The skills gap in ITAM is a topic that has been written about, discussed, and debated often over recent years and the problem is becoming more evident with no clear solution in sight. Employers’ ITAM requirements, which will enable them to meet more strategic business objectives, are often not being met because the skills, experience, and knowledge required from their employees to perform effectively are diminishing in the current workforce. ITAM excellence requires a significant level of knowledge around major publishers, licensing and contracts, management of software asset management tools, and the ability to process and manage the data these provide whether on-premise, public cloud or SaaS.
In addition, as IT procurement and ITAM teams work ever more closely, vendor management and negotiation experience are vital to ensure the crucial elements are in place both contractually and commercially. With the ISO 19770 standard for software asset management (SAM) becoming ever more important, obtaining ISO 27001 certification for IT Security Management is a crucial step in laying the foundation requiring a close relationship between ITAM and IT Security. The IT Security roles demand a combination of technical and workplace skills to assess vulnerabilities and respond to cybersecurity incidents. To make matters worse, new skills are required as technology advances and the ITAM function becomes more business-critical, commanding the attention at CXO level. The ability to perform this more senior role and deliver concise management reporting back to the business adds more experience requirements to the Job Description. Most organizations simply don’t have these skills in-house and learning this multi-faceted role of an IT asset management professional takes years of hands-on experience and knowledge that is passed on by senior team members.
How COVID impacted ITAM
During the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, this skills gap in ITAM increased dramatically and created a talent crisis, when vast numbers of workers left their jobs. Redundancies were made (particularly in hospitality, retail, and transport sectors) as organizations scaled back to reduce overheads and protect their finances. 2020 saw monthly notices of expected large redundancies in the UK (20 or more employees at a single establishment) increased from 485 in March 2020 to 1,734 in September 2020 (Office of National Statistics). Some workers took early retirement, and workers who experienced the freedom of home working sought a better work-life balance as normality returned. The latter left roles that required them to travel and be in an office every day opting for hybrid and ‘work from home’ roles, even when the salary was reduced.
How is the ITAM skills gap impacting organizations?
The rate of skills moving into the IT AM roles is now far outweighed by those leaving. With a shortage of 18-24-year-olds coming into the industry (particularly women) there is a shortage of ‘new blood’ to learn the skills and those to teach them. It’s becoming increasingly hard for organizations to fill roles as the high level of advanced IT asset management skills required is not present in the available workforce. The ITAM Review Skills Survey 2022 showed how the time it is taking organizations to fill roles is increasing, and more organizations are seeking to fill roles. This is leaving existing workers to pick up the slack and at high risk of them becoming ‘burnt out’.
In addition, the high number of roles waiting to be filled has allowed workers seeking new positions to be more selective and demand more flexible working, improved benefits, and higher salaries. This has led the average ITAM salary to increase by 13-15% since 2019. The highest growth was seen is in the USA, where average ITAM salaries have increased 27.5% from $106,871 to $136,227 (ITAM Review skills survey 2022).
This is great news for skilled ITAM/SAM professionals as they have far more options and better employment packages, but for the organizations looking for these skilled workers, the news is not so great. Finding the best person for the job is going to cost them significantly more and cutting corners with inexperienced, less expensive workers opens the business to substantial risks—financial legal, and reputational.
ITAM continues to become a more vital and strategic function for organizations, requiring communication and reporting at the CXO level to monitor and manage business change, innovation, automation, and CX and UX improvements. Digital Transformation programs and the implementation of a more stringent process and governance framework demand an increased level of skills. Cloud Management, FinOps, and ISO19770 experience are becoming necessary to fulfill these roles as technology advances and governance requirements change.
ITAM is a vital business function for which budget, focus, and strategy must be applied to ensure organizations can survive and thrive through the next technological era.
What’s the solution to ITAM’s skills gap?
There is a long-term opportunity here with a need to attract new people to the industry and upskill them.
Join us for a roundtable discussion (in-person event)
This topic is one that Anglepoint values hugely and we are taking the conversation into our next roundtable discussion in London on August 9th, where we will host IT asset management professionals across the industry to explore thoughts and ideas on the topic including reframing ITAM (value of ITAM to business), power skills for future (what skills IT professionals need to better serve business) and mentorship. Join us!
“Young people are ‘digital natives’ who have grown up surrounded by digital technology, and the majority (62%) are confident that they have the basic digital skills that employers need. However, fewer than one in five (18%) young people are very confident they have the *advanced digital skills that employers need.” (*good knowledge across a range of digital skills, as well as in-depth specialist knowledge in one or more areas, such as computer-aided design, coding, and specialist digital software.)
Making the ITAM Training courses accessible has never been more important. We have a responsibility to help foster and grow ITAM talent and nurture our next-generation ITAM experts.
But what about the short term? As the cost and availability of a fully functioning internal ITAM workforce increases and becomes more difficult, organizations are turning to Managed Services Providers to support and fulfill these roles as this provides access to scalable resources, expertise, and industry knowledge to deliver the level of ITAM excellence required today. Gartner launched the Magic Quadrant (MQ) for SAM Managed Services back in 2019, recognizing the importance of benchmarking and showcasing the best-in-class services in the industry.
What does Anglepoint’s Software Asset Management (SAM) Managed Service offer?
Anglepoint is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant in every year of its existence – but what does this mean? The organizations in the MQ go through a stringent evaluation and Gartner says…
“The Leaders quadrant indicates the direction of the SAM-managed service market. Leaders have built a considerable SAM managed service track record, demonstrating their experience to successfully deliver these services, and are well-positioned to continue delivering services in the future.” The evaluation is based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.”
Anglepoint’s professionals have decades of hands-on experience managing clients from the Fortune 500 to the Inc. 1000. Our diverse hiring practices and intimate attention to detail ensure there are no client demands that we cannot meet.
Our employees have professional certifications and qualifications common to the industries we serve, however, Anglepoint employees don’t stop there. From JDs to MBAs, client-specific certifications to global standard certifications, we differentiate on the power of our diversity. We realize the value of complementing our deep hands-on experience with intensive classroom study because at Anglepoint we believe there is always something to learn.
For a company with +185 employees across multiple countries, good leadership is critical. Anglepoint is built on the strength of passionate professionals who focus on leveraging technology and cutting-edge subject-matter expertise to continually guide our clients through the strategic obstacles that prevent them from maximizing revenue and IT cost management opportunities.
Engage with the experts to support your organizational needs now but take the time to nurture and grow new talent within your organization. Together, a Managed Service Provider working with an organization’s ITAM team is a force to be reckoned with!