On May 17, in the heart of London, we attended the first ITAM Forum Leadership Summit in Leicester...
IT teams are currently facing challenges: On the one hand, they face high levels of stress due to scarce resources, and on the other hand, there is often a lack of internal support and visibility for their work. Standardization in the management of IT assets would help, but here the industry is only at the beginning (see also ITAM Forum Leadership Blog). Agile IT asset managers are needed who can quickly adapt IT portfolios to new market situations and apply budgets efficiently.
Which topics will move IT asset managers in 2023?
Global challenges are moving many companies to a more conscious approach to IT assets and are thus also influencing the ITAM industry. Several factors are at play:
- Inflation climbed to new record highs in many industrialized countries, putting IT budgets under pressure.
- Skilled labor shortages require greater efforts to recruit in-house talent, but also increase the need for more efficient processes and automation.
- Geopolitical tensions have greatly increased the importance of resilience and security issues.
- Companies increasingly expect their suppliers to have functioning and certified management systems in place.
Efficient management of IT assets in demand due to inflation-driven price increases
Although the situation regarding IT budgets is slowly easing, approval processes are becoming more complex. To get funds approved for new IT projects, IT asset managers must therefore have their numbers under control. A solid business case must be presented before a CFO will give approval. In addition, more attention is being paid to ensuring that new projects meet an ROI.
Gartner estimates that 65% of CFOs plan to counter inflation and rising purchase prices with price increases. But that's not the only tool. For 23% of CFOs each, cost optimization and efficiency improvements are the measures of choice to minimize the impact on the business in the short to medium term.
Dedicated IT asset managers are needed because price increases from software, hardware and IT service providers have a significant impact on IT budgets. When vendors regularly increase prices for ongoing maintenance contracts and subscriptions, companies feel compelled to identify strategically important applications and divert budgets for these vendors from other providers.
IT asset managers juxtapose usage data and costs to provide exactly the analytics a CFO and their team need. The IT portfolio is gradually adjusted to focus on strategic software vendors, while new and lower-cost alternatives are sought for niche functions.
Automation on the rise due to shortage of talent
With managed service provider fees also rising significantly, or companies reluctant to outsource critical services to contractors to reduce the risk of security incidents and dependence on third parties in general, services must increasingly be delivered by internal resources.
Increasing spending on skilled IT staff is driving companies to standardize processes and reduce or completely automate manual work through digital processes. Cloud computing increases the need for automation. By 2025, companies will spend an average of 70% of their expenses on cloud-based software. Appropriate tools are needed to manage them, because cloud resources and SaaS applications need to be actively managed.
The high dynamics in this IT area require special attention, as companies must act actively as soon as cloud services are made available via the standardized software request process. Only in this way does the company retain control over usage and costs.
Companies need to invest in the right tools to enforce and continuously measure compliance with agreed cloud governance. Classic SAM tools or dedicated cloud management tools can quickly address this.
Proof quality: Get IT asset management ISO certified
Supplier assessments that query management systems around IT security or sustainability / ESG (environmental, social and governance) in a structured manner are now firmly established in many industries and the requirements have been successively tightened by new standards. A prominent example is SAQ 5.0 in the automotive industry.
With a certification of IT asset management systems, companies can officially document to both customers and software manufacturers as suppliers that they have "done their homework".
We were therefore delighted to learn that HDI, an insurer belonging to the Talanx Group, was the first company in the world to achieve official certification in accordance with ISO 19770. It is safe to assume that other companies will follow in the coming months.
This is also because the ITAM Forum, together with the official certification partner Brand Compliance, is offering the ISO/IEC 19770-1 Practitioner Course. Trained consultants will then be able to apply the ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard and help their company document, analyze systems, and evaluate existing processes, preparing them for an audit by Brand Compliance.
The certification will help companies professionalize the way they handle IT assets. Soon, ISO/IEC 19770-1 is likely to become more established and more important in supplier selection. IT asset management teams should be prepared and deal with the standard accordingly.