What do your ITAM KPIs look like?

So I just had a late Christmas present arrive – swanky and expensive Asics trainers to mentally blackmail myself to get back into the gym – so I thought I would write another blog!  In fairness though, I am wearing the trainers as I type so that will help, surely?!

ITAM KPIs: Before we begin

If you are new to ITAM, you will have been introduced to the concept of license compliance as being the holy grail of ITAM: angels will sing your name for all eternity if you manage to reconcile your purchases to your installations for Microsoft, Oracle, IBM et al. However, we need to take a step back from the theory and ask ourselves:  How will compliance add to the bottom line?

It won’t! Nothing, nada, zip!

In fact, a maniacal ITAM function could actually be seen as the department that gets in the way of first-mover advantage by ensuring that no changes are made without absolute certainty that we remain license compliant 24/7/365.

No business has the appetite for restrictive practices, so a reality check is called for here.

So how do we set about presenting KPIs that demonstrate governance rather than constriction?

ITAM KPIs: Let’s Go!

We need to know who we are reporting to – what data do they wish to see to support that their department/ business practice is running well? As I am often fond of saying – Perspective is Subjective, and the best way to demonstrate this is by example:

Let’s take the peak of The Bermuda Triangle of SAM:  The Software Request Process.

  • From an Information Security point of view, the quantity of software requests that were honored that weren’t on the Supported Software Catalog in a month would be a great indicator of security liabilities that are being on-boarded without due diligence.
  • Service Management might focus on the time taken to honor a software request which could be viewed as a great metric to ensure that staff are not unproductive while waiting for their new tools.
  • Finally, SAM/ ITAM could be focused on the cost/ quantity of software requests honored by the license pool in a month which would demonstrate a sweating of the license pool, so that we don’t tie up money in software we are not using.

Returning to our license compliance conundrum, many processes contribute to that ELP in the sky!  Entitlement Importation, Inventory Importation, Procurement, Deployment, Joiners Movers and Leavers, Lost and Stolen Devices.  Make sure your ELPs are potent – ensure that the underlying data is as fresh as possible.

Imagine if senior management requested a compliance report and you provided the exact same report you provided six months ago? A career change to selling insurance or double-glazing could be on your horizon!

KPIs: Trend Analysis

Returning to our KPI values for the software request process, you might have noticed that these are monthly reports.  Quality ITAM is a journey not a destination. Demonstrating measurable data operating over a period of time reveals trends that require you making allowances for wayward statistics.

e.g. The accepted value for software requests coming from the license pool in a month is $3,000.00. In September though, $6,000.00 worth of software was drawn down. How come? Pesky interns perhaps?! If we can warrant the exception then we don’t have to ask the CFO for more money.

For Service Management, a blanket comparison of requests to their completion time may not make allowances for complexity.  E.g., installing a database vs. a desktop title.  Some degree of reality needs applying here.

KPIs: Conclusion

My final tip is to make your KPIs financial. Then you spend less time trying to explain to non-IT people the significance of a well-run process:  everybody talks money!

NB:  KPIs might not instantly leap out at you from your SAM Suite. It is a compliance calculator, not a silver bullet to reveal the weak links of governance on your IT estate.  Unplug from your SAM Suite to absorb the bigger governance picture; obtaining the precise data to report to senior management.

If you would like support in establishing your ITAM KPIs then please head over to our process kit page, which has a section dedicated to ITAM KPIs and a whole lot more besides.

Equally, you can book a 30-minute “no strings” session on Teams with me using the Calendly link below:

KPIs, Governance and ISO 19770-1.

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