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An ITAM Roadmap to Success

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Gartner predicts that “through 2024, 60% of enterprises will underestimate cloud infrastructure and platform services consumption rates, leading to higher costs and missed opportunities for savings.”1

The shift to SaaS and cloud technologies has been a top discussion in ITAM circles for years. Starting today, ITAM teams without a clear plan to manage SaaS or cloud within their program will get left behind and miss delivering significant value to their organization.

A new approach is needed in ITAM to get more teams to manage SaaS and cloud technologies. So, what’s the next step to preparing your organization?

Join Snow Software and Anglepoint for a discussion on building a 12-month ITAM roadmap to:

  • Expand your ITAM team to prepare for a more complex tech landscape.
  • Assess where to start in managing SaaS and cloud technologies based on where you are today.
  • Learn how to develop key strategic alliances—such as FinOps—to meet the right business outcomes.

Watch the on-demand webinar today and begin building your ITAM roadmap.

1. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services, Stephen White, Yoann Bianic, Rob Schafer, 19 July 2022

Webinar Transcript

Becky Trevino:

Hello everybody. My name is Becky Trevino. I am with Snow Software and we’re here to talk to you about getting ready for SaaS and Cloud. We’re so excited that so many of you have joined us today. And joining me in this conversation is the great Ron Brill. He’s the president and chairman of Anglepoint.

So the way we’ve decided to break up our webinar today is I’m going to focus on the why. So we’ve been in IT asset management and software asset management for over 20 years. That means that we get to talk to a lot of you, and we also support over 3000 customers. That means that on a regular basis, we are talking to software asset managers, IT asset managers, who are starting their journey, those who are maturing their journey, and a constant conversation with all of you is what do I do about SaaS and cloud?

Some of you are owning it completely. Some of you’re getting started. And so the way that we grouped up this webinar is I’m going to talk about the why, and I’m going to speak to those of you who may be thinking about, I need to manage SaaS and cloud, but I’m not sure yet. And then Ron’s going to hand, I’m going to hand over to Ron and he’s going to go into detail about the how.

How would you go about doing that? So that’s our breakup for today. And I’ll get us started. So I’ll land a little bit. What I always find helpful is to know a little bit about a presenter, because typically when you learn a little bit about a presenter, that’s when you get a point of view of how did the presenter actually get to this topic?

And the way that I got to this topic was really thinking back at on my career and I’ve been at my career. Spent most of it in technology. Started off at Dell and I worked there during the peak of shadow IT and I worked in engineering, moving through engineering ranks. And I always speak to this, so sorry if there’s any Dell folks on the call, but I was one of those people that was the queen of shadow IT.

I would have an idea for myself or my department through engineering and we would talk to Dell IT and they would say, you got to get a roadmap, it’s going to take a long time. We’d look at it and say, oh, we make servers, we have racks. Why don’t we just go around it? And that was a big part of the way we worked.

But funny enough, in our go-to market, we always advertised about how you need to control shadow IT, but it was running pervasive at Dell at that time. Then I joined Rackspace, which is a cloud computing leader, and there. I worked at a really interesting point in time because it was this point in which cloud adoption was starting to accelerate.

It was moving from this world in which IT was primarily being used by business unit leaders and was starting to start getting broader adoption. And what I found interesting is that at Dell, we primarily sold to CIOs, but at Rackspace, we sold to the CIO peers who weren’t getting their deliverables fast enough.

By going through IT. And now I work at Snow Software and I’m seeing another pivot and shift in the market, and it’s us entering the end user era. And I’m going to go into more detail about this later in the presentation, but this is one of those key points I want you to exit this presentation with is we’re entering a new inflection point.

If it was about shadow IT, in the onset of two thousands and it was about the cloud and mid two thousands through today, what’s this new era we’re entering and how does that impact and change my business? So I spoke a little bit about how I landed on today’s subject, in terms of the shifts and technologies, but how I landed on talking about SaaS and cloud and it being a why conversation really came in because I’m an avid follower of, IT asset managers as well as individuals and like Dave Foxen, Rich Gibbons from ITAM Review that really just thought leaders in the wpace and I started to see this divide. If you see on the presentation here today, where you’d have people talking about compliance and the big four IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, what was going on with audit defense? What’s the latest in licensing?

And then I was hearing these conversations also spin up around things that just weren’t as pervasive when I first started in IT asset management such as FinOps and what do we do about SaaS and DevOps, and even thinking about machine learning, cloud cost management. Now the fact that SaaS is coming up with its own moniker outside of ITAM co software management platforms and thinking well, how do we bridge the divide between these two?

Does ITAM just stop at this line? Is this all we do? Or do we encompass and add value over here? And so we started having a number of conversations with IT asset managers, with customers, with partners, with thought leaders. And the consensus among the community was, look, ITAM needs to expand. We are not just about on-premises environments and everybody, everything else is worried about by other groups in the business. But when we asked deeper questions, it was, yeah, but that’s true. But we don’t necessarily know how to get there. So, this was, the birth of this talk was really speaking to an audience about how we close the gap from where we are to where we want to be as an industry, as ITAM leaders within organizations, and as we try to take the next steps of maturing our profession in the market.

So with that, I think back at my own experience because I lead a product organization and whenever I speak to my product managers about what we should be building at Snow, what we choose not to build at Snow, it really starts with the market, what’s going on in the market that should be impacting our strategy.

