Why IT Asset Management (ITAM) Is Such a Critical Component of TPM

Are you familiar with ITAM and its role in the success or failure of end-user technology infrastructure? Are you able to intelligently discuss ITAM with your team and educate your clients on the topic? That is what we are covering in this blog post.

What is ITAM and how do most companies approach it?

ITAM stands for Information Technology Asset Management, and it has become such an essential aspect of IT that there is now an industry trade organization dealing exclusively with the process. The organization is the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM, www.iaitam.org.)

IAITAM’s Mission Statement:

IAITAM’s mission is to be the principal, non-biased resource for comprehensive IT Asset Management best practices worldwide, enabling practitioners and industry professionals to achieve continuous success through ongoing education, certifications, and networking as well as providing information pathways for knowledge enrichment and professional growth within ITAM.

What is the definition of ITAM?

Gartner defines it as:

“IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”

So, if we’re in the businesses of reselling, VAR, consulting, or even TPM, we need to be plugged into ITAM for our clients and channels. 

At Smart 3rd Party, we’ve proactively developed our own proprietary ITAM product that is available to our clients. In future articles, we’ll share more about how our product works for you and your clients.

For now, we’ll concentrate on some of the main concepts around ITAM.

Full ITAM Results in Hardware/Software Management That Enables Enterprise IT Infrastructure Optimization

Even relatively small businesses can now have hundreds to thousands to sometimes millions of devices, laptops, routers, hubs, servers, storage, etc. that can become unwieldy to keep track of properly. They are all supported by an interface with a similar menagerie of software to drive these assets. And, all have the issues of updates, OEM requirements, maintenance, end-of-life, spares, etc., that affect the mission-critical nature of each enterprise.

We’ve reviewed a white paper from IAITAM that covers the basics. Here’s what they have to say:

“IT assets cause conflict because although they are critical to the work, they remain difficult to control and are very expensive. Organizations without the added discipline and visibility offered by ITAM are often frustrated by the communication gaps that allow assets to be lost, acquisitions made when spares are in the warehouse, or upgrades that fail due to incomplete information. Non-ITAM existing processes, systems, and efforts don’t seem to be enough, and executives begin to doubt the organization’s ability to manage the diverse and mobile portfolio of IT assets.”

Within the IAITAM, there are now certifications for ITAM professionals, and often there are separate managers for software versus hardware in large enterprises. Of course, all of these must be connected and interfaced while ensuring that warranty, OEM, internal and third-party maintenance are all set up for success. 

A Major Issue with Successful ITAM is the Proper Approach to Maintenance Over Asset Lives

As we review the ITAM Whitepaper, we see that the emphasis is on the lifecycle of the assets under management. The stages include overall IT planning, acquisition, deployment, warranty, OEM maintenance, ongoing maintenance, redeployment, updates, true end-of-life, and disposition. 

What is striking about this whole process is how it aligns with the issues we all sell in the TPM world. We’ve talked to you in the past about the Hybrid Approach, and here you can see how the lifecycle approach to IT infrastructure intersects with appropriate TPM.  

 


From the standpoint of
Smart 3rd Party and our partners, we believe that knowledge of ITAM can be crucial for successful sales in the channel to end-users. Inquiring about who manages ITAM and determining how well it’s managed can shed light on opportunities for filling in gaps with the TPM services. 

We urge you to become more familiar with ITAM and use it as a tool to enhance your sales and client relationship strategies. As noted, we at S3P have extensive experience with ITAM and have the proprietary system that we offer exclusively to you and your clients. We would be happy to share our insights and will do so even more in future articles.

Summary of Takeaways:

  • ITAM is a critical component of any business’s overall IT strategy.
  • Through the IAITAM association, you can study the issues that are top of mind for ITAM professionals and potentially network with them or tap into their services and education
  • We at Smart 3rd Party are stepping up our strategies around ITAM and are happy to partner with you to leverage ITAM for partner success.

 



Links/Resources:

https://iaitam.org/

Whitepaper from ITAM:

https://iaitam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/WP_What_is_ITAM_1282.pdf

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