The MEGABYTE Act of 2016 inspired us to interview ITAM professional, Todd Labrum, to get his insights on the bill.
Here are the questions and answers.
1. What are your thoughts on the bill?
My initial thoughts were in regards to the wasteful spending that must be going on in the government for them to pass a bill enforcing the implementation of an ITAM program. It’s got to be pretty bad.
The good thing is that the government is taking it seriously enough to enforce action. I can’t wait to see what each agency does in response to this bill. It would be nice to see some tax breaks come about because of this bill and who wouldn’t want that?
2. Why is ITAM/ITSM so important for government agencies?
The question should really be why is ITAM/ITSM so important for any organization. It’s great to see that the government takes ITAM seriously enough that they’ve passed a bill mandating all executive agencies to implement an ITAM program.
This is important for every single taxpayer in the country because it means a reduction in tax dollar waste. Agencies can no longer go on purchasing software licenses at will. They will have to report on every single license purchased, who it’s been allocated to, and how it’s being used.
By implementing an ITAM program, it will become very clear which agencies aren’t spending tax dollars judiciously
3. What kind of cost savings do you think they can expect?
I think they could expect a cost savings of up to 30 percent within the first year. Subsequent years could be around five to 15 percent.
4. What does this bill mean for the future of government IT security?
Think of this. For those of you who have kids, do you care what they do on the internet or the computer? Do you care what software they download and use? Do you care about their use of torrent sites? f the answer is no, then I don’t know what to say except I hope you’re lucky.
This bill means that the government will have to track the purchase, installment, and use of each software title in their environment. This knowledge and awareness will reduce the risk of confidential information from getting into the wrong hands.
We’ve seen in the past that the government has been lax on these standards and classified information has found its way into the public. This is something that I’m not too happy about, but it could happen to anyone and it does. But that does not mean that we can’t make it better and the government is taking the right step by passing this bill.
5. Should an ITAM solution be required for more companies?
Personally, I believe that if companies don’t implement a solution, they’ll soon find themselves out of business. Competition is pretty fierce these days, and any way to save on cost is a great way to stay ahead.
Beyond that, staying in compliance with your software also means less risk of being fined or audited. Depending on the size of the company, they could be paying millions of dollars for audits and fines for not being in compliance with the software they use.
Everyone needs to take this seriously and step up to the plate. The better we manage our assets the more money we have in our pockets. That goes for both individuals and organizations.
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