Because if you don’t start with the market of what the broader trends are, then you might be surprised. Then I go into problems areas. What are the problems in the business outcomes that our customers need to solve? And how will that get impacted by the market? And so from a market perspective, if I put a lens on of, IT asset managers, software asset management professionals, who exactly is your market?

Your market at this point, your customer, is IT? Is the CIO, for the most part, the end user in the organization. And what’s going on within it is this big shift. And many of you, if this were a live audience, I’d ask you how many you were going in. But for those of you who might want to answer, you can go into the chat.

We have a number of you now present, and it would go in on how many of you are actually experiencing a part where it as a whole is shifting from project. So, I deliver a project and I write a requirement into that project, and then that project gets delivered to agile methodologies. So, it is now hiring product managers versus project managers, and they’re starting to embrace roadmaps in a new way.

And so, when I thought about how do we have this conversation as IT asset manager you need to start speaking in the language of your customers. And that’s roadmaps. And for many of you, I know you many of you have at least bought a piece of software before. So, I always say, all of you know what a roadmap is.

If you’re a Snow customer, I know that you know what a roadmap is because you ask me what’s my roadmap for my product regularly. But let’s start with the baseline of what is a roadmap. So, a roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or a desired outcome and includes major steps or milestones needed to reach it.

And I think this is really important of a framework for all of you as you start thinking about your careers, thinking about, okay, if I only manage one component today, what do I need to look at? And this is the perfect time of year to do that because we’re at essentially Q4 the end, near the end of 2022, and many of you’re going to start thinking about what’s the goals for myself, for my organization to 2023?

This is a perfect time to start thinking about from a strategic perspective, what goals do I define? What major steps do I do there, and how do I put this across 2023 to reach a different point in time? So, whenever I think about a roadmap and about how I would build a roadmap to, in this particular case, start building an ITAM program that starts bring in SaaS and cloud when you may or may not be managing that today.

I think about not just those market trends we did, we discussed earlier about what’s going on with my customer, which is the CIO in it, I think about. What are the big strategic questions and the big outcomes that I need to be thinking about? And so for me, I’ve defined these in three areas, is the three questions your ITAM roadmap really needs to address starts with what assets should you manage.

So today we’re talking about building a program around SaaS and cloud, but it’s always important for you to start with this fundamental question. And this is a question you should be asking to, first of all, your manager who leads you. Because that’s the most important relationship you have as an IT asset manager is what assets should I be managing today?

I manage these. Where do you see the organization heading in 2023? And where exactly do you envision us heading. The second is how do new operating models impact you? And we’re going to go into detail about what that exactly means, but this is an important one. And the third is, what alliances do you need to form?

So let’s go deeper on this first. So to understand new asset classes, it’s helpful to define a framework to define to, to actually present them to a manager in. So, I built this three part framework and it goes, look, we have mainstream assets and the reason I’ve called them mainstream isn’t because they’re not important, isn’t because, hey, we know how to do them because I know that a lot of ourIT asset managers don’t necessarily know how to, get this in the process in the right place.

We’re still trying to build that in core ITAM. But in general, if you have an issue with packaged software, with virtual machines, with the software agreement, you can partner with someone like Anglepoint, someone like Snow hire in a seasoned IT asset manager. There’s someone within the broader world that really knows how to do this work, and you can bring that to your organization.

So you need to, first of all, understand. What’s mainstream? What do we put this, and this is a framework I’ve developed to help you put things in those technologies. So this is going to be primarily technology. That technology, whether that’s the device from a hardware perspective, or the software that sits on premises.

The second category develop is evolving. These are assets where they are still, they’ve been around for a while, so nobody can say cloud is new. It’s been, AWS started about 2006. Salesforce started at right about the same time, but they’re still going through massive changes. We haven’t developed the core processes or ownership in the organization that clearly says, ITAM owns that, or IT owns that.

The way we have with mainstream technologies, so evolving is the processes just aren’t there and the technology continues to change so quickly that it’s nearly impossible for us to continue to have that view of what to do with it. Containers. Containers has been a process that’s really being shifted tremendously as well.

We at Snow, for example built a solution called virtual management option that ended up being able to identify what software was running in virtual machines. And now we’re having to redo that all over again for containers because that’s a big question IT asset managers are asking, what’s running in my containers?

I have a lot of people using containers, but am I at an audit risk? Because there’s a massive shift from VMware to over to, container technology, whether that’s available on public cloud or whether it’s available in private cloud. This is a big area still of shift and uncertainty with the organization.

Who owns that? Is it high temp? Is it. Is it the business units? There’s just such level of complexity around this area where there is no clear owner in organizations about where this goes. And as where there is no clear owner in the organization, there is ambiguity, there is lack of visibility, there is chaos and not an ability to tribe governance.

And then far out, there are a handful of my snow customers who are really the inspiration for this segment that are really out there thinking about. Cloud, that’s old news. I got a handle on that. What I’m thinking about is Internet of Things. Thinking about how I manage ML devices, even just as much such far as my data.

How should my data be? I consider my data and asset. What should I be thinking? And then I always play with the idea of NFTs. We thought we got really hot around NFTs. It’s cool now with a bit of the change in market dynamics, but if this really is an asset for an organization, could we not be thinking about expanding the purview of IT asset management to include any of these disruptive technologies?

Is this not our space? Is our space just in mainstream? So, this is when I ask you like if ITAM must expand. Why must we keep our definition around mainstream evolving? It really could connect over there. And so the idea is how do you care about these, what, putting them in some type of framework that says mainstream, I got to process these.

