When thinking about SAM and The Best Use-Case to invest in, I was reminded of a question my girlfriend asked me: “So Rory, what is it you do?”. (I’d only been going out with my girlfriend for 7 years when she asked this!). I could have taken exception to all the times she didn’t listen to me before about my time at work; but perhaps I should take that as a failure at my attempt to communicate. After all, Liz does not work in IT, and so having an appreciation of technology beyond home-based WiFi, printers and laptops does not offer the best grounding as an introduction to SAM.
The Bermuda Triangle of SAM
As a result of this, I created a use-case of SAM bad-practice that is gloriously demonstrated in our awesome explainer video, which serves to highlight the foundational relationship between the Request, Procurement and Deployment/ Change Management Processes. I could put it into words, but then I could be denying you the experience of this 3-minute video – check it out!
That said, if they were the only processes we needed to resolve in SAM, then our lives would be so much easier within IT; unfortunately, they are not. While we have attempted to capture what SAM/ ITAM best practice looks like through a process lens, a healthy 20% of customisation is required to take something that is off the peg to get a SAM solution approaching a custom-fit.
SAM & The Best Use-Case
And it’s just such an engagement that I wanted to tell you about. A former client of mine based in the UK was managing an IT estate of circa 5,000 devices. They had to contend with contractors using their corporate equipment, a heavily entrenched deployment of SAP, and an implementation of ITIL that seemed to offer more reasons to maintain the status-quo/ do nothing, rather than seek to promote technological progress and better IT management.
Interestingly, they also had a SAM Suite in place (Snow Software) but were bristling that “it wasn’t working for us any more” and they were giving very serious thought to replacing it with a competing technology.
Sidebar: Unless your SAM solution is at a high/ evolved level of maturity, then swapping out the SAM suite is NOT the answer to your problems. Exhaust the technical reach of your existing technology before you consider such a course of action. Invariably, it is what your SAM Team are/ are not doing with the technology that shapes the results you are getting. Your gym membership doesn’t get you fit, rather the time you spend in the gym is where the results can be found.
Through a 45-day engagement, SAM Charter was able to conduct A SAM Process Maturity Assessment & Findings Analysis, which then provided us with a roadmap to deliver:
- An ITAM Policy Document
- An ITAM Operations Plan
- 15 Customised Process Maps (using the SAM Charter Process Kit)
- 15 Customised Process Walk-throughs
- A Customised RACI Chart (A template instance of which can be found in our Starter File Download)
- A Customised SAM Process Eco-System (a template example of which can be seen here)
This set the framework for the SAM team to look beyond ELP generation as their primary goal, and seek to measure the pulse-points of the IT estate through their SAM processes.
SAM & The Best Use-Case: A follow up
I re-visited with the Head of SAM some time later, as I had the opportunity to catch up over a coffee. I am always very mindful that the collateral I produce on such a short engagement ends up as colourful pages in a dusty ring-binder, so I braced myself before asking the question:
“Was any of the content produced used/ of use?”
The reply could not have been better if I had spent thousands with a marketing department crafting such a response:
“Oh yes – incredibly useful. Armed with the process maps and RACI chart, I was able to go to senior management and demonstrate what should be happening with our IT. As a result I was handed ownership of the software request process; release (aka deployment in non-ITIL speak); configuration; I got promoted and I am about to be promoted again.”
Needless to say, the inner cartwheels I was experiencing were legion!
All of this was within the space of circa 15 months. Think about that: Are you aware of any IT certification or program that could secure you two job promotions in such a short space of time? And all for doing your job properly?
Oh, and they kept their existing SAM Suite (You’re welcome Snow!)
SAM & The Best Use-Case: A summary
SAM/ ITAM will always present technical demands due to the nature of the assets it is seeking to manage, but the whole IT picture is only brought into focus when we consider what staff are doing with the technology that is put at their disposal.
Yes, we can demonstrate improved IT operations, and the need for appropriate technology to be in place, but the biggest and best use-case we can draw from this experience is professional development and promotion.
If any of the above is sounding familiar, and you wish to get your career and earning potential back on track, then email SAM Charter at: firstname.lastname@example.org – let’s turbo-charge your future, and get the Best Use-Case for SAM working for you!