Speaker: Renee Storc, Senior IT Asset Manager
We created this episode with the goal of helping people join or build ITAM teams. Renee Storc, a Senior ITAM Manager who has built ITAM teams in different organizations, helps us answer the following questions: What skills are needed? How to stand out during the interview process? What is it like to work in ITAM?
If you are looking to start or advance your career in ITAM, or if you want to build your team, this episode is a great place to start. On top of that, we highly encourage you to connect with both Renee and Tylair as they can help you reach your career objectives.
- The many paths within a career in ITAM
- Characteristics of good ITAM practioners and teammates
- Lessons learned over 15+ years in ITAM
- And more
If you’re interested in learning more about Renee, connect with her on LinkedIn.
Listen in on our latest podcasts by checking out the ITAM Executive.
This is probably one of the coolest things about IT asset management in general. So it really doesn’t matter what your skillset is, what your preference is, what your specialty is. There is something for everyone in ITAM.
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Welcome everybody. My name is Tylair Hudson. I am the recruiter here for Anglepoint. Today I’m with Renee Storc. She’s a senior manager of ITAM in the FinTech industry. We’re so happy to have her. Renee, would you mind giving us a quick introduction?
Sure. My name is Renee Storc. I am a senior manager for IT asset management in the field of financial FinTech companies, and I’ve got up to 10 years experience in this field, so very happy to be speaking today a little bit about how to build an ITAM team and some of the characteristics that we really look for in this line of work, so thank you.
Thank you. We’re excited to have you here. We think this episode is going to be really helpful to a lot of people as they look to build their own teams or join ITAM teams. There’s gonna be some really good, helpful stuff for them, so we’re excited. But before we get into all of that, would you mind sharing a little bit of your journey in ITAM and how you’ve gotten to where you currently?
Yeah, sure. Absolutely. So I actually went to the University of Kentucky. I got a degree in the field of telecommunications, and right after graduating I got a job with a manufacturing company with a role of organizational change management and trainings. So it wasn’t necessarily in telecommunications, but it was close enough it, it was technology.
And in that role I learned a lot about how important it is to really connect technology in the systems that businesses. The business operations and the employees, in order for any specific effort or initiative to be successful, all three things have to come together and employees have to be supported and they have to have the knowledge to be able to do their job successfully.
So that’s how I got started from a system standpoint. After that, and actually for that project, we. Building customer portals and partner portals. And what I didn’t realize at the time was we were actually building fleet management systems, right? Which is actually asset management. Later on in my career, as I grew and I learned more about asset management, I realized I’ve been doing it all along.
So I did that for a couple of years and then I moved on to take a position. The state of Kentucky as a contractor building their pension system, and that’s really where I learned my analyst skills. So as far as prototyping, business logic, the tooling part of a career in ITAM and how important it is to understand the needs of the users.
So I did that for a little while, and then after that I was actually invited back to that first company that I started at for Portal 2.0. So round two of fleet tracking for these portals that we built. So we successfully executed those projects. Which were great. Again, another learning experience with basically asset management and it was customer facing.
There’s a lot of importance when you’re dealing with a project that directly impacts the customer. So after that, I was actually tapped on the shoulder and said, Hey, listen, we’d like for you to join the vendor management office within it, and we have a project for you to work on. Project is the CMDB and asset management for this company, but it was all internal.
So it was actually my first experience dealing with end-to-end operations for IT for both hardware and software. So I got to learn a lot. With that project. And the cool thing about that project was the platform that we selected, which was ServiceNow, we got in early enough to where I, we, the team were able to learn with the entire industry.
So as the platform grew, as new capabilities came out, we got to learn and. Feedback and really help develop or influence the direction of that platform. So very fortunate to have been given that opportunity at that specific time because I really do consider myself blessed to have that experience and to have been able to run with that project.
So, yeah, a little bit about me, and then if I fast forward a little bit, that kind of project is always ongoing. I had an opportunity presented to me with the company that I’m at right now to go ahead and build an ITAM program from the ground up. And so I said, yeah, of course I’m ready. And so that is how I’ve made it to where I am right now.
That’s great. What a really cool experience. It’s interesting, seems like a lot of people in this space don’t necessarily plan on being in ITAM, but through various experiences they learn how to do it and the importance of it and all of those kind of things. For someone who is looking to get a job in ITAM, as you’ve built teams and hired over the years, would you mind sharing a few characteristics of an ideal job candidate?
Sure. Absolutely. Some of the things that I look for in a candidate is a lot of, not just experience, but also some of the soft skills with it, being as broad as it is and covering as much as IT. From a business perspective, you really have to have really good communication skills. The candidate also has to be flexible, right?
So the job description may say one thing, but in reality, we have to be, as ITAM professionals, we have to be able to cross into several different lanes just because of the asset lifecycle from purchasing to management, to. Boarding. It really does cover everything, so you look for someone that has good communication skills and flexibility.
Another thing for me is I look for someone that is very disciplined and has attention to detail because the whole thing with asset management is the data, the quality of the data, and so every little. Thing matters. If it seems like it might be insignificant, you’re gonna find out later that whatever that was turned out to be significant.
So we really want people to be very detail oriented and disciplined and making sure that they always follow through with the correct process. And if it doesn’t feel right, let’s dig into it and figure. Really, truly what it is so that you can solution it and really back the quality of the data. So we look for candidates that possess those qualities as well as passion.
