Survey Offers Insight into ITAM – ITAM Professionals Respond to IAITAM 2010 Survey

By IAITAM

As a core competency within the organization, IT Asset Management processes are delivering measurable value in organizations across the globe. Unlike other core competencies where the majority of those responsible are in a single department, ITAM structures range from segmented silos within divisions to organizations with centralized ITAM programs. Influenced by the interests of the executives, legacy department strengths and an interpretation of what aspects of the IT asset lifecycle requires attention at a particular point in time, this diversity leads to confusion, especially when assigning titles, developing job descriptions and evaluating the impact of ITAM to the organization.

Because of these complexities, ITAM surveys have been difficult to conduct and make applicable to all enterprises. Although surveys have not been a major part of IAITAM’s knowledge acquisition, surveys have been conducted since 2003 to assess general trends and to gather longitudinal data. The best results have been gathered at IAITAM’s annual conferences, now the largest conference dedicated to IT Asset Management. This paper summarizes the most interesting results from the 2010 survey and the trends between 2003 and 2010, especially those that highlight ITAM industry growth.

The surveys are intended to gauge the pulse of ITAM practices in organizations with ITAM professionals or at least with individuals focused on these business practices so that attending conferences and training is part of their career paths and responsibilities.

Survey results to date provide insight into current data such as:

  • Direction and importance of Asset Management goals
  • Salary and benefits data
  • Organizational reporting hierarchy
  • Types of industry most interested in pursuing and maintaining strong ITAM programs
  • Employee tenure
  • Range of organizational ITAM support
  • Monetary and non-monetary compensations
  • Comparative timeline data showing positive changes in the ITAM industry
ITAM Industry Organizational Data

The 2010 survey examines which industries have ITAM programs. The results are widely split, with many industries represented. The Banking/Financial services group is over 25% of total respondents. No other industry group matches that concentration, but the number of industry sectors represented is growing.

Based on these responses, it is clear that awareness of ITAM has spread beyond the early adopters (banking, insurance, and health care).

Survey results show that respondents came from every size of organization, but the highest responses are in the categories of 101-2500 employees (22.4%), and over 25,001 employees (32.7%). Since larger organizations have larger ITAM teams (more candidates for answering the survey), an increased commitment to ITAM cannot be assumed. However, the spread of the responses across all size demographics is good news, illustrating an ITAM presence regardless of organizational size.

It is interesting to note that the percentage of people from organizations with less than 100 people represent a proportionately higher percentage of people than the largest organizations. With just as strong a need for ITAM as any other organization, this showing is a positive sign of heightened awareness and understanding regarding the possibilities for goal achievement through ITAM.

Organizational Data and Reporting Responsibilities

Several of the survey questions focus on employee positions and the length of time personnel stay with their organizations. Almost half of the respondents classify themselves as managers. For length in position, about 20% report being in their positions between one and two years, 37% between two and four years, and almost 31% post 5 or more years. There are also 12% of respondents that have been in their roles for less than one year.

An astounding 75% of those surveyed report working for the same organization for five or more years. While the people who work within the ITAM program are staying with their employers, the reporting hierarchy seems to be changing. Earlier surveys showed a large percentage of personnel reporting to standard business roles such as Director, Manager, and Supervisor. The new survey data has a shift to more titles such as Vice President of IT, Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

In reference to reporting responsibilities, 49% of respondents indicate that no one reports directly to them. No conclusion is clear, but aside from those at the analyst level, the concern is that some professionals may be working alone in an unstructured program. This number has dropped, with the 2003 survey showing almost 80% of respondents had no one reporting to them.

There are also people within the organization but outside the ITAM program who provide support. Just as executive buy-in is critical to the success of the ITAM initiative, support from other parts of the enterprise are necessary for effective ITAM implementations. Survey respondents report that they do receive support from other business units; over 50% of the respondents identify at least one and up to several people (roles or positions) they consider to be allies to the ITAM program.

Personnel Compensation Data

The 2010 survey asked respondents about their compensation. Almost 30% of respondents report making $50K – $75K annually. Another 30% of respondents report earning between $75k and $100K, and 27.5% of respondents report earning between $100K and $200K per year. The following table lists the salary range data from the 2003 and 2010 surveys which had slightly different scales but remain an interesting comparison. (All values within this article are represented in USD.)

