A Compliant Christmas Carol: The Past, Present, and Future of IT Asset Management

By bedigital on January 7th, 2024

Christmas is a time for reflection on the past, understanding the present and embracing the future. As much as it’s about the mince pies and family gatherings, Christmas also offers a chance for many of us to stop and evaluate where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go.  

Charles Dickens’ famous novella, A Christmas Carol, perfectly exemplifies this phenomenon— albeit with the addition of ghosts and a miserable moneylender protagonist. 

This blog, aptly named A Compliant Christmas Carol, uses Dicken’s motif to explore the evolution of ITAM practices over time, reflecting on past challenges, the current state of ITAM, and future trends to anticipate. 

Unlike the instance with Scrooge, however, we hope this post won’t give you a fright. 

(The Ghost of) ITAM Past 

The 1970s marked a shift in the way computers were used within businesses. Instead of being used as mere calculators, they began to inform more advanced business decisions and companies started to realise the additional ways they could be of benefit. This increased use case for PCs meant that there was a need to manage limited computer resources; therefore, the need for ITAM materialised. 

Over the next few decades, the adoption of computers in the workplace became increasingly widespread. Although the necessity of ITAM expanded with it, by the early 2000s, the practice remained rooted in the physical world, as the focus was on HAM (Hardware Asset Management). Think stock take but for technological assets. 

As the years went on and the software industry grew from strength to strength, it became increasingly clear that it wasn’t only physical assets that needed to be managed within IT estates. SAM (Software Asset Management) started to become an important feature for businesses to consider, especially in light of the increasing occurrence of vendor audits and compliance risks. 


(The Ghost of) ITAM Present 

In today’s world, subscription-based products are everywhere. To deal with our constant consumerism habits and fast-paced lifestyles, we’re used to paying monthly to do things like watch our favourite tv shows and listen to the latest music.  

The way we purchase software licenses, much like TV shows and music, has had a bit of a revamp in recent years. There’s been a shift from buying one-off licenses to buying license subscriptions. This is similar to how many of us have ditched the CDs for the eclectic convenience of streaming platforms.  

Because the way software is being purchased has changed, ITAM has had to adapt with it. Despite the convenience of licensing subscriptions, businesses need to be increasingly aware of the new compliance risks that come with this method of ownership.  

With some of our favourite streaming sites, it’s common knowledge that users may try to get away with sharing accounts when they’re for personal use only. Unknowingly, many businesses encounter this very problem with their software license subscriptions.  

Today, ITAM is needed now more than ever before to help businesses untangle messy webs of subscriptions. 

(The Ghost of) ITAM Future 

Unfortunately, unlike Charles Dickens’ psychic spirit, we don’t have the magical foresight to predict the future of ITAM.  However, based on technology trends that we’re seeing at the moment, we can make some well-informed guesses. 

Corporate sustainability is a prevalent topic in the world right now, and it is likely to involve ITAM a whole lot more in the future. Businesses will need to look to ITAM to help with factors such as energy efficiency, combatting e-waste and encouraging remote working to meet eco-driven targets. 

Right now, businesses are still feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and this impact is predicted to continue for a long time. As the financial strain from the pandemic continues to effect businesses, ITAM will be extremely important to help companies remain compliant and avoid any costly penalties from increased audits. 

Transform your IT estate with ITAM 

ITAM has been around for a while, and it’s not going anywhere.

Taking this time to reflect on the impact that asset management has on businesses proves why, at bedigital, we’re passionate about our services. Saving leaders time and money is what we do best. 

If you’re feeling a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge, with unruly assets haunting your IT estate, get in touch with our experts today. 



Placing ITAM at the centre of IT Governance – The ITAM Review (itassetmanagement.net


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