IT Asset Management (ITAM) has historically focused on software license compliance, however ITAM teams offer so much more to organizations beyond compliance. ITAM professionals have typically worked in the shadows, however market forces have recently thrust ITAM into the spotlight. This has sparked a need for professional organizations to educate companies about ITAM and all the benefits it has to offer. Enter the ITAM Forum – a not-for-profit trade body led by ITAM professionals for ITAM professionals created to advance the ITAM industry as a whole.
We are proud to be a patron of ITAM Forum, and we had the opportunity to sit down with Martin Thompson, the creator of ITAM Forum, to hear more about the organization and its goals for the ITAM industry in general.
Martin, thanks for talking with us today.
Can you tell us how the idea for ITAM Forum came about?
Martin: “As someone who has worked in the ITAM industry for many years, I have seen how quickly ITAM has ascended in the last few years, moving out of the back office and into the boardroom. But I was also conscious that this has not happened everywhere, with many companies still not benefitting from ITAM. So I spent some time speaking with other members of the industry to see if there was interest in creating a professional body to represent and promote the ITAM industry. I soon realized I wasn’t the only person thinking this way, and thus the ITAM Forum was born.”
What is your mission/vision/goal for the organization?
Martin: “ITAM Forum has two primary objectives:
To educate and evangelize – to encourage more companies to perform proper IT Asset Management practices and to attract new professionals into the industry.
To be a caretaker of a new organizational certification program for ITAM, to allow end-user organizations to demonstrate the quality of their ITAM practices, not only internally to the rest of their organization, but also externally to peer organizations and to software publishers who are skeptical of customers’ use of their products.”
Can you tell us more about the organizational certification program for ITAM professionals?
Martin: “Sure. Your readers may or may not be familiar with ISO19770, the global ISO standard for the ITAM industry. Despite ISO19770 having been published in 2006, there has never been a formally recognized way for organizations to certify themselves against the standard. Some firms have sought to implement its standards as best practice, but overall there is little incentive for firms to invest to the extent necessary to achieve ISO19770 compliance because it cannot be independently certified.”
“The ITAM Forum aims to change this by developing an ITAM certification that makes it worthwhile for organizations to invest in ITAM. With a universally recognized certification, ITAM professionals will be able to demonstrate to their peers and stakeholders that they meet the highest working practices in the industry. This in turn will drive further adoption of the standard, raising up the ITAM maturity of all companies and the value they get from their IT assets.”
Anything else you would like our readers to know about ITAM Forum?
Martin: “I would encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can, from simply spreading the word among colleagues to signing up as a member or trustee. I would also like to thank SoftwareONE for their support. We need industry leaders to get behind this, so your support is greatly appreciated.”
Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals. Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM". On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO/IEC 19770.