If evolving, it’s changing and I need to start caring about them. Because I’m hearing that this is relevant, my organization and disruptive, I think for the most of you is going to be, have awareness with it. So, with these. This is an important, and you can feel free to steal this framework because that is going in.

This is an important conversation for you to have with your leadership. Says, look, you within IT asset management, we group assets into three categories, mainstream, evolving, and disruptive. When it comes to 2023 and even looking into 2024 as I’m thinking about, what my objectives need to be, and then the next year I need some guidance from you manager or in a skip level.

Today I’m managing mainstream. We have these other opportunities potentially to go into more depth around these publishers. Is that the direction I should be heading, or should I be trying to embrace cloud SaaS containers or if you’re the type IT asset manager that says, look I’ve gotten a hold on mainstream and I have a hold on SaaS, I don’t really have a good deal around cloud or containers.

Meet leadership. I’m thinking that I should head in this direction. Do you agree? So that alignment really is really critical for your roadmap, but it’s the most important step is really presenting a framework like this or something else to your leadership to understand where should you be heading?

Where’s the problems in the organization? So you can sit there and elevate ITAM by driving that alignment within your leadership about what matters to them. And at the end of the day, I always tell people when I get this talk while I have a perspective, which you’ll hear in a little bit about what you should be focusing on, software asset management and IT asset management.

My number one advice to ITAM professionals is focus on what matters to your organization. If taking care of SaaS as a top priority, then you figure out what are the right things to take care of SaaS. If it’s sitting here and getting, a more expansive view of your publishers, and it’s really ensuring that you have SAP in a good place, then you focus on SAP.

You have to primarily meet the needs of your business. But the most important things for you to do is to have the conversation about which of these assets matter. Because if you don’t have a good response to that, it’s nearly impossible for you to build a good plan that enables you to be successful in 2023 and beyond.

And it puts your roadmap in your entire organization at risk if you’re not aligned to what matters to your leadership and what’s going on in the broader organization. So, this is the key step in general. When I give this talk and we ask, hey, which of these assets are you managing? Which matter to you?

For the most part, we see that the opportunity lies here in the middle is particularly in this post pandemic world where organizations have overspent in a lot of these technologies and now, we’re facing this macroeconomic uncertainty. We’re like, is there going to be a recession? Is there not going to be a recession?

Majority of the opportunity lies in this space, and this is where we really have some opportunity to make some asks. If this is a pain point for you and I’m already, for example, managing mainstream, how can I go over here and take some ownership around SaaS containers and solve some problems for you?

And let me tell you how I would do that. So that’s critical. A pro tip that people, usually when I give this talk in person, people ask me where do I start, Becky? Because my leadership isn’t giving me the direction I need. I think that you should always go with your gut, is what I always tell people.

Go with your gut. Where do you see the biggest opportunities? Where do you see the parts of budget? But if you have a handle on anything else you know, and you have no idea where to start. I would focus on SaaS management. Particularly if you’re somebody who already has a software asset management, IT asset management tool in place, you tend to already have this capability.

Even if you are not using it, this tends to be available to you. It just is at a point. I spoke to someone ITAM was a professional, ITAM professional that came up to me after the talk and she said, Becky, I get it. I know that I should be managing it. I actually have the capability in my software, I don’t know how to get started.

I don’t. I feel uncomfortable doing it, and my advice to you if you’re in this situation is you got to break out of the comfort zone. But you have to do it in a responsible fashion because if you are managing mainstream and you’re working 50 hours a week and then you decide, oh, I want to go do SaaS, that’s going to be unsustainable.

So, you have to develop a right plan for this. But if you’re looking for ways to grow your practice, if you think that, hey, you have an opportunity to go and you’re not managing SaaS today, and we could tell here from the statistics run by Gartner’s market guide for SAM Tools, 60% of the ITAM professionals, they survey aren’t managing SaaS.

Today, my advice is be part of the 40% that do. So we see that there’s a vast opportunity with an ITAM to go for it. I go for it. I think it’s a key part of. What your growth needs to be professionally in IT asset management also, what it does is it gives you an ability to take ownership of a key part of the business that nobody’s taking claim to today.

Does ITAM really need FinOps to take control of this and then wondering what’s going on over there. You need to take control of this proactively, particularly if nobody else is running it in your organization. The next part about this, and we can go back to those trends that we talked about, is how do new operating models impact you?

So, what defines your roadmap again, is number one. What does your leadership need you to do in 2023? You always have to start there. What problems do they have? If it’s rising cloud costs, shadow IT, then you know what about shadow IT is driving it. If it’s SaaS sprawl, you got to start with problems and then relate that back to the assets and use that framework I gave you to really have that conversation with your leadership.

The next is these market trends. And this is one that I encourage you to take this presentation and have a real discussion with your leadership, because a lot of times your leadership doesn’t understand this as well as you do. And you need to come with not just the problem, you need to come with the answer and the solution about here’s how I and my organization can make a difference.

So, I call this the rise of the end user as a key target. Product led growth in anyone but IT vendor models. I actually wrote an article on product led growth and the five things that it needs to know, and what this comes in is through the nineties. As we talked about earlier, in my experience with Dell vendors primarily sold to IT.

This was the reign of IT. This is the start of shadow IT. Then in order to disrupt vendors like Oracle, some Salesforce came about and said, I’m going to solve all of your problems and come up with SaaS. And so, we got into a nice space where tech vendors started targeting business units, line of business leaders like CMOs, CROs, and for the most part we’ve captured this idea where we realized that CIOs, more and more the budget is going to the business unit.