2003 Combined Annual Salary Ranges Combined Percentages 2010 Combined Annual Salary Ranges Combined Percentages
$30,000 – $50,000 37.0% Less than $50,000 11.0%
$50,001 – $80,000  42.5% $50,001 – $75,000  29.9%
$80,001 – $90,000  12.5%  $75,001 – $100,000  30.7%
Over $90,000 per yr 8.0% $100,001 – $200,000  27.5%
****************** ****************** Over $200,000 0.8%

The table shows a dramatic increase in the overall salaries reported in the seven year period; especially in the upper ranges. The 2010 combined survey data shows over 58% of 2010 respondents earn between $75,000 and $200,000, most likely reflecting the increase in experienced professionals and more management positions in 2010 than in 2003.

Bonuses and non-cash compensation are also important factors in both recruiting and retaining “top-notch” personnel. The 2010 survey shows that 43.8% of the respondents receive cash incentives on a regular basis.

Survey responses indicate non-cash benefits are also available to personnel, but that does not mean these benefits are only relevant to ITAM; they are also given to other employees. The following table shows common non-cash compensations and the 2010 survey percentages:

Answer Options Response Percentages
Medical/dental benefits 94.7%
Employee contribution 401K plan 85.5%
Stock options 30.5%
Employee-funded retirement plan/pension 60.3%
Education reimbursement 78.6%
Childcare reimbursement or credits 21.4%
Other 7.6%
Breadth of the ITAM Program

The IAITAM Best Practice Library (IBPL) defines the full breadth of IT Asset Management and divides the processes into twelve Key Process Areas (KPAs). These KPAs are used in the survey to investigate the extent of the ITAM program by asking the respondents to identify which KPAs are relevant to their ITAM program.

The survey response indicates that respondents place importance on all KPAs with the possible exception of Legislation Management, which percentage-wise, receives the least amount of involvement.

The KPA showing the highest percentage of respondent involvement is Asset Identification Management at 78.6%. Next is Compliance Management 70.7%, followed by Acquisition Management and Disposal Management both at 64.3%. These four KPAs are involved in risk and risk management by maintaining compliance, identification of assets and inventory control.

Survey responses indicate about 80% of the ITAM programs are run by full-time employees. Of the people working in ITAM, About 23% are dedicated to Software Asset Management, or some aspect of it, and around 15% are dedicated to Hardware Asset Management, or some aspect of it.

Survey results reveal that a dominating 51% are assigned dual responsibility for both Software and Hardware Asset Management. The concern for this duality is that new programs may be understaffed, under-funded, and function within a powerful learning curve.

Survey responses also indicate that many organizations are at least partially staffed with part-time personnel. Correct levels of staffing are difficult to describe because of all of the variables between programs. Questions include how many persons and work-hours per person are dedicated to the program? Do the ITAM program’s part-time individuals have other primary responsibilities? Are some of the functions outsourced? In the survey responses, nearly 80% of respondent’s programs are run by full-time employees, offering the continuity and commitment that leads to strength and growth. Part-time percentages are much lower and mixed between personnel who spend half their time on ITAM endeavors and those that spend varying degrees of time on ITAM activities.

Satisfaction

An indicator of the commitment to ITAM is the level of satisfaction from the work expressed by the respondents. Almost 73% of respondents report that they are satisfied with their current positions and organizations. A strong, favorable response was not seen on previous surveys.

Respondents were asked to check all that apply, leading to over 100% response and more comments on satisfaction. Almost 20% of responders admit to seeking new opportunities, 12% feel they are underpaid and not fully appreciated, and over 17% indicate that their seniors don’t even know what they do for the organization.

Over half (56%) of the same respondents indicate they feel that IT Asset Management is valued by peers and senior management. For personal contentment, 74% say that they are satisfied with their current position and plan to stay; the other 26% are split between four groups who are either thinking about or acting upon changes in their careers.

Who are the Respondents

The people involved in ITAM are an educated group, with over 38% possess a Bachelor’s degree, 19% have achieved a Master’s degree, and 10% have completed some graduate studies. In addition to their regular education, the 2010 survey participants are highly certified, including IAITAM’s certifications as well as other certifications:

Answer Options Response Percentage
CSAM 73.4%
CHAMP 57.0%
CITAM 27.8%
Other 27.8%

Age does not seem to be a principal factor in any of the data that has been gathered to date, yet there an age group that appears to be dominant. The largest reported age group is 51-55 which constitutes 21.6% of respondents. The next largest group is 41-45, and following them is 46-50. Combined, these three groups (41-55) account for 57.5% of all survey respondents. With the expectation that people have migrated into the ITAM program from other organizational positions, the age classification is not surprising. ITAM requires significant internal knowledge and business savvy.

IAITAM is continuing to conduct surveys and present results that provide insight into the role and nature of IT Asset Management within organizations around the globe. For the IAITAM 2011 ACE conference, IAITAM invites all attending practitioners to complete the new survey to continue the investigation.