Nov 04, 2020

Best Practices for IT Asset Management (ITAM)

IT Asset Management or ITAM is a set of business practices that integrates the organization of a company’s IT assets across business units. ITAM oversees the financial, inventory, contractual and risk management responsibilities of these assets throughout their lifecycle, and supports strategic decision making.

Image of IT asset management professionals meeting at The ITAM Forum 2020 | Aspera Blog

Although a software license compliance audit or a merger may be the initial reason your organization invests in ITAM, there are countless additional benefits. Particularly in the current economy, a well-constructed ITAM program generates tremendous cost savings through enhanced transparency, business agility, and proactive risk management.

But how can ITAM deliver the most business value to your organization? This article will review best practices for IT Asset Management, and how to introduce measurable benefits to meet the short and long-term goals of your organization.

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New in 2020: The ITAM Forum

Newly formed this year, the ITAM Forum is an industry trade association intended to gather ITAM industry professionals under a single entity. Its primary goal is to help organizations save money, while hoping to increase awareness of the ITAM industry and to create a space for ITAM leaders to work together. Regardless of where you are on your ITAM journey, the ITAM Forum offers proven best practices for IT Asset Management.

Aspera is proud to be one of the vendor representatives on the board of the ITAM Forum, providing a vendor-neutral view of all Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions providers.

In the inaugural September 2020 German chapter meeting hosted by Aspera, 79% of participants indicated that the importance of ITAM for modern companies is on the rise, and an overwhelming majority (76%) also felt that the relevance of ISO 19770 is “high” for the DACH market.

Because of the increased importance of IT and software for the competitiveness of modern enterprises, it’s more important than ever to manage assets effectively. By supporting the ITAM Forum, Aspera hopes to improve the recognition and successful practice of Software Asset Management, as well as to help create a platform that supports the trustworthy exchange of best practices in handling IT assets.

The next German Chapter meeting of The ITAM Forum is scheduled for Jan 26th, 2021.

Using the ISO ITAM standards

The seasoned professionals of the ITAM Forum are working to create a new certification program for ITAM solutions based on the global ISO norm for the ITAM industry – ISO 19770. Until now there hasn’t been a formally recognized process for certifying organizations according to ISO 19770. The ITAM Forum intends to become the industry association responsible for supporting and shaping this certification process.

As you establish an ITAM program, use the ISO/IEC 19770 as a framework. These ITAM processes help your organization’s Software Asset Management (SAM) practice show that it’s operating to a proper standard, meet corporate governance requirements, and ensure effective support for overall IT asset management.

A subset of ITAM, Software Asset Management is the driving business strategy for reclaiming budget and maximizing savings by actively controlling and automating procurement, usage, and deployment of software licenses. There are three central focus areas for SAM:

  • Compliance. Control costs, risks, and complexity with transparency
  • Optimization. Get more mileage out of your licenses by knowing what’s in them and how you’re using them
  • Savings. Use SAM insights to lower licensing costs and save time

The new ISO ITAM standards consist of 27 process areas with clear, defined objectives for each one. The standard also advocates a tier-based approach that lets organizations adapt ITAM processes to meet its exact needs.

Business benefits of ISO organizational certification

Attaining the ISO organizational certification helps your ITAM program deliver stronger value. According to the ITAM Forum, benefits of certification include:

  • Demonstrating good governance: With a globally recognized certification, ITAM professionals can demonstrate their competence to those who are less familiar with ITAM, such as top management and end users.
  • Enforcing trustworthy data: Management can have more trust in the data provided by ITAM when they know it meets agreed standards, so they can make more confident decisions.
  • Enforced linking into corporate objectives: In common with all other ISO Management System Standards – the objectives for an ITAM ISO system must be clearly linked into corporate objectives.
  • Coordination with other ISO systems: Many organizations will have implemented other ISO Management System Standards, such as for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001), Service Management (ISO/IEC 20000-1), or Quality Management (ISO 9001). With similar designs with make it comparatively easy for them to interrelate and integrate.


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Topics: ITAM/ITSM, Industry News + Events