IT Asset Management for the Public Sector: Part 2

In Part 1 of ‘IT Asset Management for the Public Sector’, we looked at the reasons for why it is essential to create a strategic objectives framework, highlighting the risks and three main areas to watch out for.

In Part 2, we will provide guidance on how to overcome these risks by creating a five-stage blueprint for software and cloud asset management, discussing stages one and two. We will show how using this framework successfully reduces and optimizes spending.

 

The five-stage ITAM blueprint

Stage 1: Define strategic objectives

For any successful ITAM strategy, identifying what ‘good’ looks like for a public sector organization is essential. Being clear on the commercial, operational and technical outcomes you want from an ITAM strategy ensures you have looked at the benefits of the program holistically and understood how they relate to key stakeholders whose support will be necessary to ensure ITAM success. Importantly, people are striving to make the most of best practices and to deliver organizational objectives, meeting governance standards and making cost-savings where they can. Having a clear view of your ITAM objectives and outcomes is vital, especially where organizations operate under a microscope of public funding.

The complexity of cost optimization is increasing in the public sector with the advent of cloud and subscription services. Having a clear understanding of how to demonstrate good governance and integrating business, operational and technical requirements is pivotal to achieving the best value from cloud usage, especially where legacy licensing still exists. Forming a clear licensing and cloud strategy from transparent operational and technical use cases ensures that assets can measurably deliver the best long-term value.

As discussed in Part 1, organizations must also be proactive in their lifecycle management to avoid commercial risk through non-compliance and over-consumption, measuring governance effectiveness as they go. Having objectives in place is therefore a must, and the means to performance manage them even more so.


Stage 2: Map out your current and future ITAM landscape

Understanding your current ITAM landscape is essential to knowing your starting point and recognizing any major governance gaps or undefined requirements. Livingstone advocates the following three steps to gain a well-rounded view of your ITAM landscape:

  • Trustworthy Data is the management platform used to provide ITAM data and information to inform decisions and provide technical context for processes. From asset discovery and cloud consumption, to contracts and entitlement data, a Trustworthy Data platform is the single point for convergence of disparate data sources into trustworthy information, delivering dashboards and reports to stakeholders. For many years, ITAM has been primarily focused on ITAM tools and license compliance, reconciling deployment, product usage and contract entitlement. That requirement is still necessary but evolving to encapsulate consumption-based metrics for cloud, and to be an essential part of cloud cost management and governance operations.
     
  • Lifecycle is about having standardized processes, knowledge and best practices in place to optimally manage IT assets, from acquisition through to retirement. It is not only essential for rationalizing and controlling cost risks, it also ensures that new demands are validated and unnecessary spend is avoided. Lifecycle is the operational element of ITAM governance, integrating the technical IT teams, operational users and procurement processes. Lifecycle management processes are the backbone to managing complexity and compliance in areas such as cloud, where day zero-billing and enforced rapid digital changes can have major commercial impacts on operational cost and risk.
     
  • Optimization is about ensuring that cloud and software products, and technical and operational requirements are fully rationalized and validated. This is especially important together with the commercial options, terms and pricing to deliver best overall value, both when a contract is negotiated and in usage. Operationally, services such as IaaS and SaaS can be proactively monitored to ensure that they are using the most cost-effective pricing available and that workloads are only enabled when required.
     

Overall, Stage 2 should allow you to understand the gaps that exist within your ITAM capabilities and permit you to identify the potential requirements for the future. Stage 2 also provides templated guidance for the mapping out of your vendors, data sources, and process outcomes that you need to assess your current position. From there you can also examine the skills you have in each area so you can start planning your future team development.


Look out for Part 3 of ‘IT Asset Management for the Public Sector’ where we will go through stages three to five of the strategic objectives ITAM framework.
 

Learn more

The above information is intended as a guide to follow alongside your current ITAM asset management process. To learn more visit our ITAM Process & Policy Advisory Service 
or listen to our webinar IT Asset Management for the Public Sector 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Gough, Chief Strategy Officer

Chris has worked in the IT Industry for over 20 years, starting as a consultant he then took on more senior practice management roles, focusing on networking, security, data centre and unified communications and in recent years specialising in data centre optimisation and particularly in software licensing. Having worked with large enterprise organisations, Chris understands the challenges faced in data centre licensing and the lack of expertise in the marketplace.

Having founded the Derive Logic business until its acquisition by the Carlyle Group in April 2019, Chris is now on the senior executive board for the world’s largest independent IT Transformation Assurance and Software/Cloud Risk Management business, Livingstone Group.

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