IT Asset Management Forum Launches to Enhance Sector

A not-for-profit body for the asset management sector has been established to advance the overall reputation and recognition of the IT Asset Management (ITAM) industry while providing a collaborative space for ITAM leaders to come together.

The ITAM Forum launches with a board of 15 trustees from across the ITAM industry – representing IT end users, resellers, tool providers and independent consultants, with two objectives:

  • To educate and evangelize – to encourage more companies to practice ITAM and to attract new professionals into the industry
  • To promote best practice – provide a collaborative, global forum for ITAM leaders to come together and share ideas for the advancement of the ITAM industry (eventually establishing a globally-recognized Organizational certification for ITAM)

Founder Martin Thompson said that with more focus on asset management, due to the COVID-19 pandemic driving more employees to work remotely, “IT Asset Managers have a huge role to play in documenting and unpicking this rapid and unplanned investment. 

“The smart management of assets is a shrewd business practice which delivers benefits far beyond IT. ITAM therefore has a rightful place outside of the niche IT/ITSM domain from where it started, and as a boardroom priority in its own right. The ITAM Forum is here to help it achieve this goal, by raising the profile of the ITAM discipline as much more than a compliance exercise and demonstrating its value to every organization looking to better manage its assets.”

In an email to Infosecurity, Lenny Zeltser, CISO of asset management vendor Axonius, said it was encouraging to see the increasing importance that cybersecurity professionals have been assigning to IT asset management in recent years.

“Security teams recognize that ITAM is a foundational aspect of a security program,” Zeltser said. “We need to know what devices, systems, users and applications we have, so we can implement the appropriate safeguards for them. Industry frameworks such as ISO 27001, CIS Critical Controls and NIST Cybersecurity Frameworks have included the need for ITAM for years. In recent years I've seen security professionals pay much closer attention to this requirement.”

Zeltser also noted that more and more enterprises are recognizing that they don't need yet another source of asset data, and instead look for ways to gather information about IT assets from the various IT data silos, such as the CMDB, network scanners, cloud instrumentation tools, Active Directory and so on. “Each of these sources of data has partial visibility into the organization's assets. By combining this data, organizations are able to get a comprehensive view into their ITAM posture.” 

The ITAM Forum also announced a longer term objective to create a new certification program for ITAM, based on the global ISO standard for the ITAM industry – ISO19770 – which was first published in 2006. 

“By certifying organizations against the ISO standard, the ITAM Forum will look to provide the highest measure of quality to demonstrate the competence of an ITAM department in the face of increasing board level scrutiny,” Thompson said.

“By benchmarking an ITAM department output against recognized ISO standards, stakeholders in the ITAM lifecycle (in particular those not fully versed in the complexity of IT assets) will be assured of quality. While our current priority is to establish the ITAM Forum as the credible voice of the ITAM industry, we look forward to eventually establishing the ITAM Forum certification as the globally-recognized ‘Kitemark’ for ITAM quality.”

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