As the business value of modern software applications increases, corporations are heavily investing in software to better streamline their business processes. Yet, they have neither the time nor knowledge to manage these assets as efficiently as traditional, physical hardware.
A Concise View of a Software Asset Management Engagement
The process of a SAM engagement is relatively complex, requiring a broad array of knowledge ranging from the technical expertise to manage and monitor the SAM tool scanning the IT environment to the licensing knowledge necessary for interpreting the data retrieved from the SAM assessment. However, below we attempt to break it down into its fundamental parts:
Introduction and Evaluation. Together with the organization’s IT team, the SAM expert reviews the scope of the engagement, suggests applicable SAM tools, and outlines the timeline of the engagement.
Scan and Analysis. The SAM specialist performs a software scan with the chosen SAM solution and retrieves the license entitlement data from all requested publishers. This information will then be analyzed, compared, and compiled into a report that shows if your organization is under or over licensed for each product.
Standardization of Your Environment. Based on the license statement and gathered information from the environment, recommendations can be made regarding the best and most cost effective way to license your software portfolio, such as contract adjustments, additional purchases, or license consolidation.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library – The 4 Step SAM Process
According to the ITIL Guide, “Software is a major asset for a company when looking at its costs, and an even greater one when looking at its ability to forward business objectives. But, when outdated, misconfigured or unpatched, it can also be a huge liability. [SAM] covers processes to maximize software as an asset while minimizing its risks” (our emphasis).
These “processes” alluded to above follow a typical 4-step process:
- Setup, Scope, and Kick-off | What are the key milestones to achieve during the engagement
- Discovery, Scan, and Inventory | What assets are installed and owned?
- Analysis | What is the compliance situation?
- Delivery | How can processes be improved?
The Fundamental Goal of a SAM Engagement
Although each SAM engagement can be customized to resolve an organization’s specific needs, below are the primary reasons organizations conduct a SAM engagement:
- To obtain full visibility into the installed and used software assets, license ownership, and current compliance situation.
- To minimize the financial exposure and audit risk, achieved by following best-practice cost reduction and avoidance optimization models.
- To maintain peace-of-mind that over-spending on software licenses can be partially or completely avoided.
- To enable operational efficiency while reducing liability and legal exposure.
- And obviously, to protect against potential publisher audits.
If any of the above points are something you currently struggle with in your IT environment, click the banner below to schedule a free discussion with one of our SAM experts!