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5 Common Misconceptions of Software Asset Management

Thought-Leadership by Dan Morrison
on May 12, 2015

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Although organizations are beginning to better understand Software Asset Management’s (SAM) value, there are still several common misconceptions behind a truly effective SAM practice. Investing in SAM is typically seen as a one-off exercise to determine the current state of compliance, but when viewed in this light SAM’s expensive short-term price tag overrules the long-term return on investment.

Organizations assume SAM exists solely to resolve an audit. However, IT decision makers can take it a step further to better justify software purchases by tracking and managing the software lifecycle. Below are 5 common misconceptions associated with Software Asset Management.. By leveraging these basic fundamentals, your organization will realize long-term benefits and will be better suited to manage your software portfolio.

1.  Procurement Manages Our Software Licenses

When an employee requests new software, procurement is responsible for acquiring it. Therefore, many organizations can be forgiven for their wrongful assumption that procurement should also be tracking the entire software lifecycle. Procurement may have the purchase history of the order, but that does not mean they are monitoring the entire lifecycle, analyzing its usage rights, measuring its usage, tracking its install-base, etc. Procurement simply has the receipt, but nothing else that contributes to lifecycle monitoring.

2.  No Need to Take Inventory of Recent Mergers/Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are a major contributor to publisher audits.  When organizations merge, they often forget to properly consider the nature of their acquired software license agreements. As a result, publishers assume these agreements do not match with the new company structure – whether by device count or employee headcount – and file an audit since organizations are typically more concerned with other logistics as opposed to the proper alignment of license agreements.

3.  We Don’t Need a Dedicated SAM Tool

This common error in judgment plays a major role in amplifying long-term ROI but is frequently discarded as an unnecessary expense. Without consulting a dedicated SAM specialist, organizations aren’t aware of the right questions to ask in order to realize SAM’s cost-savings:

  • Application Rationalization – Do employees use a specific software enough to justify it being on their device? Would another employee benefit from that application instead of buying a separate license? Could the license be cut altogether to save costs?
  • Upgrade Information – Are you using an old version? Are you considering upgrading to a new version, but aren’t sure if you need all the features?
  • Risk Reduction – Are you purchasing software without considering the financial, technical, and security risks involved?
  • Cross Functionality – How many applications have the same functionality across different publishers and software contracts?

Regarding application rationalization in particular, organizations are unaware of the strategic impact of allocating licenses from one user to another. Without a dedicated SAM tool, the analytics to meter employee usage of installed software is unavailable, resulting in incorrect licensing structures as well as misusage of applications.

4.  SAM Is Only Necessary When Undergoing a Publisher Audit

The misconception that SAM is an expensive one-time effort is quickly fading. Frequently, once an organization is audited they will be hunted by other publishers as well since word got out that they were out of compliance. An effective SAM practice exists to prevent audits. This is a long-term investment which yields considerable results as you analyze the usage of your software assets.

5.  We Understand the Proper Use Rights of Our Software

Software license and contract management is a vastly overlooked area when it comes to proper software lifecycle management. Frequently, enterprise customers purchase software in large volumes without understanding the usage rights involved in that volume licensing agreement, resulting in improper installations that result in publisher audits.

Enterprises typically have a variety of publishers in their software portfolio. A dedicated licensing specialist who understands each publisher’s terms of use is an incredibly rare talent. Furthermore, knowing the subtle intricacies to achieve cost-savings in volume purchases requires an even deeper knowledge of each publishers licensing terms and programs. Without a dedicated licensing specialist who maintains an up-to-date knowledge of publisher initiatives, incentives, and pricing, enterprises are likely to pay face value for their volume purchases.

If your organization falls under any of these common misconceptions, contact your SoftwareONE Account Manager to leverage our deep-rooted publisher relationships and ensure you receive the optimum deal on your software purchases. Implementing a Software Asset Management practice that tracks, monitors, and meters all software purchases ensures your organization receives the greatest ROI throughout the entire software lifecycle.

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