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Intersection of FinOps & ITAM/SAM


FinOps & ITAM examines the integrations required/possible between FinOps and IT Asset Management (ITAM). ITAM is an overarching framework/discipline aimed at the management of all IT related assets. ITAM covers Hardware Asset Management (HAM), Software Asset Management (SAM) and management of other IT-related asset subsets, including but not limited to Software License Management (SLM) and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) management.

ITAM is a defined discipline within the ISO/IEC 19770 family of standards and is maintained by working group 21 within the International Standards Organization (ISO).

ISO/IEC 19770-1:2017 defines ITAM as “coordinated activity of an organization (person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships to achieve its objectives) to realize value from IT assets (item[s], thing[s], or entit[ies] that can be used to acquire, process, store and distribute digital information and has potential or actual value to an organization).

ITAM is a discipline used by organizations with the goal of optimizing the cost, risk, and operational efficiency of IT assets throughout the asset lifecycle. The asset lifecycle consists of various phases as depicted in below diagram:


Widespread use of public cloud creates new challenges for ITAM in organizations:

ITAM may assist FinOps in several regards:

Intersections between the FinOps and ITAM teams in an organization should be complementary.

Maturity Assessment

Introduction & Definitions

Individual Understanding: Individual understanding refers to either the ITAM or FinOps disciplines’ comprehension or knowledge relating to particular concepts, ideas, or situations. Both disciplines have in-depth knowledge of their individual frameworks, information sources, goals and experiences and can analyze and assess relevant information to determine or predict outcomes relevant to their own fields.

Shared Understanding: Shared understanding refers to a mutual comprehension and agreement between the ITAM and FinOps disciplines regarding concepts or information. Everyone involved has a similar understanding of the meaning and significance of FinOps, ITAM and the intersection thereof and can communicate about it effectively.

Shared understanding between the ITAM and FinOps teams is important in various contexts, such as workload scoping, BYOL utilization, contract and discount negotiation, problem-solving, and decision-making. It also helps to avoid waste and with the alignment of expectations towards the common goal of a cost-optimized IT estate.

Common Taxonomy: Common taxonomy between ITAM and FinOps refers to organizing and categorizing information based on a shared set of characteristics or attributes. ITAM and FinOps practitioners classify information into groups or categories in a consistent and standardized manner so that they can be easily identified, understood, and communicated. The goal of the shared taxonomy is to create a common language and understanding among ITAM and FinOps to facilitate the exchange and analysis of information, concepts or ideas.

Common Toolset: A common toolset used by ITAM and FinOps refers to a set of tools, software applications, and methodologies to enable either some or all processes related to ITAM, FinOps and/or the intersection thereof.

Common Processes: Common processes refers to recurring actions performed consistently in a standardized manner by ITAM and FinOps. An example of a common process may be workload assessment to determine most optimal pricing or license utilization.





Functional Activity

As someone in a FinOps Practitioner role, I will…

As someone in an Engineering role, I will…

As someone in a Finance/Procurement Manager role , I will…

As someone in a Business/Product Manager role , I will…

 As someone in an ITAM Practitioner role, I will…

Measure(s) of Success & KPI

Measures of success are represented in the context of cloud costs and may include one or more key performance indicators (KPI), describe objectives with key results (OKR), and declare thresholds defining outliers or acceptable variance from forecasted trends.

The intersection of FinOps practices with ITAM/SAM has become extremely relevant in modern technology operations. By leveraging some of these intersecting and measurable KPIs, it provides organizations with the tools and insights needed to make informed decisions, optimize resource allocation, control costs, and ensure the security and compliance of their resources in the cloud.

Below are some measures of success along with KPIs that organizations can implement to align FinOps practices with ITAM/SAM:


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Featured Resources

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