The purpose of any portfolio management practice is to ensure that an organisation has the right mix of programmes, products and services to execute the organisations’ strategy. To reach this objective, IT Asset Management needs to reach out and claim an active role within Portfolio management.
Portfolio management encompasses a number of different portfolios of interest to ITAM, consisting of:
- The product/service portfolio;
- The application portfolio;
- The project portfolio.
(Note: In different organisations, these concepts may have different names, differ in function or overlap. The “architecture board ” for instance can have a different status, mandate and form per organisation.)
All of these portfolios require input from IT Asset Management to optimise their designs, decisions and plans. ITAM on the other hand, needs output from the boards, as the services, applications and projects need to be designed and delivered in such a way these can be managed efficiently and effectively throughout their lifecycle.
Adding value to the product/service portfolio
IT Asset Management can deliver strategic information on existing contracts, discover possibilities in licensing forms, detect pitfalls within current contracts, provide advice on license usage metrics, and provide insight in technical and license roadmaps of a publisher. IT Asset Management can also provide a link to supplier and vendor management information. In return, the product- or service design package should contain processes, tooling and training to support the other 4 steps in the lifecycle.
Adding value to the application portfolio
Next to ITAM policies and ITAM strategy, IT Asset Management can assist with and advise on application rationalisation, standardisation and help create a link to security management. In return, application portfolio management should deliver a lifecycle plan per application that is in line with IT goals, standards and policies.
The shift to cloud applications does not diminish the need for application portfolio management, it creates an even bigger need for clear guidelines. The ease with which new functionalities, modules and products can be activated within an existing cloud environment calls for a pre-defined go-to product or module per functional field, including a strategic plan that supports this choice.
Adding value to the project portfolio
IT Asset Management can assist when deciding on technology, standards, license metrics, alternatives and contract forms, as well as utilising existing commitments. In return, a project plan should contain processes, tooling and training to support all phases of the lifecycle and facilitate a smooth transition to business as usual.
In your organisation, these portfolios may have different names, statuses, mandates and forms. Most likely, the level of maturity will not be as high as you might like. The most important thing to keep in mind is that IT Asset Management needs to be involved on a strategic level wherever changes are made to the IT infrastructure. So, claim your seat at the table!