Home �   ITIL�  Index

Using ITAM to Save Money in Tough Times

May 2, 2008

George Spafford


For example, many organizations buy copies of productivity suites every time an employee is hired to keep things simple. While there may be an implicit understanding that when employees leave the organization those licenses should be recovered, the reality is that they are not. Formal procedures are not developed to harvest this data or to audit effectiveness. As a result, organizations can be spending tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars per year unnecessarily.


Another example, relates to groups conducting data center consolidations. In order to effectively and efficiently consolidate, a great deal of work needs to be done to understand who is using what, capacity needs, etc. These are classic inventory and capacity planning functions. ITAM then extends beyond this to the planning and tracking of the actual movements into the consolidated data center, standardization of hardware and software, recovery of no longer required licenses, disposition of obsolete hardware and software, etc.


In the end the point of this article is to show that the two domains—ITIL and its Service Asset and Configuration Management, and ITAM—are complementary. Configuration management provides a means to store some, if not all, of the data that ITAM needs. The ITIL v3 view of a configuration management system, that is has multiple repositories, lends itself well to this as ITAM’s requirements can, at least in part, be viewed as a presentation layer drawn from the various sources.


ITAM, on the other hand, is the discipline that interfaces with various IT process areas and the business to ensure that value is realized from the asset investments made. ITAM, if anything, needs data that is stored in the CMS to understand where assets are, who is using them, and so on.


In tough economic times the need to focus on cost reduction and the maximization of organizational value is critical. IT organizations under pressure to manage costs will be well served to assess how to leverage both areas to improve the quality of their service offerings.

For more information visit the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) -



George Spafford is a principal consultant with Pepperweed Consulting and a long-time IT professional. George's professional focus is on compliance, security, management and overall process improvement.