ITAM teams enjoy more seniority and board level exposure than ever before. Research by The ITAM Review in 2018 suggested that ITAM teams reporting into the CXO has increased from 17% in 2011 to 37% in 2018.
“ITAM is ascending in seniority and non-IT attention. Out of the shadows of operational process and configuration management (45% reporting into ITSM in 2011) to the limelight of the C-suite (37% CXO in 2018). As we fast approach the 2020s, smart management of assets is a shrewd business practice with benefits well beyond IT. Bye-bye software compliance, hello competitive advantage in ability to execute IT.”
Source: ITAM Review 2018 Reader Survey
I believe there are two primary reasons behind this trend:
The net result is ITAM has increasing board level exposure and senior management scrutiny. Back in 2016, Gartner suggested SAM was a “C-Level” imperative (source). How does an ITAM department prove the value of its output? Especially when some of its stakeholders don’t even know what ITAM means (counting computers, right?), let alone know how to quantify it.
An ISO standard is one such way of proving the quality of your output and demonstrating your value, increasing the credibility of ITAM teams. First published in 2006, there is no formally recognised way of certifying your organisation against the ISO19770 standard.
A new trade body intends to deliver this certification process.
A new trade body is being launched with two specific objectives:
To ensure that this trade body is relevant, practical and useable, it will be overseen by a trustee board of end user ITAM professionals. ISO standards, at their core, are industries coming together to measure what good looks like for the advancement of their industry. They should not be a dusty academic exercise, but something for a company to aspire to in return for tangible bottom line benefits.
Certifying organisations against the ISO standard provides the highest measure of quality to demonstrate the competence of an ITAM department in the face of this increasing board level scrutiny. By benchmarking ITAM department output against ISO standards, stakeholders in the ITAM lifecycle, perhaps not fully versed in the complexity of IT assets, can be assured of quality.
Ultimately, organisational certification against the ITAM ISO standard is about demonstrating good governance. This good governance can be demonstrated to both internal and external stakeholders:
By certifying, an organization sends a strong message to its software publishers, partners, hardware manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders that it takes the management of IT assets very seriously and delivers ITAM services to a high standard. A great foundation to strong vendor management, negotiation and market perception.
ISO certification represents an opportunity for avoiding or thwarting audits. Why would a manufacturer or vendor want to audit your organization for potential mismanagement of a contract when an independent measure of quality has been completed? Organisations certifying against the ITAM standard would be in a position to negotiate the removal of audit clauses or supply proactive self-declarations. ISO certification also supports the strong management of hardware assets – especially regarding environmental impact and data management concerns. Organisations face punitive damages from the mismanagement of hardware based on data protection regulation such as GDPR or e-waste legislation.
Software publishers should recognise and reward organisations certifying against ITAM standards, which significantly reduces the risk of non-compliance and reduces the friction created by audits and licensing conflicts. In turn, certified organisations should be recognised for their leadership in the ITAM industry and should negotiate favourable terms based on their high level of commitment and demonstration of quality. Finally, ITAM departments certifying against the ITAM standard are sending a clear message to the ITAM community of their commitment and investment in ITAM, which is likely to make it easier to attract high quality team members into their teams in the future.
Internally, ISO certification of your ITAM practice provides proof to your Board, shareholders, and other senior stakeholders that your IT assets are being managed with the same vigour and care applied to your financial and physical assets.
Measures of success*
(*- To be determined by the board of the new trade body)
I’m seeking the support of end user ITAM professionals to volunteer on the board of this new trade body. We already have a good number who have volunteered, this is a call for any additional volunteers.
Why get involved?
To discuss further please contact me.
Stay tuned to the ITAM Review Newsletter for further updates on this new iniative.