Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
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Debrief on IAITAM 2010 Annual Conference

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To be completely honest, I’ve never been much of a tradeshow enthusiast. Between a pesky L5 vertebrae (I’m 6’2″ and no, I don’t fly first class), the difficulty keeping up with the torrent of email, and a seemingly futile quest to perfect my “elevator pitch” on the tradeshow floor, I’d rather my time out of the office be spent sipping Mai-Tais on a sandy beach.

That said, this year’s IAITAM conference was an exception to the typical tradeshow. The attendees with whom I spoke were genuinely enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable. Many have lived through multiple IT asset management (ITAM) initiatives and technologies due to job changes, mergers and acquisitions, and shifts in organizational priorities. The sessions were exceptionally well-attended and covered a wide array of ITAM topics from high-level educational topics to detailed technical discussions.

In addition, I had the privilege of delivering a talk on Wednesday entitled “Software Identification: Present Realities and Future Possibilities“. The presentation covered the following areas:

  • Why do we care about software identification?
  • The role of software asset management tools
  • Identification challenges
  • Identification methodologies
  • Current state of software tagging
  • Technology selection criteria

Some great questions came out of the session, many concerning the rate at which ISVs are adopting the ISO 19770 standard for software tagging (the answer: “slowly”), as well as technical questions relating to, for example, whether software tags could be deleted and if so, the potential implications on software license management (the answer: “it depends”).

My biggest take-away from the conference was confirmation of the value of targeted events like this. I think many of us in the software development business lost some level of faith in tradeshows during the days of the mega, overly broad (aka unfocused) expos. But conferences like IAITAM provide a unique and exciting opportunity to be around those who live and breathe ITAM. (Oh, and I think I finally nailed the elevator pitch.)