The last two decades has seen Information Technology radically transform many industries. IT is no longer the geeks in the corner fixing your laptop, IT is now a thread which runs through the fabric of every business. For many vertical industries, switching off IT means switching off the business. What does the ascendancy of ITAM in recent years mean for ITAM salaries and skills?
The IT Asset Management profession has grown to match the growing importance of IT during this time. ITAM has ascended as a profession from an administrative function to strategic advisor. Teams are bigger, salaries are higher, positions are more senior and technology and services to aid ITAM professionals are more sophisticated. Importantly, ITAM is no longer just serving the IT department; for many teams, ITAM is serving the whole business as many departments take control of their own turnkey cloud solutions.
The ascendance of the ITAM profession leads to ITAM professionals being very much in demand in the 2020s. Those with up-to-date SAM, Licensing and Cloud skills can look forward to very competitive salaries, varied options to progress and interesting and challenging careers.
SAM and Licensing skills are also transferrable. So, languages aside, you can transfer an Asset Manager anywhere in the world and they could make an immediate impact. Just like a Doctor, Nurse, or Teacher – IT Asset Management has global appeal.
Like many IT professions, the ITAM profession faces a skills shortage. Four surveys over 8 years conducted by The ITAM Review points to an increasingly acute shortage of global ITAM talent. More organizations are hiring ITAM teams than ever before, and it’s taking longer to find the right people.
According to our regular ITAM Review Salary Survey, between 2019 and 2022 the average UK salary rose 16.5%, whilst in the USA it rose a staggering 27.5% in the same period, to an average of $136,000. This increase is a double-edged sword; while the increase is great on a personal level, from a team perspective it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit a team to meet your ITAM practice objectives. Research has also proven that cloud skills, above traditional ITAM topics such as desktop or end user computing, is the most influential indicator of earning potential in ITAM.
As well as cloud governance, ITAM professionals are looking to add skills from adjacent departments to their skillset. A good example is Cybersecurity. By adding knowledge of this discipline to their skillset ITAM professionals are much better qualified to work closely with this key stakeholder. FinOps is on the personal skills wish list for the first time as ITAM professionals wish to explore this new cultural approach to cloud management. As with its predecessor DevOps, which created much disruption to IT Management, it will be interesting to see how this discipline develops over the next few years and its interaction with ITAM. Finally, it’s pleasing to see ISO/IEC 19770 certification on people’s ITAM skills wish list for the first time as interest grows in this area prior to the launch of the ITAM Forum’s organizational certification in 2022.
The growing importance of IT in most businesses and the critical nature of mismanaging IT assets has led to up to 40% of ITAM departments reporting directly into the C-Suite. Thinking about how ITAM as a practice interacts with the C-Suite, we need to consider that board level executives don’t necessarily know the topic of ITAM, they don’t necessarily understand it’s complexity (it’s just counting computers, right?) and they are unlikely to know the strategic importance of ITAM business intelligence fed to downstream stakeholders. This is why I believe interest in certification against the ISO standard is increasing, as it allows an ITAM team to prove unequivocally that their ITAM team is delivering excellent ITAM processes to their organization.
In a recent survey, organizations were asked about their interest in certification. The number one business driver for looking at certification was validating their work for internal stakeholders, the c-suite, internal audit or internal stakeholders. The second biggest business driver was validating their ITAM practice to external stakeholders, proving to the external world that they treat the management of IT assets seriously. The third largest business driver was raising the profile of their team. Echoing the points made about salaries earlier, ITAM teams can use the standard to differentiate their team from those just playing lip-service to ITAM and not doing it properly, in order to attract and retain top talent.
As the IT profession continues to evolve, ITAM evolves with it. It’s exciting to see the development of the profession and we’re proud to be able to help people with their skills on their career journey.