Gaining Visibility Within the C-Suite

ITAM’s Time to Shine

Gaining Visibility Within the C-Suite

ITAM’s Time to Shine: Gaining Visibility Within the C-Suite

Given the current state of the world, IT Asset Managers are feeling more pressure than ever to reduce costs. Everyone in the C-Suite wants answers around how to reduce spend, spend smarter, justify spend … and so on.

Up until this point, however, many individuals in IT Asset Management (ITAM) roles have felt as though they’ve been working in the shadows. If you’re in ITAM, there’s a good chance you’ve found it difficult to get your efforts recognized by the same internal stakeholders that are asking for answers. While it isn’t exactly easy to build relationships with senior executives, it shouldn’t be impossible. In fact, now is your time to shine. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s ITAM’s turn to step into the spotlight, the actions you can take now and in the future, and how to gain visibility within the C-Suite.

Why It’s Hard to Get a Seat at the Table

Unfortunately, IT Asset Managers have a difficult time gaining exposure to the C-Suite. While trying to get that level of visibility is challenging, it’s necessary for ITAM teams to build relationships with the C-Suite and other executive sponsors, as they’re the ones who will be scrutinizing spend.

Through the lens of the pandemic, ITAM teams have never been busier. When the world scrambled to get telecommuting policies in place, ITAM teams were put into overdrive to ensure their organizations were staying safe, secure, and in compliance. And according to a recent 'Fortune 500 Outlook' survey, 75 percent of organizations say the pandemic will accelerate the technological transformation of their business.

COVID-19 has left many businesses in a vulnerable position, and those at the C-Level are looking to cut costs. In other words, they’re scrutinizing software spend. It’s now up to ITAM to build a relationship with the C-Suite and provide the justification needed to continue to smartly invest in a Software Lifecycle Management (SLM) strategy.

From an ITAM perspective, it is found to be 3x more likely to succeed and provide the ROI intended from the business case with senior stakeholder engagement and accountability from the top all the way down.

Understanding the Short, Medium, and Long-Term Actions

Now that you understand the importance of having visibility at the C-Level, it’s time to break down the actual steps you can take in the short, medium, and long term to get there. To bring the ITAM role to light, there are a few steps you can take to turn the tide in your direction. Let’s break these down a bit further:

SAM Data Collection

Start with your software asset management (SAM) tool. Leverage your organization’s current SAM tool to gain visibility of installation, version, editions, and software usage. The key here is to prioritize your review of assets depending on upcoming renewals and big vendors so you can ensure quick wins, avoid extra costs, and save on spend.

Cloud Spend Management

Many organizations are faced with bridging the gap between technology and licensing – this is not a new challenge. However, with significantly more production workloads/applications getting moved to the cloud, there is even greater complexity at a much more rapid pace. Staying compliant, approving complex invoices, and leveraging software entitlements are all becoming daily challenges. Learning how to manage – and ultimately how to show value down to the second -- will be a highly viable and important function. This is definitely an area that can have an impact within a short time period, and make significant cost savings over the short, medium and long term!

Entitlement & Contract Management

When it comes to entitlements and contracts, you’re going to want to gain better control and visibility by leveraging vendor portals and/or licensing partners. This will give you a good understanding of what’s happening with the software licenses for any given vendor. Once you have this information, your organization won’t only have the ability to pair this with other insights to start making more informed decisions, but you will have a stronger case for negotiating when it comes time to renew. Again, this will bring cost savings the C-Suite will appreciate.

Renewal Scheduling & Tracking

For renewal scheduling and tracking, make sure you are aware of when the fiscal year ends for each vendor your organization has and when it would be best to try to negotiate with those vendors. If any of these vendors have decided to ease up on renewal dates and discussions due to the pandemic, be sure to take full advantage. No matter when or how you have the renewal conversation, make sure you discuss financing and payment terms, and be aggressive with what you ask for. After all, these are uncertain and unprecedented times and vendors may be willing to work with you.

Adjusting Costs to Real Demand

To adjust costs to real demand, combine a few of the steps we’ve already walked through. Pair the SAM data you’ve collected with the contract and entitlement data that’s been uncovered so you can nail down a true license position for your current state. Speak to the product owners or architects to understand the future strategy for each product set within that vendor, and you not only have a current position, but also a vision of where you want to be. Your data in the current state should be an invaluable resource to assist in establishing future requirements. Then, you can use this information to inform the bill of materials and negotiate the right products and quantities at the time of renewal. Once again, due to the state of the world, we recommend trying to ensure a more flexible licensing model or contract terms. This will only help your organization in the long run.

Audit Readiness

Your C-Suite may not be aware that vendors are still moving forward with audits despite the pandemic. It’s important to convey to them that a single audit could truly be devastating in a time like this. Once you break down the cost and effects of an audit, your C-Suite should be more apt to keep your budget as is so you can ensure you have audit defense in place.

Remember:

There are only about 90 days left until the end of the year, which should be all the motivation you need to put these steps in motion. Imagine the position you could be in once the new year begins if you get started now!

Don't Miss It

To hear more specific tips around getting started, be sure to listen to the ITAM Review Webinar.

Register here

Once you have begun to work on these short and medium-term steps, you can begin to build a best-practice SAM approach for the long term. These steps all work together to help the ITAM team create a stronger and more efficient approach to SAM. This includes mature processes, aligned skilled resources, and best-fit SAM technology. All of which will future-proof your organization so you can only spend what you need and stay in compliance through an overarching SLM strategy.

How SoftwareONE Can Support Your C-Suite Strategy

We know that ITAM is critical to the success of an organization. With our Diagnostic Platform, we can provide you with a 360-degree view of your software estate, so you can bring stronger insights to the C-Suite.

We have a great deal of experience working with the C-Level and believe in the benefits of strong SLM. That’s why we provide our customers with a comprehensive diagnostic tool that their C-Suite can really leverage. This means the C-Level stays informed through real-time dashboards, so they remain apprised of areas that need to be addressed in the short term and long term. We understand that people need relevant data insights for the C-Suite, and we can help mine the most useful - and most digestible - elements.

Plus, holistic diagnostics bring a level of audit protection to the organization that you may not have had before, so your C-Suite can rest easy knowing you have proactive audit defense.

The Bottom Line

Though these times are challenging, IT Asset Managers have been given an opportunity to truly shine at their organization. When you put the wheels in motion and start laying the groundwork for a better future, your C-Suite will start to look to you for answers. You are in the driver’s seat! Work on building your foundation with the C-Suite and explain the benefits along the way. Once everyone sees and truly understands the benefits of investing in a strong SLM strategy, you’ll stay in the spotlight.

Continue Your Knowledge

We teamed up with ITAM Review for the webinar, “ITAM’s Time to Shine: Gaining Visibility Within the C-Suite.” Listen to the recording now to learn how to not only make your work visible to the C-Suite but make it shine!

Listen Now

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Author

Antony Attfield, Head of SLM Solution Sales, SoftwareONE UK

Antony Attfield

Head of SLM Solution Sales, SoftwareONE UK

Software Asset Management

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