Barbara Rembiesa is president of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), a for-profit user association in the US. She believes interest in IT asset management is stronger than ever.
This is mainly due to the requirements imposed on public companies to track hardware and software assets and document their controls under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, she says. Nevertheless, many C-level executives still fail to grasp the need to implement effective IT asset management practices.
What are the hot-button issues for IT asset managers these days?
SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) is one. When companies were getting ready for Y2k, everyone was jumping through hoops to get the work done. This is happening again with SOX.
Also, executive buy-in on asset management is a big issue. Executives are not understanding this. SOX is helping some, but there's still a lack of understanding. To help better educate executives, we're going to be conducting executive briefings and webinars in 2005.
IAITAM is four times bigger this year compared with 2003 both in terms of revenue and members. What's driving this?
Some of it has been driven by Sarbanes-Oxley, but a lot of it is word of mouth. Sixty per cent of our class participants return for additional classes. The hunger for knowledge in asset management is overwhelming.
What are the types of IT asset management certifications that IAITAM offers?
We offer three certifications. There is CSAM, or Certified Software Asset Management certification. We also offer CHAMP, or the Certified Hardware Asset Management Professional certification, as well as CTIAM - the Certified IT Asset Manager.
Is IAITAM planning to offer other certifications?
Not necessarily. But we are going to be adding a contract negotiation class in early 2005 and a best-practices in IT asset management course in late 2005.
Does IAITAM have a position on the advent of multicore processors and their impact on software licensing fees?
Licensing needs to be more standardised around the industry. Based on feedback we get from our members, 85% of noncompliance with software licensing agreements is nonintentional because of customers' inability to understand the terms of their licences.
Our member board is going to start pursuing talks with software publishers about standardising software licensing agreements during the first half of 2005. That's going to be a tough one to push through.
What's the current software audit environment like? Are vendor-driven audits on the rise, or are vendors softening on this?
I would not say it has softened. I talk to clients who receive audit letters all the time.
Thomas Hoffman writes for Computerworld
This was first published in October 2004