A recent rainy weekend here in Michigan gave me some time to catch up on some industry reading. I had been anxious to review Deloitte’s Global Survey on ITAM. It was really perfect timing as we are just now starting a series of meetings about our strategic plan for 2022 and this insight is helpful in determining where to focus our attention.
I personally found this report to be a great reminder that even though the world is changing, IT Professionals do not have the luxury of waiting until things get “back to normal”. In fact, IT professionals have been burdened with having to be even more revolutionary and look for ways to do more with less. Technology, after all will be the solution to so many of the “new” challenges that every area of the business faces.
Here are some of my observations of the report’s main topics:
The current state of ITAM.
84% of the respondents said that they lack a truly effective ITAM program at their organization. Furthermore, 90% believe that business challenges, regulation and challenging technology environment is making it more challenging to build and maintain an effective ITAM program.
Since I get the pleasure of working with many different IT professionals and large organizations, I can say that the Clients of ours that have been the most successful at navigating change are the ones who have clear prioritization over the tasks that are involved in ITAM. The Companies that I see catapulting to the future in a hurry seem to have done a great job in determining which aspects of operations are things that they need to do versus things that they can automate and/or outsource.
A truly effective ITAM program would have served many of these respondents well had it been in place going into 2019. More importantly it is truly a shame that these Organizations feel so unprepared. I hope that the most Senior Leaders recognize this and turn to the ITAM experts of the world to help make an effective program a true priority.
Leadership and Organization.
Ahh yes…the non-modern belief system that ITAM is an IT function for saving money and that it has no role in adding value to the rest of the organization.
This is a tough one, because it is hard to believe that this thought still even exists, though I can assure you that it does. We have been approached by Clients and prospective Clients with all kinds of new ideas or thoughts on how to “solve” ITAM given the changes to the work landscape. Many of these were really good ideas, however the only ideas that evolved into anything effective were those with top-down support. It is just that simple.
The article points out that “to bring ITAM to the future, companies need to look beyond the supporting structures to the core business and bring VALUE to the core business”. I could not say this any better though I would remind everyone that nothing will change without buy-in.
The future of ITAM
As the CEO of an ITAM service provider I have to constantly shine my crystal ball and try and see what the future holds. It doesn’t always work very well. Predicting the future is really difficult especially when trying to look beyond a few years.
I will be first to admit that of all the daydreaming I have done on the future of ITAM I never once thought “what would happen to ITAM if suddenly most of the world’s workforce had to work from home”. I have thought about it a lot since then but my point here is that seeing the future is really really hard!
I noticed something interesting statistic that was somewhat buried in this section of the article is the point that “the beginning and end of the IT Lifecyle appear to present the most difficult challenges to respondents”. This would be a perfect spot for me to try and sell you some services. Since that is not the point here, I would recommend reflecting on what is being said here. Technology is an essential business component and today in more cases than not it is a true business driver…yet the beginning and end of the hardware and software lifecycle present the most challenges? That makes for a very challenging situation when it comes to transformation.
If the future of business is dependent on technology then being able to deploy and retire assets effectively is a necessity. Our Clients who have a good process and leverage technology to perform these tasks are much more innovative and forward thinking than those that are stumbling in these areas. The conversations with the former revolve around really exciting ideas on how the future could look whereas our discussions with the latter tend to focus on how frustrated and overworked they are in these areas.
Vendor Management and Collaboration
It is difficult for me to try and say anything here as eloquently as Deloittes point of view and predictions on this topic. They show a very simple “virtuous cycle” of Vendor Relationship Management.
I recently met with the CIO of one of our clients who was interested in visiting us to celebrate some of the success we had last year during the pandemic. That success ultimately inspired some additional service offerings and growth of our business together. More importantly I would add that the success of that program helped keep their high-level initiatives on track while other Companies in their position scrambled to piece solutions together.
Having never visited and toured any of our “Depots” our client was blown away by the precision and accuracy that can be afforded to a process when it is a core competency. In that meeting it was determined that we should be included in their Strategic Planning and we have already come up with a few changes that help align us with their big picture.
A Vendor can deliver services and can do a really good job and the relationship functions…but a Strategic Partner we can sit on the same side of the table with multiple Vendors, share perspectives and really make sure that the services they are buying align with and support Leadership initiatives. This requires a high level of trust, however the beauty of it is that each and every conversation builds upon that trust, and it is where real innovation and transformation makes progress.
It is a very exciting time to be in ITAM…and it sure can be a pain in the neck. What I appreciate most about this report is that while it confirms many of the fears and challenges associated with ITAM it does a great job of simplifying the challenges down into a few concepts that are well worth focusing on.