Connect the Silos

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.  ~Lyric from “Stuck in the middle” by Stealers Wheel

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that ITAM can’t survive in a vacuum.  There can’t be an ITAM silo that lives on its own gathering information and hoarding software.  That kind of department would become “overhead” and eventually be phased out unless it somehow added value.

ITAM can and should be a support group for the rest of the IT organization.  In past blog articles we’ve talked about how ITAM can benefit security by identifying what needs to be secured.  We’ve also discussed the benefits to finance and purchasing by avoiding unnecessary purchases and avoiding fines and late fees.  But wait, there’s more!!

Having solid ITAM data can help populate your Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which helps support IT Service Management (ITSM).  When someone calls the helpdesk, wouldn’t it be helpful for the person answering the phone to be able to look up the computers assigned to the caller?  The CMDB also enables the Change Advisory Board (CAB) in making better decisions.  If a change comes in for a specific server, it’s not always easy to determine the net effect if something were to go wrong.  A complete CMDB can identify everything that relies on that server.

ITAM can and should also help management.  By analyzing past spending, ROI, TCO, and current inventory, management will have solid data on which to base the budget.  TCO will also help with decision making around standard equipment.  TCO goes beyond the purchase price of equipment and includes the costs of servicing and possibly upgrading the equipment.  When comparing different models of computers, the cheapest options may actually have higher TCO than more expensive models.  That would mean that for the higher initial cost, the model would be cheaper in the long run because of other factors, like maybe an upgrade during the lifecycle, or non-warranty repairs to the cheaper models.

These are must a few examples of how ITAM can and should benefit the IT organization as a whole. The moral of the story is that the more cooperation and integration between an ITAM group and the rest of IT, the more benefits ITAM can provide.  So turn off the vacuums and connect the silos!

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