ITAM during a crisis: back to basics

30 March 2020
4 minute read
Best practice

ITAM during a crisis: back to basics

30 March 2020
4 minute read
ITAM in a crisis

ITAM in a crisis – back to basics

November 2008

Do you remember what you were doing in November 2008?

Obama beat McCain to become America’s first black-American president (Yes we can).

Slumdog millionaire” and “Quantum of Solace” were in the cinema and Beyonce was top of the pop charts.

By November 2008 Bear Sterns had failed, Lehman Brothers had just gone bankrupt and worldwide economies were facing a collapse in growth which later become known as “The great recession” – the largest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

We’d also just formed the ITAM Review! We reported that audits were likely to increase as the times got tough, we suggested 15 steps to completing a software audit, and the top skills to look for in a Software Asset Manager.

I can see many similarities for the ITAM industry between 2008 and the current pandemic. Let’s hope the world economy bounces back straightaway from this horrendous virus and that governments are able to contain its spread. However, realistically we are all facing an almighty shock to the economic system whilst many businesses hibernate to isolate themselves and their families.

When crisis hits

Speaking to Asset Manager’s, the current focus is on day-to-day operations to enable remote working and restricted working practices. To support this Rich Gibbons has prepared three resources to help with the immediate impact:

  1. ITAM and Coronavirus: What’s the impact?
  2. Creating an ITAM clean-up action plan
  3. Free software offers from vendors to help remote working

We have also constructed a complimentary on-demand LISA course which will help you to manage your assets as successfully as possible during this period (See offer below).

Back to basics: Cost cutting and visibility

Once we are past the worst of this pandemic, I can foresee IT Asset Managers experiencing a radical change of focus, as we did in 2008: back to basics and cost cutting.

Governments are deliberately shutting down society to curtail the spread of the virus, this will have a cataclysmic impact on demand for goods and services, leading to companies having to shrink the size of their cost base.

I predict that the aspirations of mature practices of “building alliances with stakeholders”, “automation”, “supporting digital transformation” and maybe even “supporting security”, topics we were discussing just a few weeks ago – will be shelved for straightforward cost reduction:

  • What do we have? What’s being used? What can we cut?
  • Cut out waste, reduce and renegotiate what we can’t afford to cut
  • Return to core services, protect the core nucleus that delivers for our business, cut away any other extraneous projects or distractions

Moreover, I predict increased ferocity from software publishers. You’ll be able to kick the can down the road for a while citing “business disruption” to defend against audits but I would suggest increased aggressive behaviour will be inevitable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft dust off or accelerate their review program in certain territories.

I would also expect certain suppliers, those with aggressive business models based on steady growth, to simply cease trading. This will mean your customers and stakeholders stranded without certain systems / data as we scramble to replace them.

ITAM has a pivotal role to play

We have a role to play in this crisis. We can support our companies in reducing cost, cutting waste, and potentially preventing the loss of jobs.

I also think we will be stronger if we work together as an industry.

Do you agree? Please leave a comment. 

We have constructed a complimentary on-demand LISA course which will help you to manage your assets as successfully as possible during this period.

We’ve taken the most relevant sections of our LISA on-demand training courses and made them freely available for the duration of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Our aim is to provide you with vital knowledge and information in order to help you identify potential risks, learn the skills to deal with them, and to successfully reduce costs for your organisation going forward. Find out more about our free on demand course here: LISA ITAM Essentials – Where to focus in uncertain times.


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