3 Results That Build the Business Case for ITAM

By Tom Watson

Do you want a fast way to make your CIO or CFO yawn? Start talking about needing budget for process improvements, such as moving from spreadsheets to cloud software for tracking hardware assets.

While you and I know those process changes could deliver major efficiencies to your ITAM operation, they will make your senior executives’ eyes glaze over. What’s more, you are going to seem out of step with the moment: The pandemic has upended operations, triggering budget cuts and reordering priorities.

It’s more important than ever to make a compelling case for investing in ITAM.

Three arguments to win over senior leadership

The key to persuading top management is to speak their language, solve their problems and help realize their strategic objectives. It begins and ends with showcasing ITAM’s vital role in securing organizational growth, competitiveness and success.

1. ITAM delivers strategic outcomes

Instead of process, talk about results. ITAM is essential to driving strategic outcomes that matter to senior management. Those outcomes include cost savings, reduced compliance risk, better security, and improved resource management.

Grab their attention with data:

  • On average, “ghost assets” (assets on the books that don’t actually exist) account for 3% to 5% of total hardware inventory. The extra cost of software licenses, maintenance contracts, taxes and insurance for those missing assets is significant, as is the increased compliance risk.
  • There’s an average of 3% to 5% discrepancy in every hardware order, according to ITAM managed services provider Re-Source Partners. If your annual IT procurement runs $100 million, that translates into $3 million to $5 million. That’s a lot of laptops, keyboards, headsets and other hardware that you paid for but didn’t receive.

Real-world results

Here are some specific savings and outcomes that our clients have achieved by applying modern IT tracking and management software and processes:

  • A global airline uncovered maintenance contracts worth $2 million per quarter for hardware assets no longer in use.
  • A large health system saved $5 million in soft costs, or indirect costs to manage assets such as auditing, receiving, disposal and reconciliation expenses, over five years.
  • A top-10 U.S. bank increased asset data accuracy and compliance from 67% to 100% within 12 months while improving security.

More effective ITAM that enables better hardware purchase reconciliation, tracking and auditing will provide an immediate ROI.

2. ITAM is a pillar of digital transformation

Moving to digital processes and automating ITAM delivers the much-sought-after benefits of digital transformation. Those benefits include increased productivity, less human error and improved field tech and end-user satisfaction. You can make more informed decisions with real-time access to current and complete data and analytics, too.

By digitally transforming and automating IT asset management, you also put in place key infrastructure to support more digital IT and business processes. Then, your organization can innovate and introduce new products, services, and customer experiences to expand and attract new business.

3. ITAM is a global best practice

If you’ve been trying to track hardware using software asset management and discovery tools, you are not alone. But that patchwork approach has proven a bust.

Tracking software licenses and using data-center discovery tools creates information and process gaps for hardware. Making matters worse are all the end-user assets now in remote work locations.

Acknowledging the need for a more robust system, ITAM has been re-established as the worldwide standard. In 2019, Axelos rolled out ITIL 4, the first update of global best practices for delivering IT services since 2011. After making ITAM optional in the previous guidelines, ITIL 4 reintroduced the need for ITAM as a core function.

Cloud software that supports tracking of both on-premise and remote assets in use by work-at-home employees can help companies effectively manage availability, security, compliance and costs.

About the Author

Tom Watson, IT technology expert and entrepreneur, is the founder and chief executive of AMI. Since 2003, Tom has grown AMI and its flagship application, AssetTrack, into the industry leader in hardware asset management. Tom previously worked as a software developer for several technology startups, including senior architect for Micropath’s asset inventory software. At Micropath, he saw how hard it was for companies to keep track of hardware, which served as the impetus for AMI and AssetTrack. Tom graduated from the University of Washington. When he’s not playing soccer, Tom writes songs, plays guitar and takes lead vocals for a Seattle band called Crown Hill.