Introduction to IT Asset Management Certification
One of the most recent occupational additions to the information technology field, the IT asset manager, is also a nascent addition to the world of IT certification. The International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) is now offering certifications for those on this career path.
“We’re the only ones offering IT asset management at this time,” IAITAM President Barbara Rembiesa told CertMag EXTRA. “We’re setting standards in an industry where there were none before. The IT asset manager was not considered a profession. In the early ’80s and ’90s, IT was a black hole that CIOs and CFOs just threw money into. They need to be managing those assets now. There needed to be a profession dedicated to managing those assets. IT is [generally] the second-largest expense to a company, after personnel.”
“Therefore when you have that expense–as well as federal legislation and corporate downsizing and budget cuts–it’s basically mandated that you take care of these assets, manage them and know what they have internally to be able to budget appropriately for subsequent years,” added Lynne Weiss, IAITAM’s vice president of sales and marketing.
To facilitate education, training and development for IT asset managers, IAITAM recently established three certifications: Certified Software Asset Manager (CSAM), Certified Hardware Asset Management Professional (CHAMP) and Certified IT Asset Manager (CITAM).
The CSAM and CHAMP credentials, both two-day programs with an option of a third day of review and testing for certification, are instructor-led with intensive course discussion, Rembiesa said. Learning materials for CSAM and CHAMP include a training manual and several PowerPoint presentations. The former focuses on license and agreement negotiations, contract management techniques, compliance management and various other topics as these pertain to software, whereas the latter concentrates on similar subjects in terms of hardware assets.
The CITAM certification, a four-day course with a fifth-day option for review and certification testing, is an advanced program that covers both hardware and software asset issues from a managerial perspective. “It’s more of a process-type course,” Rembiesa said. “The CITAM gets more into the management processes. It drills down on the savings opportunities, legislation and contract negotiations.”
Rembiesa and Weiss said the dividends of the knowledge acquired from these courses were often immediately perceptible. Professionals certified in IT asset management frequently save their companies hundreds of thousands of dollars soon after completing the courses by applying their new skills to contract assessment, they said. Upon review, IT asset managers subsequently can cut the fat off of contracts, by eliminating uneconomical elements like unnecessary maintenance and support charges and superfluous orders of software packages.
Rembiesa said the three courses are designed as a kind of series that constitutes a larger, single IT asset management certification. “All three of our certifications for individuals complement each other,” she said. “An IT asset manager needs to be involved with software as well as hardware. In all these classes, we teach human resources, legal and purchasing, which all need to be involved in IT asset management.”
Rembiesa said the IT asset management credentialing program was a hit, and corroborated its success with IAITAM’s plans to extend its offerings to IT professionals in Europe and Australia in the very near future. She added that anyone in the United States interested in this growing field should attend IAITAM’s annual conference, to be held Oct. 27-29 this year at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. (In case you need an excuse to go to Vegas.)
For more information on IAITAM certifications, see http://www.iaitam.org.