ITAM Solution or a Social Network?

By Michael Dalke

Are we building ITAM solutions or social networks within our companies?

If we look at available social network definitions, we see common themes. Social networks are networks of interpersonal relationships. Said another way, people go to social networks to connect to other people. Additionally, communication facilitation is the premier focus area. Everything related to the social network is intended to facilitate simple interactions from the volunteers who post information. Likewise, make it as “easy as pie” for users to find information they are interested in.

If we think about it, our subconscious minds have come to recognize that social networks give a lot but ask very little from us. Additionally, each content consumer or submitter can feel like they are a part of something “really big.”

Now with several years working in the ITAM space, I used to say, building an ITAM service, at my company, was the largest corporate “social experiment” I had ever been a part of. I now believe, our ITAM service is one of the largest, strongest, and most dynamic social networks within the company. Literally, thousands of new datacenter, private cloud, and public cloud assets flow through the system every month. Hundreds of teams, representing even more employees, are all voluntarily supplying critical business information about their assets. In turn, they receive back much more than they give, and they understand they are a part of something really big.

What does the above mean to ITAM experts?

  • Bottom line, do we have the right focus for our ITAM services?
  • Have we reflected recently on the user experience of our ITAM solutions?
  • How slow or cumbersome is it to enter information into the systems?
  • Is asset data held captive behind archaic interfaces or is the data quickly available anywhere in the globe from any digital device?
  • Most importantly, would we put up with our ITAM solutions if ITAM was not part of our job?

We are at a fascinating time in history. Virtually every human we know has personal experience with some sort of digital social network. This means virtually every human has seen what social networks have to offer.

Of course, our friends and colleagues understand, no ITAM service has a blank check from the company. That said, if we know where our ITAM solutions are hemorrhaging, rest assured our internal customers know as well.

Managers of successful social networks are fascinating people. They are experts in “good-old customer-service.” They ensure the human communication experience is super enjoyable. No coercion is used. Daily, the social network user cannot wait to get back online and use the product.

What if our users approached our ITAM solutions with similar eagerness?

About the Author

Leveraging 20+ years of experience in enterprise level IT, Michael Dalke has led his company through its multi-year ITAM transformation. As a systems architect and manager, Michael is passionate about both technical and organizational disciplines.