ITAM & COVID-19

It wasn’t too long ago that I was deriding someone for linking ITAM with Covid-19 as a desperate means of riding the wave of the current news cycle.

How short-sighted of me….

Of course, what this pandemic does serve to highlight is companies’ preparedness in respect of business continuity management.  For those organisations that might have taken a leaf out of ISO 22301: 2019 (The ISO Standard for establishing a Business Continuity Management System) the culture shock and back-pedalling to adapt and overcome to new ways of working will be severely lessened – however, for those who haven’t taken the time to conduct such planning, the struggle is real (and painful).

In these surreal times, I am also reminded of a Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago – the second-best time is today.”  While I appreciate network and service management professionals will be truly earning their corn about now; I want to make the ITAM folks aware of a cold, hard reality:  software vendors will be keen to recover revenue they missed out on when Covid-19 was preventing audits in the workplace:

The time to start planting your ITAM tree is now!

When the all-clear is eventually given, do not rely on the goodwill and charity of software vendors to allow you to return to normal ways of working in your own time.

If you are like many other organisations right now, there’s more than a fair chance that a change freeze has been entered into, as staff are diverted to networks and frontline services to accommodate home workers.  But if you are finding that a degree of dust has settled, then thinking about aligning your ITAM function to Business Continuity Management, or even Disaster Recovery could be a savvy use of your time.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might look at the diagram above and think “perhaps it needs another cog?” I don’t think it would be out of place to have an additional cog between ITAM and BCM: and that cog would be ITSM.  Our ITAM & ITSM cogs can be viewed as IT operations in normal times, with ITSM being represented by our CMDB structure.   The point at which we move to a BCM footing, we can then examine what a trimmed down series of services look like, ensuring that such plans adhere to licensing T&Cs.

A case in point:  I knew of one company whose use of Adobe made them a strategic IT and business partner.  The company decided that in a scenario whereby business continuity plans might be instigated, they would “pick up” their IT, and relocate to separate site 3 miles away.  They ran their BCM plans by Adobe, who pointed out that they had site licences, therefore:  Separate site, separate licences.  Their BCM plans were torn asunder because of assumptions around what they could do with their software licences.

Disaster Recovery then takes BCM to the next level.  Whereas BCM might have you running at 70% standard capacity; DR looks to drive all your resources to the minimum number of services required at the maximum level of performance for the company to be able to keep the lights on.

And this is why all the scenarios above need to plug into HR.  If a BCM or DR plan is called into action, your most precious resource (your staff) need to know where to direct their efforts, so that you don’t waste your second most precious resource (time).

However, your ability to command IT and Human Resources in a coordinated fashion will be nothing more than playing darts blind if you don’t know what IT & HR resources you have at your disposal – and this is where your ITAM policy and operations should dove-tail into BCM & DR.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

If getting an ITAM strategy together like the one above sounds like a cunning plan, then email info@samcharter.com in these surreal times, we are happy to work remotely, and to a timescale that suits you.

Hash tags:  #SAM, #ITAM, #COVID-19, #BCM, #DR, #HR

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