Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Interview with Martin Thompson, Founder of the ITAM Review

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I’ve been following Martin Thompson’s blog, the ITAM Review, with great interest since its inaugural post in November of 2008. Martin’s approach to blogging is a refreshing departure from most blogs covering the discipline of IT asset management—its content is exceptionally wide-ranging, relevant, thoroughly researched, and perhaps most importantly, vendor-agnostic (gasp!). It’s a resource I rely on to augment my knowledge about ITAM and to make sure I don’t succumb to the temptation, as a marketing professional, to close my mind to information or viewpoints that don’t necessarily align with my company’s philosophy or interests. For all these reasons, the ITAM Review has been instructional as we went about developing our own blog, and for that, we owe Martin a debt of gratitude.

The ITAM Review recently celebrated its first anniversary since launching, so it seemed the perfect time to feature Martin on our own blog. The following is an interview I conducted with him in order to recognize the great work he’s doing and to encourage our readers to check out his blog as well. Thanks Martin!

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DB: What are your goals for the ITAM Review?

MT: My goal for the ITAM Review is to provide an independent view of the ITAM market. The site currently provides news, reviews and resources for anyone in the fields of ITAM, SAM or Software Licensing. I have also recently launched a global job board and discussion forum.

DB: What in your background and/or experience do you believe makes you uniquely qualified to blog about IT asset management?

MT: I have worked in ITAM, mostly for tools vendors, for around ten years and now work as an independent consultant. My main motivation for writing most of the articles is that I am genuinely interested in learning more. I enjoy networking and connecting people together and I believe the ITAM Review provides a good platform for that.

DB: Can you describe your growth in readership and subscribers since you launched the blog?

MT: The ITAM Review was started formally in November 2008; from a standing start the site gained over 50,000 page views in the first year and around 1,000 subscribers to the monthly newsletter.

See http://www.itassetmanagement.net/2009/11/06/a-big-thank-you/ for further details.

DB: What topic(s) do you most look forward to blogging about?

MT: Any topic that:

  • I don’t understand myself
  • Might be useful to readers to refer to or
  • Provides an opportunity to cut through some myths, preconceptions or vendor fluff.

DB: What do you see as the biggest organizational challenges IT asset managers are experiencing right now?

MT: There are some organisations leading the way in terms of ITAM best practices and I have had the pleasure with speaking with some organisations that have implemented some great programmes. However, I am always amazed at the amount of companies who do not have a good foundation in place – What do I have and who is using what? If you are under pressure to do more with less or justify expenditure you need to have the basics in place.

DB: What do you believe are the most common mistakes that IT asset managers make when implementing an ITAM program and/or choosing a tool?

MT: Assuming that an ITAM tool can be installed like a firewall, buy it, plug it in and forget about it.

DB: What do you think about the new ISO standards and their affect on application identification?

MT: I think it is a great initiative and the team behind the ISO standard have done some great work. It is now all about execution and I think the best thing end users can do to make sure it is successful is to be bullish with their software suppliers and vendors, dig their heels in, and insist that they adopt the standard. The repercussions will benefit everyone in the industry.

DB: How do you think the European ITAM market is different from the US ITAM market?

MT: In my experience the issues faced by organisations and the headaches that keep ITAM professionals up at night are remarkably similar the world over!

If you have any questions for Martin, please post them as comments below.

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