We’ve been in a good place where, all right, and you’ll see my next live business led. It is starting to get embraced, but you’re facing a new problem. And this problem has come up through the pandemic and some of these technologies have existed before 2020, but as far as back as 2015, but actually changed this slide at some point to say, you know what really the problem is, it’s really the cutoff is 2020 because around 2020 with the pandemic, you started getting this explosion of unicorn vendors and in this concept of SaaS called product led growth.

Right now, in Silicon Valley, you’re, if you are a PLG, which is the acronym driven SaaS company, you’re getting. Five x valuation of companies that are not. And it is the hot thing to be usage-based pricing. So, you should be expecting in SaaS a major shift where anywhere from three to five years from now, all SaaS sold will look more like cloud consumption models than they look.

Like user-based models that Salesforce invented in 2006. The drive of that is in the valley, and you need to get ahead of this because what’s going on with tech vendors targeting end users is you’re now getting a new type of start startup. The startups that are saying Salesforce, ServiceNow, Workday, you are the ingrained vendors.

We need to disrupt you. And when we’re disrupting you, we’re creating new pricing models, new usage models, and we’re blurring. You no longer need to go to the CMO of the CRO to get permission to run the software. We’re going to send sell it to end user. Heck, I always give the example how this was happened to us at Snow.

At Snow, I run product and I have a team called User Experience and there’s a director of user experience. Her name’s Anastasia and Anastasia faced a challenge at the onset of the pandemic. She runs user experience teams. She has, she needs workshops, she needs whiteboards. She puts sticky notes in conference rooms.

That’s the way her team operates. But everybody was locked up. They couldn’t go anywhere. So then she sits there and she finds a tool called Miro. She puts her credit card in, she gets five licenses, and she’s I’m going to, I’m just going to expense this and I’m going to start using it. Pretty soon. We run Snow, at Snow our CIO starts looking like, what’s up with this Miro?

Where is this going? Because pretty much, pretty soon, we had 150 people within our organization using Miro. It went viral. Essentially the equivalent of, a meme going viral. That’s what was going on at Snow Software with Miro and we end up having a developer process figuring out what Miro is coming in, but this is the new way.

Miro, Asana, et cetera. These are, if you look up product led growth, this is the future of SaaS and it’s the future of being able to say people are no longer while we embrace business led it, it’s really the future’s end user led it. And we’re at the onset and the dawn of it, and it’s going to become more and more pervasive, and you have to be prepared for it.

And this is the slide that you really go in there and you talk to your leadership about these bigger trends, to in order to, for you to get that view of where your budget, how your roadmap needs to change to prepare you for this world. Because if you don’t get prepared for this world, you’re going to be surprised by it.

Other marketing trends that you really need to think about of what’s going in is these new operating models. Hybrid work comes to no surprise, we’ve been in this hybrid work model for two years. There’s all these return to the office posts that you see on LinkedIn. The reality is we had this major shift, whereas previously pre covid, 20% of the organization was remote.

80% was in office. Now that’s been flipped. 20% are in office, 80% are remote. I don’t know where those numbers are going to be, but we know it’s not going to go back to 80 the way it was, or 80% in the office are anytime soon. A vast majority of you probably are like, I’m not heading back. So this means that you have a real ITAM impact to this.

And some of you may already have been considered already building this in into your ITAM practice, if you haven’t already. Then you need to be thinking about how you make it easier to track hardware and software, how you need to incorporate, bring your own device models into your ITAM program, how you need to reign in that SaaS and public cloud, and how you need to sit here and think about how these product-led growth models are going to impact your business.

Business led IT. That’s the, now we heard me from the previous slide. I actually think you need to be focused on end user led IT. But even if we focus in on the reality of business led it’s the way it is. More budget is shifting over to business unit leaders. We need to care about those. The reality is that it’s still, you need new governance models because what’s happening is that CIOs see more and more of the budget for technology moving to business unit leaders like sales, marketing, human resources product officers. But still, when the CEO comes in and says, oh, my technology uses is growing and the CFO shows him all the numbers, he’s going to look at the CIO and say, what are you doing about that?

So the C is on the hook. Even though all the suspends put in everywhere. And while that’s an unfair position, the CIO and the ITAM and the IT teams need to realize that’s the position they’re in. And take this as an opportunity to take leadership there, to develop new governance models that enable end user to choose their own technology, but that create it as an enabler for collaboration and productivity while controlling the larger race risk of waste and security vulnerabilities.

This is not going to be easy, but it’s a great roadmap step to get you to your end vision, which is managing end user led IT.

The rise of DevOps, I started the conversation about high. It was moving from project to product. In any good product organization you have DevOps. DevOps works very differently than what the processes that we used to use.

For just regular IT and admin. That’s an increase in speed and innovation, a demand for IT to deliver faster. The need to build guardrails, not gates. No one wants to be the technology police there. DevOps, you have a bunch of DevOps engineers quit after you spend a lot of time recruiting them. There’s tremendous risk, particularly in public cloud.

Public cloud overages in this space, and as well as very expensive tools that DevOps engineers use. So you need to take a view of where your organization is on this shift from project to product. And do you need to care about these? Again, you need to go in and care about what assets matter to your business.

That’s part of the core. But you also need to be aware of this shift to product led growth and end user IT, and a shift from SaaS to cloud-like type of consumption. And then these three market trends are important for you to understand how is this going to impact my work? Some of these are already impacting my work and I’ve done nothing to change my processes about it.

