10 Steps To Jumpstart Your ITAM Project
IT Asset Management (ITAM) is an essential part of IT. More organizations are investing in ITAM tools as they are realizing the notion thought up by Philip Green. He expressed, Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you are going to be left behind. As a result, organizations are hopping on the bandwagon and investing in solutions. But, with so much information out there, the project can get overwhelming. Here are 10 steps to help you jumpstart your search for the ideal ITAM solution.
1. Discover ITAM, If You Haven’t Already
IT Asset Management tools are becoming more prominent in organizations. They are starting to recognize its benefits, including streamlined processes and reduced IT costs. Although some are more familiar with the subject, a quick review of ITAM is all that is needed to determine its value to the organization and develop goals. This will assist in creating your ITAM strategy that can help your organization increase employee productivity.
2. Choose A Team Lead
Although there may be a group of people involved in the project, one individual is recommended to lead the project. This team lead will guarantee things are getting done on time and on budget. They will also ensure deadlines are being met and will encourage the rest of the team to get tasks done efficiently. In some cases, the team lead will have specific responsibilities. For example, looking into ITAM solutions and attending their demonstrations. In the end, the team lead will make the big decisions to avoid conflict amongst the team.
3. Determine Objectives
An ITAM project usually starts after a vendor audit, IT technicians are not sure who has what or when upper management is looking for a report that doesn’t yet exist, according to Damon Mulligan. No matter what your reasons are, identify why you need an ITAM and what problem it needs to solve. Ensure your short term goals are clear and your long term goals are, at least, considered. For example, you may need a cloud solution in two years but would prefer an on-premises solution now. Therefore, it would be ideal to look for a solution that has both options.
4. Create a Criteria with your Team
Create a criteria of features and processes that your ideal solution requires. For example, a list of “Must-Have” features followed by a list of “Really-Want” and “This-Would-Be-Cool” features. This will make it easier to narrow down a large selection of options, and facilitate making the final decision. Make sure to create the criteria this process with your whole team. Usually, a team of people will be using the ITAM solution on a daily basis. Therefore, they may have valuable input and opinions.
5. Get Required Approvals
Normally, ITAM projects are started when some funding has been put aside. It is highly recommended to get the proper approval before getting attached to any solution. Make sure the organization is ready to invest. In some instances, they might want to see a breakdown of the value of such tool. That’s where the previous steps come in handy. You’ll be able to demonstrate the project’s objectives based on a criteria, who will lead the team, and the value it will bring back to the organization.
6. Set Deadlines
Before implementing an ITAM solution, there are various tasks that need to be completed. For example, setting up software demonstrations, evaluating alternatives, selecting top five vendors and/or present options to board members. Remember to set deadlines for smaller tasks as they can get lost in larger projects. That way, there are no unnecessary delays.
7. Plan For Milestones
Milestones are just as important as deadlines- they mark the end of a task. Depending on your goals, implementing an ITAM can be a long process. Therefore, milestones are essential to establish that the project is progressing toward the objectives. They are a great way to encourage a team of people to continue working on the project.
8. Identify Key Processes
IT Asset Management solutions are known for streamlining IT tasks. Examples of tasks include knowing who has what asset, where it is and asset distribution. It is important to identify which ITAM processes are most important to your organization as vendors usually do not have all of them. For example, an ITAM solution may not have an automated on-boarding process for new employees (or end-users) to get them prepared for their first day at work.
9. Product Demonstrations
Normally, software vendors for ITAM solutions have free trials that you can sign up for directly on their website. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate the interface and the actual features, if you spend the time to figure it out. Otherwise, you can ask about all the features in a product demonstration. It is recommended to schedule the demos relatively close to each other, so you can easily compare their features. Make sure to ask the product representatives questions that will help you set the vendors apart. Ask questions like “What makes your product stand out” or “Give me an example of one of your customers that uses your product for (specific feature you need).”
10. Follow Up Emails
After a product demonstration, you think you will have all the answers to your questions- until you realize you don’t! A simple conversation with a co-worker will remind you about a question you forgot to ask. DO NOT be shy to ask as many questions as you like. Heck, schedule another product demo! The product specialists are there for you so take advantage and get all the information you need to make the right decision.
The previous steps do not have to be completed in order but can be executed simultaneously. Determine what works best for your team and find the best ITAM solution for your organization.
Best of luck!