The Provance Blog

The Provance Blog will provide you with expert advice, insights and opinions in regard to IT Service Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft System Center.  

A System Center Jedi You May Be, But an ITAM Padawan Only You Are (Yes, hmmm)


Growing up a fan of works by the likes of Tolkien and Douglas Adams, I’ll admit I've gotten a big kick out of Provance’s participation at System Center Universe 2014 (SCU 2014) — what with Carl’s superstar turn as a quasi-T2 and of course the ongoing Jedi contest.

It’s the latter that has got me thinking about this year’s SCU 2014. I assume that the speakers scheduled for Houston, those planning to be in attendance and those viewing the live-streaming broadcast from across the world will cover the full spectrum of System Center Jedi ranks, from Younglings, Padawans, Knights and Masters in all things System Center and IT Service Management.

While the Jedi ranks are likely well distributed on the System Center front, on the IT Asset Management (ITAM) front I can (safely) assume that many in attendance and watching live will generally be ITAM Younglings and Padawans.

How do you test my assumption and know where you rank as an ITAM Jedi?

I’d recommend using either the Microsoft Core Infrastructure Optimization or the Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) Optimization Models to gauge what type of ITAM Jedi you are.

Both models are segmented into four categories: Basic, Standardized, Rationalized and Dynamic. Lucky for us, the Jedi order follows the same four category rule, as identified above.

You’re an ITAM Youngling if your IT organization has some basic form of ITAM infrastructure in place, like Microsoft Excel. The typical ITAM set up here involves lots of manual tasks and lacks any formal policies or procedures, the latter comprising the foundation on which ITAM is built.

You’re an ITAM Padawan if you’ve taken steps to begin evaluating/using tools and formalizing developing your processes. Tools in use could be Configuration Manager or a homegrown system in conjunction with a master Excel spreadsheet containing Configuration Item information. Even though you have data, its accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. You’re either evaluating vendors at this stage or implementing an ITAM solution like Provance.

Quick Note: As ITAM Younglings and Padawans you are very susceptible to the Dark Side. I’ll define “Dark Side” as incomplete solutions which only provide a very small piece of the whole ITAM pie. Fail to point that out, some do. Strong with the Dark Side such solutions are, and easily frustrated you will be.  I’ll talk more about the ways of the Dark Side in a following post.

You’re an ITAM Knight once you’ve actively deployed your ITAM solution and have implemented the right processes to allow your organization to begin proactively, rather than reactively, managing its hardware and software assets. You’ve begun to see the ways of the force at this stage and by doing so you’ve provided your organization with a solid understanding of the life cycle of your assets and the Return on Investment (ROI) ITAM programs can provide.

You’re an ITAM Jedi Master when you can leverage ITAM for competitive advantage. As a Master, you’re actively managing your IT organization (on-premise and in the cloud) to include all assets (organizational and bring-your-own-device) and your IT strategy is perfectly aligned with that of your organization’s (rapidly changing) business needs and strategy. You’re now using ITAM to actively reduce the costs and risks of IT and your combined IT Service Management and ITAM program has made your IT organization a lean, mean business operations machine. Strong with the force young Jedi is.

Wherever you believe you and your organization fit in the System Center and ITAM Jedi spectrums, take note that System Center Universe is your opportunity to speak with people who can be considered Jedi Masters of each discipline rather than just one.

Provance will be providing webinars in December and January on the SCU Network – Service Manager Channel. We’ll be speaking multiple times and exhibiting at the live event, and we’re also available to provide ITAM Jedi 101 training to you and your organization at your convenience. Don’t forget ITAM University (or the ITAM Jedi Temple) is also a great resource to start ITAM Jedi Training.

Just remember ITAM is a journey not a destination. To quote a great Jedi Master, “Patience you must have my young Padawan.”



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