ITAM, Table of One

By Stephanie Baerenwald

IT Asset Management can be a lonely world, especially in a small or medium sized business. I typically describe ITAM as a hub that brings the business and technical teams together to achieve success. At my current organization, that hub started with just me. One person thrust into a world of hardware and software chaos, and in my particular situation, a previous ITAM analyst that threw away any historical records. #thanksalot

Where do you start? Who can you bounce ideas off of? Who can understand the daunting tasks?

It really does just begin with one step at a time. What’s on your plate right now? What contracts are coming due? What hardware is older than dirt (be honest, we all have at least one desktop someone refuses to give back!)? What software title is going rogue and being installed from a network drive everyone has access to?

One time, I was a team of one, and a newbie…I had about 2 weeks in and I was told was to process our annual SnagIt renewal. I remember pulling reports, reaching out to users and managers, and coming up with a more accurate count. I coupled that with a new 3 year agreement with TechSmith, which locked in our rate at a lower price per user, and gave us annual billing to coincide with our budget. I thought I had done a basic task…processing a contract renewal, maintaining our licensing compliance, and staying within the budget (bonus for saving a little more!). I reported back to my manager and our CTO, and they were stunned. They were STUNNED that someone took the time to put us in a better position with one software title. I was stunned they didn’t expect it. I was shocked at how much this company was spending on software, without seeing any additional value. Enter ITAM!

The CTO quickly realized there was a new sheriff asset manager in town. That also translated into a major stakeholder supporting me, and we were off to better times.

Now I realize everyone’s in a different place, but I believe there are 3 key expectations anyone can start with to make a real difference with asset management:

  1. Communicate, communicate, and COMMUNICATE! And don’t be afraid of over-communicating; be a leader in setting the expectation of communication!
  2. Ask tons of questions; your stakeholders and colleagues have different strengths and skillsets…take advantage of their knowledge to keep your own learning growth active
  3. Do not say “no” to any request; ask for the fundamental why to bring out what’s really trying to be accomplished, and find an “even better if” that works within your ITAM program

It takes time, it takes effort, but your contributions to the organization are going to result in real value. Just keep taking one bite at a time!

About the Author

Stephanie Baerenwald is currently the IT Asset Manager at SKYGEN USA, with over 12 years of ITAM experience. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems, and holds the CAMP, CAMSE, and CITAM certifications.