I receive quite a few ITAM related CVs across my desk in the average week, so I thought I would share what I consider to be the most redeeming qualities for ITAM professionals and how those qualities have changed as the market has evolved.
We see Licence Management as a specialist subset of ITAM, but the people we tend to hire these days have a completely different profile to those we might have hired a few years ago. We’re now very much looking for data oriented people – it’s all about the data.
Whilst licence management is probably the ultimate data challenge, compliance calculations still depend on ‘hardware’ aspects such as CPU/core/socket, virtualisation relationships, clustering, asset status/environment and the underlying contents of multiple desynchronised discovery sources.
Hardware data reconciliation has an impact for configuration management as well as licence management. It also has major knock on implications for outsourcer billing, internal chargeback and support, amongst other significant areas. Configuration programmes are now stressing these ‘golden record’ activities.
So, much of ITAM and licence management benefit now needs complex data to be acquired, managed and brought together.
In my opinion the six key qualities of ITAM professionals include:
Quite a few ITAM professionals cut their teeth in Large Account Resellers (LAR), or large end user organisations.
LARS often allow ambitious individuals to pick up considerable licensing expertise and exposure to customer requirements and the negotiation cycle. It is not unusual for former licensing account managers with a couple of years experience with SAM to enter the UK consulting market with a £60-£70K price on their head. Plus bonus.
Unfortunately licensing expertise alone is no longer good enough. ITAM professionals also need the knowledge of licensing with that of IT service provision and complex technical environments. And they need to be able to educate and lead, not just react.
The ability to consult is critical. IT Asset Managers in large end user firms tend to gain a lot of experience fast, and earn less than LAR commercial folks. However, they often don’t want to travel and frequently don’t have the personality and/or motivation to join professional services firms. Nothing wrong with that of course; it just makes recruiting for ITAMS harder.
It is often difficult to pinpoint the strengths above on a CV but it is definitely demonstrable in a remarkable ITAM professional – it is a mixture of project management, commercial savvy, technical knowhow and the gravitas brought by experience of working with senior people close to the money.
We have witnessed the emergence of three definite styles in the ITAM market:
One style is not better than the others and most individuals will have a mixture – but our experience tells us that in a team, all three are needed to deliver effective, efficient ITAM and/or licence management programmes
In the UK we’re facing a real shortage of ITAM professionals. At my firm we’ve started to take the approach of delivering more services off site, which allows us to build knowledge and our teams in a structured environment. Personally though, I want to avoid offshoring but unless government make it easier and lower cost for businesses like ours to train newcomers, perhaps this is inevitable?
The industry is very much on the up and we urgently need more bandwidth and skills to cope with increased demand. Building your ITAM skills and experience is not an easy path but those wishing to invest time and effort into this market will be rewarded with a satisfying career and the opportunity to make a difference.
Whether you are a seasoned ITAM professional or newcomer to the industry I welcome your feedback, and I wish you all the best.