What am I going to do in 2023 to make a change and make a dent in these? Because they’re open areas of risk to my business and they’re clouding my visibility and creating visibility gaps that are making it impossible for me to do my job at the level that I need to do. And this needs to be addressed, and you need to create this in such a package where you have a good conversation with your leadership about why this is important and why investing in your area of IT asset management is going to be critical to help them move ahead on these problems and risk areas in 2023. The third part is what alliances do you need to form?

I start this part of this presentation by saying, ITAM must build bridges to security and FinOps. Our traditional allies, and the way I’ve defined this is these are the people that IT asset managers are used to working with. We’re used to having some level of relationship with procurement. Who knows that we exist, others with the service desk, that sometimes we partner in from a human and resource perspective about deploying and onboarding and offboarding who sometimes we report to.

Sometimes we have a good relationship with finance who we have a strong partnership with vendor management, enterprise architects, but there’s these emerging stakeholders. That I don’t see as often in ITAM and SAM deals as I do in the FinOps part of Snow’s business, and they need to be there.

So a good part of that is security. I find that when IT asset managers have a strong relationship with security, that it’s easier for them to fund their programs, their software tools, and to get more people, they become ingrained and become viewed as a necessary part of the organization rather than optional part of the organization.

And especially considering the macroeconomic environment that we’re seeing in we will see in 2023. It’s important for you to you, your department, your tooling to be viewed as a critical part of the organization’s fabric. Anything optional is not a good place to be. So, if you can find a way to create that strong bridge and relationship with security. Do it.

A lot of our customers are strongest customers at Snow are the ones that have created a partnership with security. We’re such a big believer in this. We actually created a product called Risk Monitor at Snow that makes it easier for IT asset managers to give that data over to security so that they can have that relationship themselves.

A lot of our customers choose to build that themselves. One of our biggest customers actually ended up. It was due to Snow’s inventory capability that they were able to identify log4J in a Fortune 500 organization faster than some of their security tools were able to do now at Snow. We don’t aim to say that we are a security company, but we do understand, and Ron’s going to legislator, is that asset management sits at the foundation of the framework.

And this is really critical. So you have an ability to have a relationship with this, with security, and you should really be using that N framework, which Ron’s going to show later in the presentation to really talk about why and how, as well as how you can help them. So that’s a key relationship. The other one that I’ve highlighted is FinOps.

So a key part for you to ask yourself is FinOps prevalent in my organization? If the answer is yes, I encourage you to have a at least one meeting with that FinOps team book some time. Just say, I want to understand what you do and I also want you to be aware of what we do in our tooling and try to build a common relationship.

You don’t usually, when you have a FinOps organization, this is going to report into what we call a COE, which you see later in down here called a Cloud Center of Excellence. That’s usually where organizations tend to say, here’s my on-premises environment. I’m going to, I want to speed up my cloud development move over to COE.

So I’d go in there, but I just make sure that you’re aware of what they do, what you do, and how you could help each other. And Ron’s going to go into some detail, Ron, or some areas where we could go in there. But I think it’s important to establish that relationship because we had a, a. A customer of ours where we ended up going to FinOps presentation and their FinOps leader was saying, hey, we don’t actually, someone asked them as Rich Givens from ITAM review, what about ITAM?

They’re like we don’t have ITAM in our company. And they certainly did because they’re one of our biggest customers. So we ended up talking to our customer and really encourages the same thing. It says, you need to have a relationship with your FinOps leader. Because then in a big presentation, they actually said you didn’t exist.

So, it’s really important, as I say, step one, make sure they know what you exist. Step two, try to figure out how you can help each other. So, my 12 month challenge and after slide my head on to Ron, is, here’s where you are today. It’s September 2022, 12 months from now, it’s going to be September 2023.

Where do you want to be? And here’s some key objectives that I’d like you to take away from this presentation is that you should look at. How can I expand my team and or buy new software demand these new asset classes? As I said, if you’re somebody already working 50 hours a week just handling mainstream or you don’t even have mainstream in a good place, you need to understand.

Hey, if I don’t have mainstream in a good place, what’s more important for me? Getting mainstream, right going. Going to start looking at these cloud, these evolving technologies. Get that guidance from your leadership, but also don’t try to work a hundred hours per week. If there’s some other areas of the business that someone can help you with, try to at least get another person.

Try to get software. Try to get some level of support, whether it’s automated through software, whether that’s an additional person. Make sure that you have the right people if you’re going to take on a new asset class. But in general, when people, when you say, hey, I need to invest in new people, particularly when there’s not a lot of budget, as there’s likely not going to be in 2023.

You have to commit to something and what’s going to be new and glory to people’s years in 2023 is I can help you save money. So particularly think about using the 8%, 20%, 30% rule of thumb to build a business case. And what this is I usually say for every billion dollars in spend, people tend to spend 8% of that billion dollars in spend on.

IT software, et cetera. Of that 20%, 8% of the budget goes to IT. 20% is actually, hardware, software, something that you can control with an it, a M tool. And then about 30% of that, is wasted. And so, you use this back of the envelope calculations to make a rule of thumb business case. If you need more details on this, feel free to add me to LinkedIn and we could talk further, but use that to quantify, hey, if you invest in me, here’s what I’ll be able to generate back to the business.

