Picture the scene: In the not too distant future, a CIO is “networking” (i.e. out playing golf!) – when walking between shots with his phone set to silent (club rules) he receives a notification from his SAM app that a favoured vendor on the company hit-list has gone out of compliance due to a recent change management event he wasn’t informed of. An auto-investigate email is sent to the SAM Manager so that he can proactively investigate this immediately, and so the prospect of a rampant deployment team is not an excuse he can offer if his golf swing goes awry.
The cynics reading this might argue that this could be viewed as management by proxy – where is the CIO’s emotional investment in a good situation possibly gone bad? But before we reach for the pitchforks and spew a guttural cry for a management revolution, perhaps we need to re-visit the concept of SAM, and ask ourselves: “What does good SAM look like?”
Well, it looks like Senior Management have taken the time to understand the masses of raw data that SAM can provide, and filtered it into something that can help them make an informed business decision.
Our golfing CIO has taken the time to understand what is important to him, and so established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on his primary targets within his IT estate. In the example above, an inventory import process then triggered a compliance refresh in his SAM Suite, and a non-compliance alert on a strategic vendor of his choosing resulted in a buzzing in his plus-fours!
There is a temptation with all the data at the disposal of SAM to attempt to offer a real-time, dynamic, finger-on-the-pulse experience of your IT estate. And this takes us back to our previous question: What does good SAM look like? I would venture to suggest it looks good enough that it is two steps ahead of any software vendor, and proactive in its decision-making when presenting data for senior management to sit in judgement on.
In our example, the CIO shouldn’t feel the need to unleash the hounds every time a software title slips out of compliance – for truly enterprise organisations, the poor man/woman would never get any sleep. But what he/she should be able to do is to remain responsive to IT change, reserving the call for big gun action only for when it is appropriate.
Association of KPIs is a sign of a mature organisation, with properly thought-through data and process requirements. If you are starting out on your SAM road, and your CIOs (unwritten) SAM mission statement is to run their SAM estate from the golf course, then this is where you begin:
If your processes aren’t measurable in such a way that their performance (be it financial or otherwise) cannot be reported in an app then we can help you get there, and it starts with understanding how mature you currently are. Take the time to run through the light assessment above and reach out to SAM Charter to get you closer to what good looks like.