In this article I will share the results of our most recent reader survey, a round-up of the most popular content on the ITAM Review in 2019 and some predictions for hot topics and trends for the new decade.
Thanks to everyone that took the time to complete our reader survey.
We asked the question “What topics will be most important to you in 2020?” – No surprise to see cloud management at the top of the list. As we demonstrated in our salary survey in 2019, average salaries are up 15% over two years and cloud skills lead to higher earning power. Whilst money isn’t everything, it’s spotlights the demand and direction of the industry.
In addition to your hot topics identified above, we also intend to cover open source, legal, contracts management, FinOps and Cloud Economics, Telecoms Expense Management as well as converting our content to other languages (We’ve begun with French here, if you can help with other languages please contact us).
If you would like to share your expertise on any of these topics please contact us.
Last year we highlighted three major trends impacting the ITAM industry in the longer term;
It’s interesting to see how these long term trends have evolved in just twelve short months:
SaaS complexity on the horizon
I predict that turn key SaaS solutions deployed without the involvement of IT, combined with increasingly IT savvy consumers of IT services, with lowcode drag and drop systems, will add increasingly complexity to managing cloud spend and risk. IT Asset Managers will need to identify not only the existence of SaaS consumption, but perhaps also how it is sewn together. I predict that complex IT architecture will no longer just be the domain of IT.
5G asset type bow wave
4G hit mainstream adoption along with the iPad launch in 2010. These two technologies combined soon found myriad uses cases in IT departments. I predict a similar bow wave of use cases, asset types, IoT use and applications as 5G hits adoption in the 2020s.
ITAM teams will automate their processes for efficiency gains and to streamline operations, but they will also automate out of necessity. They’ll need to automate simply to keep up, to address the fact that there is a skills shortage of IT expertise, and that IT complexity is increasing exponentially, they’ll automate not to progress, but to tread water.
AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain
You might argue that software recognition and asset look up tables, used since the 1990’s, are a form of machine learning. But I predict there will be further use cases for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to identify risks, trends or cost savings within large ITAM data sets.
I predict early exploratory use cases for blockchain in the ITAM industry will pick up momentum as a trustworthy mechanism to support record keeping. Blockchain as a concept is commonly mangled with bitcoin, a crypto-currency – but currency is just one use case of many different uses for distributed secure ledgers of ownership or transactions. See Blockchain for Software License Management.
Security and ITAM – a blossoming partnership
Whilst there are many reasons that an organisation might decide to stand up an ITAM practice, historically you could have generally grouped them into three categories:
For the new decade, I predict Security to be a fourth and significant reason for organisations exploring IT Asset Management. Security has always been a partner and downstream beneficiary of good ITAM information, but I think the partnership is even more significant in the 2020’s as businesses become ever more digitised and share price, performance and profitability become inextricably linked with IT agility.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, IT is no longer just the guys and gals in the basement that fix your laptop, but is a critical thread that weaves its way through an entire fabric of a business.
As I write this, the Travelex brand is on its knees with the website offline for two weeks due to a cyber attack. Is it a coincidence that the parent company’s stock price is tanking past a 5-year low? With a business model delivered by IT, managing the assets that underpin it should be an absolute priority.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Security Guide for ITAM, suggests that those organisations addressing cybersecurity should consider ITAM, and in particular knowing what you have, where it is, and how it is configured – as foundational to CyberSecurity. Learn more here: https://itassetmanagement.net/2018/11/15/nist-cyber-security-guide-for-itam/.
I predict growth in the use of standards in our industry for ITAM departments who wish to demonstrate the quality of their services in the face of increased board level scrutiny and importance of IT infrastructure. I look forward to helping ITAM teams from across the globe come together to implement 19770 standards to drive our industry forward. See https://itassetmanagement.net/2019/11/04/push-industry-forward/
Audit threat landscape changing
My final prediction for the 2020’s is the changing audit threat landscape. It’s dawning on the big four software companies that you can’t continue to pummel customers with audits and expect them to be a strategic cloud partner. We’ve seen publishers either back off from audits or rethink their approach. We’ve seen new vendors appearing as audit threats, and cloud audits are on the horizon.
I think we’ll see several companies either fold-in their cloud offerings or go niche under the pressure of the runaway economies of scale of Azure and AWS. Buckle in, it’s going to be quite a ride!
We published 140 articles in 2019.
However, we also –
If you want to get involved, share a topic that we’ve missed above or otherwise share feedback – please shout!
If you have expertise to share with our community – please give me a shout.