IT Asset Management for the Public Sector: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2  of ‘IT Asset Management for the Public Sector’, we looked at why it is essential to create a strategic objectives framework and the first two stages of our five-part blueprint for software and cloud asset management. In Part 3, we will explain stages three to five of the framework, showing how following this structure successfully reduces and optimizes spending.
 

The five-stage ITAM blueprint

Stage 3: Identify the Target Operating Model

With a clear understanding of your future requirements and existing data, process and knowledge gaps, you can begin to architect your future “Target Operating Model” (TOM) framework. This will allow you to plan your future ITAM requirements in a structured and logical way. A key part of Stage 3 will be working with your teams, peers and leaders to communicate a high-level view of ‘what good looks like’, helping them understand the benefits and functional deliverables of an improved ITAM capability.

 

  • Trustworthy Data – This is needed to deliver a number of clear outcomes:
    • A solution for the management of enterprise data – technical capability to integrate and normalize data source upload, automated wherever possible. Here, the operating model has to consider the metrics of usage measurement that Trustworthy Data needs to provide and the sources that will provide the data. For contracts, the TOM needs to understand the information points and flows that will provide a continual source of updated contracts and entitlement information.
       
    • Across all of this is the ability to inspect quality and ensure the data is correctly uploaded into the platform of choice, with all data correctly stored and reported within the various data repositories.
       
  • Lifecycle – Aside from the desired ITAM processes that you wish to implement, the TOM ensures that they can be delivered with the correct process workflows, data points and service interfaces. Some of the processes may be primarily driven through ITAM platforms, others will require lifecycle owners in areas such as contract renewal and technical rationalization. The TOM must deliver the capability for the lifecycle outcomes to be achieved, so consider areas where you need to bring in external support to your team or organization.

 

  • Optimization – An up-front optimized contract is desirable and can be achieved without implementing all of the TOM elements. However, for on-going operational optimization to be effective, a TOM is required, and it will ensure that the organization has the means to better plan and control product and services cost during the on-going contract lifecycle.
     
    • Cloud (IaaS) – By reducing the up-front cost, operational optimization focuses on minimizing contract cost leakage through inefficient cloud usage, maximizing ‘bring-your-own-licensing’ and exploiting contract rights
       
    • Subscriptions (SaaS) – Used to ensure that customers use the most efficient licensing based on their individual requirements and that accounts are routinely administered (e.g., Joiners, Movers & Leavers) to minimize subscription costs 
       
    • Sourcing Support – One area for unoptimized spend in Stage 2/3 is where the organization has minimal contract management or vendor expertise. Implementing a Sourcing ‘Centre of Excellence’ for budget holders who directly own and transact much of this spend can ensure that they have access to procurement and technical contract experience to avoid costly agreements and poor purchases.

 

For a TOM to be effective, its functional delivery cannot sit exclusively within a single area, for example, exclusively asset management or procurement. Optimization requires a cohesive and integrated approach across the organization – with IT services, procurement and finance departments engaging all relevant stakeholders. 
 

Stage 4: ITAM transformation approach

Here, we recommend a three-phase checklist. First, enable the Trustworthy Data capability and start delivering reporting. Secondly, implement controls for current contracts and integrate Lifecycle management, rationalizing usage. Finally, optimize, implementing the capability to monitor costs and deliver pro-active optimization.

  • Enable – Trustworthy Data activities to allow the TOM to be effective:
    • ITAM Tooling – implementing technology and data sources
    • Enterprise Data Management – ITAM platform management
    • Cloud Consumption – cloud platform usage integration
    • Compliance Positions – reconciliation and risk identification
       
  • Control – Activities to implement Lifecycle:
    • ITAM ServiceDesk – skills to monitor and support ITAM lifecycle processes
    • Renewal Management – process workflow to manage renewals
    • Rationalized Licensing and Cloud Use – architecture and product usage reviews
       
  • Optimize – Functions to deliver pro-active cost Optimization:
    • IaaS & SaaS – IaaS/SaaS usage cost monitoring and optimization
    • Strategic Sourcing Support – knowledge and support for new vendor contract and purchase requirements.

       

Stage 5: Write the business case

For public sector organizations, writing the business case means being clear about the governance and financial outcomes that your organization wants to achieve and understanding the capabilities and the costs necessary to achieve them.

It is important to present your ITAM requirements in relation to your organization’s goals. How do they benefit the organization? For example, you can argue that Trustworthy Data is needed for enterprise data management to support business decisions and manage compliance and consumption risk. The Lifecycle process is necessary to ensure that all software costs are managed throughout the agreed contract period. Optimization is key to proactively improve the spend of software and cloud, and to reduce overall costs. All are essential for demonstrating effective ITAM governance.

The process of building and writing a business case can serve as an effective validation for your own ITAM strategy before it is presented to your peers and leadership for review. Find some external assistance if necessary, ensuring you have explored other ways of delivering the outcomes and that you can demonstrate where you have taken industry guidance as part of your approach to a good ITAM solution.
 

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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