This is important because few people want to give you software or add to your personnel if you’re not trying to commit something to the business. That’s it. I also asked that of my product managers, if your new feature is not going to generate new sales, better win rates. An additional source of revenue. I’m not adding it, so I think you need to think about that as well when building a roadmap.

The next one is, if you do not own SaaS today, become the primary owner of SaaS management in your organization. What this means is that it’s a good first step. For IT asset managers to start managing cloud consumption, because if you don’t manage either one of those today, I would start with SaaS because I think you can take a lot of the learnings that you have from ITAM and really bring it into SaaS.

The other one is going to be to develop a strategic alliance with FinOps and security. I would choose one of those, or both. If you exit 2023 without having one it’s going to be really difficult moving forward. So those are my two views that if you build those and take what we’ve spoken to, and if you can make traction on these four objectives within the next year, I think you’re going to be on a strong path to building your program around SaaS and cloud.

All right. With that, I’m going to say move it on to Ron, who’s going to talk to us about, great. You’ve built a roadmap. What do you do next? You have a proposal. How else do you get your leadership to be signed on that? Ron.

Ron Brill:

Thanks, Becky. Appreciate the great overview. So we’re going to focus on how to get this implemented with respect to two areas.

One of them being SaaS, the other one being FinOps. But before we dive into these two and some specific considerations there, I think it’s important to just maybe understand the role of ITAM in the context of the interdependencies with other IT functions. Go to the next one. Becky there are essentially three main objectives for it.

Asset management. It’s either to reduce costs, to mitigate risk, or to improve operations. Everything we do falls into one of these three and usually into Multiple of these three. And in this context, I view synopsis just a way or a methodology or the most broadly accepted methodology for doing ITAM for cloud-based assets.

But I, I put it under ITAM in this in this context. And ITAM, broadly speaking, achieve the three objectives either directly. So, for example, when we are removing shelfware or helping reduce costs and so forth or indirectly, and this is where ITAM enables other IT functions and you see some of them here to then achieve one of the three objectives.

And we’re going to touch briefly on just two of them. Information security that Becky touched on as well, and IT financial management, technology, business management. So, if we look at information security, as one example one of the other hats that I wear outside of Anglepoint, I chair the ISO committee for IT Asset Management Standards.

And our flagship standard 19770-1 was designed with the primary use case being a joint implementation with ISO 27001 for information security. So, there’s a very strong correlation between IT asset management and information security, essentially, you can’t secure what you don’t know.

And if you look at the 27000 family of standards, particularly 27002 some of those security controls that are listed there point back to the ITAM standard. Again, there’s huge overlap between these two domains. Another example for this is the Cybersecurity framework. CSF, which identifies these five stages, identify, protect, the tech, respond, recover.

And the first area under identify, as you can see here, is really asset management. So again, this is a foundational competency for any information security to happen. We’ve seen some of the major security breaches in history like the Equifax breach and others. Have been caused primarily because of ineffective IT asset management.

And we’ve seen other incidents like Log4J that Becky mentioned being tied to not having the right software, bill of materials and so forth. Again, strong correlation between these two. And this is one of the primary use cases for implementation of IT asset management. In fact, Gartner predicted that at some point in the future, more than 50% of all ITAM initiatives will be primarily driven by information security needs and concerns.

So that’s as far as the relationship with information security. If we look at another one of those sample areas of IT financial management one of the more broadly accepted models for implementing IT financial management is TBM Technology Business Management, sponsored by the TBM council.

And Apptio is the primary driver behind that. And they have this model to essentially help run it like a business. And what does that mean? That means that the CIO is going to be able to bridge and the conversation and bridge the gap, between finance that looks at general ledger entries and so forth.

And the business, which looks at business solutions, applications, business units, KPIs, like revenue and so forth, and how do you bridge that gap? And this model is a depiction of the taxonomy according to TBM 4.0. And at the bottom there, you see the cost pools, right? This is the general ledger.

And software, hardware, and services, which really include cloud. For example, Azure, AWS. Essentially these are all controlled by IT asset management and FinOps, right? And some of the heavy lifting that’s associated with implementing TBM is exactly in the space that we operate. Our all of us collectively around IT asset management information.

And what this model helps you do is help you translate these costs and how do they percolate down through this model all the way to KPIs such as revenue. Okay? This is. This particular piece of cost of software or Azure supports, business unit A, an application X, Y, Z that drives certain number of revenue in the year.

And again, this is an important model to keep in mind because what it helps us do from an ITAM perspective is speak the language that CIOs want to be able to speak so they can communicate with the rest of the C-Suite about what it is trying to achieve. And so that is another important correlation there.

All right, so again, we touched on just two of these security and technology business management. There’s multiple others. So we’re going to touch on how to get started with SaaS as well as Cloud infrastructure and platform services. So, with a SaaS perspective there are maybe five kind of areas of activities that are in play.

First of all, it’s just discovery, right? Helping the organization discover all the SaaS instances that exist. Which is pretty hard to do because as Becky mentioned, a lot of oftentimes they’re business led or even end user led, and they’re just using their purchase card, right?

So just understanding where those instances are, being able to consolidate them under organizational agreements with the SaaS provider. The next one is unneeded seats. And this is really trying to look at limiting shelfware as a service which is often the case. You an organization assigned a three-year deal with a or whatnot, and either haven’t assigned the seats to the users yet.

Or they have assigned the seats of the users, but the users haven’t logged in LA last 90 days or the last 180 days, and essentially that’s shelf four that you’re paying for on a monthly basis. So trying to identify those and eliminate those that are not needed sometimes. The real impact you can make is only when the next renewal comes up, but you still want to know what those are.

