation: IT operations must understand that deployment and management of software and hardware assets, storage, network and servers, as well as operating systems, middleware, and applications, all serve specific business tasks and processes, such as providing the sales manager with the application needed to finish a forecast or handling HR onboarding service requests. Only if the IT department is aware of the business impact of failing to support a certain business task or process can IT investment decisions, IT staff allocations, and issue-resolution efforts be targeted in an optimal manner. A key challenge is using IT Asset data together with Service, Security, and Endpoint Management processes to solve the organization’s business problems innovatively.
Q: What is it about the Interchange 2018 sessions in your track that can assist Ivanti customers as they deal with these challenges?
PM: With Ivanti IT Asset Management, you know what IT assets you have, where they are, and how they are used to maximize the performance and value of your hardware and software assets. You can respond faster to software audits, track lifecycle processes, gain total visibility into your IT asset environment, including complex data centers and the cloud, and reclaim unused software. There’s no more guessing where you stand with your effective license position (ELP).
The ITAM Interchange Track features breakouts and labs that will focus on topics like trends in ITAM, software audit, ITAM best practices, cloud, and how to optimize your business with ITAM. Plus, we’ll discuss highlights of new product updates like Asset Manager and License Optimizer, and showcase product innovation with Unified IT.
The sessions will enable customers to:
- Track software performance more clearly
- Understand how to track hardware across its lifecycle
- Improve people, process, tool integration, and innovation
- Support business optimization
We are very excited to also have customer speakers Dan Lutter and Johnny Chamboullides from Advocate Health Care and David Mora from Randstad join us on stage to share their project and use cases in the ITAM Interchange Track.
Q: Are there certain Interchange 2018 sessions within your track that are making their initial debut? What’s the story behind why they were developed?
- Asset Manager Essentials: We are excited to give customers a sneak preview of our new Asset Manager Essentials solution. Asset Manager Essentials is a cloud-based asset lifecycle management solution, integrated and built on the same platform as Ivanti Service Manager and leveraging best practices of organizations such as the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM).
- Unified IT: We are also looking forward to showing our customers Unified IT Service, Asset, and Endpoint Management in action to demonstrate how these disciplines working together can help organizations maximize operational efficiencies and improve service delivery and compliance, while optimizing cost. Use cases include automating software requests through self-service, leveraging integrated approval workflows and license compliance checks, reclaiming unused software to optimize software spend, deploying automatically to the user’s devices, while reducing audit risk. That’s IT Service, IT Asset, and Endpoint Management processes working together to create a positive effect on IT service delivery and overall business efficiency.
Q: Let’s talk about the future. What will the (Asset Management) landscape look like in five to 10 years?
PM: Digital business is driving rapid changes in the way technology assets are deployed, used, and managed. An ever-growing spectrum of technologies requiring management, control, and governance to enable productive, secure, and cost-effective IT places ITAM at the center of digital business transformation:
- Poor visibility into and management of cloud services and software consumption is driving rapidly growing demand for accurate, timely ITAM data
- Explosive growth of the Internet of Things is driving a renewed focus on and need for effective hardware asset management (HAM) processes
- IT leaders are increasingly looking to leverage ITAM data to support other IT, business, and regulatory activities
- Artificial intelligence: licensing is set to become even more complicated with “50 percent of firms providing software or SaaS offerings licensing bots and AI-enabled systems at a significant price premium over traditional user-based licensing by 2021” . Efficiently managing hardware and software assets has never been more important.
Q: Borrowing the statement, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” what’s the key takeaway or main thing you hope attendees of your track with leave Interchange 2018 with?
PM: ITAM was for a long time focused on helping organizations solve the software license compliance and software audit challenge. While these are still the main ITAM drivers, ITAM is becoming more and more critical as the cornerstone for any type of data initiative. Think about GDPR, growth of Internet of Things, prevalence of cloud applications. ITAM cannot be viewed as a silo discipline but is interconnected with various other IT functions. We want attendees to walk away with best practices guidelines on how to get started with IT Asset Management, how they can derive real business value but also how they can define their ITAM processes and make organizational changes to their IT environment as a whole.
Asset Management is only one part of Ivanti’s “Power of Unified IT” approach. When we introduce and integrate Service, Security, Endpoint, and Identity Management, we give the power of unification to our customers and Asset Management becomes far more than just hardware and software management. It becomes more management of the user’s consumption of IT within the workplace—it’s a constantly moving and changing space. Ivanti empowers the customer to stay on top of these changes.
In turn, the customer can optimize both financial and physical resources through more automation that provides consistent data in real time. This includes dynamic analysis and reports that let them take action on the information that enables the IT part of the business to perform equally and above their peers.