We really want someone that is passionate and that cares about their job and about the project and effort as a whole. Because really truly, ITAM is the foundation for basically all of IT. Operations as well as a number of other operations in other departments like procurement and purchasing IT and security, right?
So we want someone that is gonna take ownership and cares very much that our product, that what we’re delivering to our customers, even internal customers like security or purchasing, are getting good quality material and products and data to use.
Absolutely. To go along with that. Have you ever had any experiences where a candidate surprised you either in the interview process or on their resume?
Yeah, absolutely. So some of the things that really catch my attention are the individuals that are able to articulate situations or experiences where they may have made a mistake or they were a part of something that didn’t go right or didn’t go as planned, but they learned from it, right? So they took lessons away from that, and really that is what this is all about.
So you build your experience and your expertise based on not just training and education, but real life trial and error. So in interviews or, you know, as I’m working with different individuals, I really enjoy when people can say, listen, we tried this and. Terribly wrong for us, and we know to never do that again.
So that’s one of the things that, that I really appreciate hearing from a candidate as well as anything that the candidate is able to offer. As far as teaching me something new, right? As a, as an ITAM program manager, I may not be an expert in each and every single area. I depend on my leads to be the experts in each area.
So candidates that are even able to teach me are something that, that I, I put in high regard. I do appreciate.
Yeah, I can see how an experience like that would be really valuable for you and can help you see how that candidate could be an impactful member of the team.
So once you’ve built your team and filled the needed roles, what are characteristics that you look for in employees that you enjoy managing?
Yeah. Yeah. I really enjoy managing employees that are unique and they are themselves, right? They. Are passionate and they believe in something and they have guiding principles that drive their actions and their decisions, so that, that’s one thing.
I also really enjoy managing individuals that are not afraid to fight for what they believe in, because with some programs and projects, we are driving massive amounts of change for an organization, right? And so with that, you do get some resistance and there sometimes there is pushback and really, I like to have a team where those individuals are able to have the finesse to help the people through that change.
You spend a little bit of extra time saying, Hey, listen, let’s talk through this, let’s figure it out together, because most of the time. What I’ve learned is if someone is speaking out about something or very seriously resisting there, there is something behind that. There’s some truth or some legitimate reason that they are. As vocal as they are for whatever that topic may be, employees or team members that can take the time and really understand that, I think is great.
Now, another thing that is probably my favorite part of managing a team would be the humor, right? So I enjoy people that are able to kinda cut the seriousness or sharpness of a conversation with a little bit of humor, right? Because we can all use that. It helps to. Things into perspective. Sometimes there can be very spirited or heated discussions and that one individual that’s able to kinda drop the funny line, I appreciate that, right?
Because it kinda deescalates the, the situation. And then I would say my. Final favorite characteristic in employees would be employees that are able to clearly articulate and put things into context for people. So our jobs specifically is challenging in that we are acting as sometimes a liaison between business people and technical people.
And so it’s very hard to have conversations sometimes and. really cater to both audiences. And so when you have an employee that’s able to say, look at it this way, or cons, consider it however they put it into context with an example, is really important to me because I’m one of ’em. Sometimes I need someone to help explain or put it into words so that I can get to where I need to be as well.
Definitely being able to put things into context is probably really helpful when it comes to getting buy-in from the rest of the company or selling ITAM to the business. For a lack of a better way to say it.
Yes, yes, absolutely. And that’s a really good point too, what’s in it for me, right?
So trying to put yourself in their shoes and help them understand the benefits to their organization or their team, or maybe their individual job tasks and activities each day. So yeah, that’s a good.
So earlier in our conversation you had mentioned how ITAM is such a broad space to be in. Would you mind sharing a few different lanes, so to speak, within ITAM that our listeners could potentially take if they so desired?
Yes, absolutely. So this is probably one of the coolest things about IT asset management in general. So it really doesn’t matter what your skillset is, what your preference is, what your specialty is. There is something for everyone in ITAM and what I mean by that is not only can you navigate or specialize in hardware or you can navigate that.
There’s also different levels of that. I appreciate person that likes to present and drive change you as well. Roles to everyone who listen. You can be front center and helping to guide a project and act as that liaison. If you’re a person that maybe doesn’t like to be up in front of a big crowd, you can actually be behind the scenes and crunching the data.
There’s a lot of data analysis that goes into this. There’s also the compliance portion of this maybe. if you enjoy more, uh, how do I wanna phrase this? If you enjoy. Negotiations or business debates, you can get into the publisher compliance part of this where you’re actually speaking with publishers and saying, okay, let’s figure out how to come to a workable solution and, and let’s get the compliant result that we need.
There’s really something for everyone in ITAM in the field of IT.
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Renee. This has been a very insightful conversation. If our listeners wanted to continue this conversation or connect with you, where could they do that?
Yeah, sure. LinkedIn is always a great place. I do have a LinkedIn profile and a presence on LinkedIn, so you could message me there.
And I’m always open to networking and meeting people within the industry and mentoring as well. A lot of people have taken the time over the years to help me along and guide me or give advice. Absolutely. Any anyone that wanted to or may want to reach out or talk a little bit about ITAM in general, I’m happy to speak with them on LinkedIn as well.
Thank you so much. And to anyone listening, I would 100% take Renee up on her mentor offer. She’s excellent. Thanks again, Renee. We really appreciate having you.
Yes, thank you and I appreciate it and have a great day and we’ll talk soon.
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