Unoptimized seats is the question of right sizing the provisioning level of the seat, right? Users assigned the top enterprise package, but they only need one report in a year. They can be on a much lower package and kind of right-sizing how the users are provisioned.

Secondary metrics is one of the areas where many of our clients get a lot of their surprises from a SaaS contract, right? So, when they’ve signed a contract, let’s say with, they know what they’re going to pay for seats the next three years that’s in the contract. But where they get the surprises from is all those secondary metrics areas where they’ve exceeded.

Their API, the number of API calls in a particular month that’s established in the baseline, or they’ve, some users have exceeded the storage that’s been allocated to them and so forth. And it’s pretty costly to exceed those types of secondary metrics and a lot of clients need help managing those.

So again, that’s a whole area of where ITAM can make a big contribution. And then of course, helping procurement negotiate the contract when it’s come coming up for renewal or if it’s a new contract, understanding the needs and the forecast for the needs over the next few years to ensure the organization’s not buying stuff that is not needed.

So there’s a lot of things that ITAM can do around SaaS and all of these things are heavily dependent on data. So having the right data and having the right tool is key. You can get some of it through reporting that you can get from the SaaS providers, but they’re not. In many cases, they’re not particularly helpful.

They’re not particularly incentivized to help you optimize. And so, you need other tools and can connect through APIs and get the data that you need to do the analysis that’s going to drive those actionable insights to drive those optimizations. That was SaaS at a high level. Want to touch on cloud infrastructure and platform services.

Again, those are the AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and so forth. And the most common methodology for optimizing that is FinOps that’s written by the FinOps Foundation. And the FinOps methodology is based on the three phases that you see here in form optimize and operate.

In inform you are really setting up the tagging taxonomy and reports and be able to just drive information. You can’t do anything else before you have complete and accurate and timely information that’s actually usable. The next stage is optimized. Once you have the information, you can start looking at optimizations, and there are two categories for optimizations that you see here.

It can either optimize your consumption of the cloud the quantities or the volume that you’re consuming. Or you can optimize the pricing or the rates that you’re that you’re paying, right? So optimizing the quantity include things like elimination of unneeded instances. Smart scheduling, turning things off when you’re not using them.

Right-Sizing instances, right? Make sure they’re not over provisioned, right? They’re provisioned for 16 processors. They, the instance only needs eight and so forth. So, there’s a lot of work that could be done around consumption optimization here. You have to work very closely with the engineering teams, because only they control those parameters, but They need the right information to be able to make those decisions that fops can facilitate fops and item can facilitate.

Then pricing optimizations include obviously during the time the contract is negotiated understanding what your needs and forecasts are as well as optimization that you can do during the life of the contract, like reserved instances, spot instances, and so forth. So, there’s a lot that could be done at that stage.

The operate phase in the FinOps methodology is really tied more to automation and so forth. I would say very briefly that the spin up methodology aligns very well to the it a m methodology. So, these three phases of inform optimize and operate really. Correspond to the three tiers that you may be familiar with the 19770-1 standard.

The first being trustworthy data that co corresponds to the informed phase. The other one being optimized. The third tier corresponds to the optimized phase here. And then life cycle integration correlates with the operate phase here. So the two methodologies are highly aligned from that perspective.

You move on to the next one. One of the main challenges we’re seeing is that in many organizations there’s a separate function for FinOps that’s not well aligned with IT asset management. Not in all cases. There are some cases where it’s under the same part of the same group, but in some cases it is, and there’s a strong case to be made.

Why they need to at least collaborate. If not integrate. Briefly touch on some of these reasons. One of, it’s really a single infrastructure nowadays, right? Cloud is not special. As much as some of the tups people may differ. It’s really just part of the infrastructure. You can have the same business application that have some components on cloud as components on-prem and so forth.

It’s just an integral part of the org, the organization of. Integral part of the infrastructure and the CIO is going to require a single pane of glass to be able to see the entire infrastructure. So that’s one reason why they should be integrated if nothing else. And similarly with respect to vendor relationship, you can’t segregate those anymore that you can segregate.

The infrastructure, right? So take a Microsoft agreement can include things like Azure hybrid benefits, so things like Azure commit and so forth. And again, if it’s ITAM managing the Microsoft contract and FinOps doesn’t have this ability to, that neither, neither party can really do its job, right? So you can’t segregate the vendor relationships anymore that you can segregate the infrastructure.

And, bring your licenses another category, right? So ITAM traditionally is responsible for all those traditional, I guess legacy on-prem licenses thinking, know Oracle and IBM and so forth, and trying to use those in the cloud. And again, ITAM can’t do that job if it doesn’t have visibility in what’s happening in the cloud.

And similarly, FinOps can do its job to manage cloud consumption and optimize that if it’s completely ignoring the software that runs on those instances. So again, that’s another area where collaboration is key. And then finally marketplace software. The marketplace is essentially where the cloud provider is functioning as a reseller.

And you can buy traditional software. Through the marketplace, and sometimes it’ll be the same software that the organization is already entitled to as part of enterprise license agreements that have been negotiated by procurement. It’s easier sometimes for the engineers to acquire the software that they need for the marketplace and pay for it again, even if the organization already owns it under an enterprise agreement.

So essentially you have two Procurement channel is for the same product in some cases, and you need to get those aligned. And again, it’s an area where we see being as a governance concern for many of our clients. So, this is some of the reasons and if you go to the next one why should.

