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5 things in ITAM for 2019 you don’t want to miss….

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We’re already into 2019 and looking forward to new achievements.

So,it’s time to produce a feature on what we believe is the top 5 for those in world of ITAM to be looking out for in 2019. We would be interested to hear your thoughts also – do you agree/disagree? Or could you populate 6 thru 10 onto this list?

1.    The Rise and Rise of ServiceNow
It most likely came as a surprise to a lot of people that ServiceNow in 2018 was named by Forbes as the world’s most innovative company. And this ahead of companies such as Tesla and Amazon that some would consider innovation leader – which they most certainly are, but in the Forbes list behind ServiceNow that topped the list as number 1. ServiceNow has long been on top of the shopping list for IT Service Management tools in the enterprise segment, and the fact that they’ve now added SAM to the feature list sets expectations that the tool market for SAM & ITAM will mature further in the years to come. ServiceNow is (at its heart) a workflow engine applied to the discipline of ITSM.  Where this places it at an advantage in respect of ITAM, is that it is a tool that commands the use of this platform to achieve given tasks in the IT Service Management lifecycle.  The appeal to make the transition to SAM & ITAM becomes compelling, due to how the ITSM and ITAM interweave when correctly practiced.

Some of the tips, tricks and benefits of existing SAM suite players can currently out-perform the SAM-Pro module within ServiceNow, but here’s the thing:  Not everyone wants to be at a top-tier of SAM maturity.  Good enough might just be good enough for some – and if you’re investing in an IT Service Management suite like ServiceNow, would a SAM-Pro module bolt-on satisfy your SAM needs?  Additionally, like any juggernaut, ServiceNow will not stand still, and so an aggressive road-map of development will see it snipping at the heels of existing SAM suite providers. And so, to the current SAM suite tool providers:  You’re gonna need a bigger boat or row faster than ever!

2.    Clients becoming more contract savvy
In a recent chat with Ian Camino of Cloud Optics, he stated that a couple of goes on the SaaS merry-go-round has started to produce a select band of clients who are becoming remarkably adept at defining what it is they expect from a SaaS service, including compensation for service outages, as well as aligning IT services to business requirements.  Back in the day, HP coined the phrase “Utility Computing” whereby, your IT bill was determined by consumption and the click rate of your CPU.  HP’s biggest mistake was that it was too ahead of its time. We are rapidly heading to that scenario – indeed, some might argue we are there already.  The silver lining out of all of this is that providing we are not attempting to bundle our cloud bill into one figure at the bottom of a spreadsheet, we can start to dissect IT spend, and therefore extrapolate IT service spend and then proceed to IT value-chain analysis.  Once we arrive here, then we should be in a position to empower a vendor-relationship function to make laser-like requests of software providers to the effect: “What have you done for us lately?”

3.    An increase in the use of Second-hand software (EU Only) & Third-Party Support
Many clients don’t need (or can’t afford to be) at the bleeding edge of technology, and so an increasing number of clients will be drawn to “retired/ unsupported” versions of on-premise software supported by a third party.  We’d also hope for a legal test case in the US to provide re-sale rights of software for those who wish to trade their unused purchases.  The legal principle already exists:  people in the US don’t pay a kick-back to Ford or GM when they trade in their cars – so why should software vendors feel as though they should be treated any differently?  Principles of exhaustion around IP applied to software could unleash massive value for the US economy.

4.    ITAM moving sideways
The BI goldmine that has largely been untapped by ITAM, is starting to bear fruit.  We are seeing an ever-widening land-grab by ITAM to support key IT operations elements such as IT Procurement, Software Request, Configuration Management, Deployment and Information Security.  The one constant in life is change: and this is never truer than in ITAM – Think back five years ago:  if someone had approached you as a SAM Manager and asked you for a list of installed software that is not patched, or the correct version, you would have smirked and pointed them in the direction of the Info Sec team.  These days, with the right software, that’s nothing more than a dashboard/ email away.

5.    Uptake RPA
Robotic Process Automation has the capacity to offer a new level of SAM maturity for enterprise companies that feel a cast of thousands is required to make SAM/ITAM happen in their organisation.  RPA is causing a minor bow-wave in financial institutions as it seeks to automate the repetitive tasks that comprise a worker’s day-to-day routine.  Sound familiar?! SAM/ITAM rarely spends more than a day out of a spreadsheet manipulating data in some fashion, so why not get an RPA bot to do it instead?  Beware of those RPA consultants who might claim a productivity increase of 200% (bots can run 24/7/365 and your typical human worker puts in a measly 8 hours a day) – decision points as to what to do with that data still falls to people who know good SAM from bad.
NB:  To get to a point where you can automate processes, you have to have current manual processes that work and work well.  A bad process plus RPA equals a bad automated process – don’t compound poor behaviour.

Well those are 5 key areas for ITAM to look out for. We would welcome your feedback, and whether you think the list above could be added to.