ITAM’s growing role: How neglecting IT asset management could impact your credit rating

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At its core, IT asset management (ITAM) involves tracking and managing hardware, software, connected devices, and networks throughout their lifecycle.

Brooks Hoffman
Brooks Hoffman
Principal, Asset Lifecycle Management Iron Mountain
November 13, 20238 mins
Improve Control Over Information Destruction- A person pressing delete on a computer

In our increasingly digital world, effective IT Asset Management (ITAM) has become not just a cybersecurity necessity but also a key factor in an organization's credit rating. A recent report from S&P Global, one of the world’s foremost providers of credit ratings, reveals the vital role of ITAM in achieving a good credit rating. In this blog, we'll explore the impact of this newfound consideration and why ITAM is no longer just a behind-the-scenes operation.

What is ITAM?

At its core, IT asset management (ITAM) involves tracking and managing hardware, software, connected devices, and networks throughout their lifecycle. It ensures that an organization's digital assets are accounted for, properly maintained, and secure.

The Impact on Credit Ratings

The converging themes of 'ITAM' and 'creditworthiness' is unifying the CIO and the CFO in a way not experienced before. S&P Global Ratings now warns that overlooking ITAM can have consequences for an organization's credit rating. In their assessment, the absence of robust ITAM practices is viewed as a red flag for flawed cyber risk management. This emerging synergy underscores the critical importance of robust ITAM practices, not just for cybersecurity but also for the financial well-being of an organization. CIOs and CFOs must work together to ensure that ITAM is integrated seamlessly into the organization's risk management strategy, aligning both technological and financial objectives.

ITAM and Cybersecurity

Similarly, with the converging themes of 'ITAM' and 'cybersecurity' we’re seeing even tighter collaboration between the CIO and the CISO. Effective ITAM is crucial for proactively managing vulnerabilities, responding to incidents efficiently, and minimizing the financial impact of cyberattacks. As these themes intertwine, it's essential for CIOs and CISOs to fully align IT asset management practices with robust cybersecurity measures. This partnership ensures that an organization is well-prepared to face the ever-evolving landscape of digital threats and vulnerabilities while safeguarding its financial and operational integrity.

Material Consequences

A well-known data breach incident from the past serves as a stark example of how insufficient ITAM practices can result in a significant data exposure incident. This breach incurred substantial financial penalties, including a considerable monetary fine and a comprehensive cost exceeding $2 billion in mitigation, remediation, and legal proceedings. It also led to a downgrade by a reputable financial assessment entity.

S&P's Perspective

Paul Alvarez, a credit analyst at S&P, emphasizes that ITAM is foundational to effective cybersecurity. It is particularly important for time-critical cybersecurity tasks, such as identifying assets with critical vulnerabilities and managing the lifecycle of assets.

The Significance of Speaking the Language of Credit Ratings

The report from S&P provides ITAM professionals with a golden opportunity to justify expanding their role within their organizations. Credit ratings are a language understood by CFOs, CIOs, and CEOs, making the impact of ITAM more tangible in terms of financial stability and reputation.

Final Thought

In a world where IT assets are critical to business operations, ITAM has evolved from being a mere operational consideration into a highly strategic element being a key determinant of an organization's creditworthiness. ITAM professionals now have a powerful tool at their disposal to demonstrate the value of their work and to protect their organizations from potential financial and reputational harm. ITAM is no longer behind the scenes; it's front and center in the world of credit ratings.

Contact Iron Mountain to discover how the convergence of creditworthiness, IT Asset Management (ITAM), and cybersecurity can benefit your organization.

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