Really ITAM and FinOps being integrated. Again, they have the exact share shared objectives of optimizing IT assets, reducing costs and so forth, similar principles and domains. We haven’t touched on the other aspects of the FinOps methodology as compared to ITAM, but they’re highly aligned that way.

Again, they’re really addressed. Each other’s blind spots very nicely, providing the CIO with that single pane of glass to see the infrastructure. And it’s really the best practice to get those integrated. So here again, if you’re not doing that, you should. And so how to get started from a, from FinOps implementation perspective, rope.

There are a few steps that you would do once to get set up, and then there’s the rollout phases. So from an initial setup, the first thing you want to do is get educated on the cloud providers that you are using in your organization, whether they say AWS or Azure. Understand how that works and understand the terminology and so forth.

And then following that ideally get the FinOps certification and training and then you can move into kind of an assessment of your current state, what kind of data you have on the item side, what kind of data you have on the fin up side what processes are in place, what human resources are in place, what technology resources are in place and so forth.

And try to understand what you have compared to. Where you want to be and where the gaps are. And then develop a roadmap as Becky mentioned, for getting from that point A to that point B. Looking at short-term goals, medium term goals, long-term goals around people, process, and technology aspects.

Some of it we’re require looking at tools if those are not already in place. And then during that phase you can already start identifying some low hanging fruit. And then from that you roll into actually implementing that roadmap that you’ve developed along the three phases of the FinOps methodology, inform, optimize, and operate, and those are, Phases that you do continuously that you’re never really done.

And you work in parallel and all three. So that’s kind at a very high level. Each organization is of course going to be different depending on do they have a FinOps function or not, that is separate from ITAM when you get started, are there any tools already in place or not the size of the organization are using multi-cloud or not, and so forth.

This kind of high-level roadmap, of course, need to be highly customized to each organization, but it’s just kind of high level picture there. And with that, I think we can, I think we’re at the end question. Yeah.

Becky Trevino:

Something else I like to tell people is, particularly if you’re at a sit situ, you’re at a point where there is no FinOps team in your company.

I’m of the view that says, Just because they’re different names doesn’t mean FinOps shouldn’t roll into IT asset management. So that could be part of your roadmap where it would say, okay, today if we look back and we think of that framework, this is today, I manage on-premises technology. Now let’s say I also manage SaaS.

My growth opportunities, I would want to extend IT asset management to build a FinOps practice. And then what would I need to do? Maybe you need to make an ask to hire a, someone from FInOps into your organization that then supports that, that cloud piece. Or, if it does exist, having a really good conversation with your partner FinOps that says here’s what I manage.

Here’s what you manage. How could we work together? So I do think there’s some key areas. What I see some IT asset managers doing is shrinking away and saying that’s something that. That’s not what I do. And something I try to advise IT managers that say, you could manage that too. It could fall under your purview.

Because as Ron said you want that single pane of glass, that complete view. And there’s no reason IT managers can’t take the best practices of FinOps and bridge it in with ITAM practices to create a cohesive view.


Ron Brill:

That’s great. Thank you so much for such a great presentation. We do have just a couple minutes left. We have, we had one question come in. If anyone else has more questions, feel free to submit those. If we don’t get time for them during this. This webinar, this presentation, we will be sure to answer those and email you.

But this one question that came in it is very related to what you were just talking about, Becky, but it’s, if there’s not a, an official FinOps role who’s most likely going to take ownership of reducing this cloud spend within the organization, I think what’s going to happen is finance is going to look at the bill that they’re getting and is going to say, what’s going on with this bill?

And then finance is likely going to look at the CIO or the CTO of an organization and say, hey, you go in there and look at it and you’re going to have an engineer that’s going to try to optimize it for an instance and not going to bring it up again until the next time finance brings it in. So, I think that create that’s typically what happens in organizations.

So what you want to do is, if that does happen, and if the CIO is aware of it, that’s one of those that you could bring up when you ask the question like, hey, which of these assets matter to us? And what should I be working on? And you should ask, how could this fall into what I do and how could I take ownership of that?

But in general, what we do see is it is, it starts with finance.

I would add to that, that, historically, ITAM has been a bit reluctant, generally speaking to step out of their comfort zone and adopt and embrace these technology changes and really step into FinOps and doing cloud optimization.

As a result, a vacuum was created in many organizations and then, other functions like the Cloud Center of Excellence and so forth, stepped in and, develop their own FinOps functions to address those needs. And I think it’s crucial for ITAM to continue to adapt and be agile to those kind of technology changes and the changes to the business.

Because having those two functions separate is not ideal. And if the functions are already separate the important thing is not to get hung up on, How the reporting lines should work and so forth. It’s important. Let’s focus on collaboration and make sure the work actually gets done regardless of where it gets done.

And I think things will flow from there. But again, I think it’s ITAM certainly as Becky mentioned, take that leadership and should have taken that leadership. And there’s still opportunity to do that in many organizations.

Awesome. That’s great.

Becky Trevino:

Thank you. We’re at time now. We did have a couple more questions come in. We’ll be sure to get those answers out to you through email. Again, feel free to connect with Becky or Ron on LinkedIn if you’d like. I’d highly encourage that and just want to thank you all for participating.

Thank you all for. For attending this webinar. And a huge thanks to Becky and Ron for presenting. Thank you so much. All right. You’re welcome. Talk to y’all soon.

Ron Brill:

Thank you all.