The practice of controlling and optimizing the use of software assets inside an organization is known as software asset management (SAM). SAM involves gathering data on software installations, licensing, and usage throughout a network of an enterprise. SAM’s main goal is to make sure that a company is using its software effectively, has the appropriate amount of licenses, and is in compliance with all applicable software licensing agreements.
Due to the complexity of software license agreements and the requirement for enterprises to manage their software spending, SAM has grown in significance over the past few years. Over 50% of firms do not adhere to their software license agreements, and non-compliance can result in considerable financial penalties, according to the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM).
The Benefits of Software Asset Management
Cost savings, compliance, risk management, efficiency, and planning are just a few advantages that SAM offers to organizations. Organizations can save money by reducing the number of licenses they require by optimizing their software utilization. SAM minimizes the danger of financial penalties for non-compliance by ensuring that businesses adhere to their software license agreements. Through methods like identifying software that is no longer supported by the vendor or that has known security flaws, SAM assists companies in managing the risk related to the use of the software.
By finding unneeded or underused software and reallocating licenses to where they are required, SAM also assists organizations in increasing the effectiveness of their software consumption. Finally, SAM gives businesses the information they require to prepare for upcoming software upgrades and purchases, empowering them to make wise software investment choices.
Software discovery, licensing management, usage tracking, compliance monitoring, and optimization are some of the crucial procedures involved in SAM. A software discovery tool that scans the network and recognizes all installed software is often used to identify every piece of software on an organization’s network as the first stage in SAM. Once the program has been located, the following step is to compare it to the license inventory of the company to ascertain whether the company has the appropriate number of licenses.
If a company has too many licenses, it could be able to save money by returning unused licenses. It might need to buy more licenses if it has insufficient ones. In order to make sure that software is being utilized effectively, SAM also involves tracking how often, by whom, and for what purposes it is used. Monitoring compliance entails making sure that the company won’t face financial penalties for breaking software licensing agreements.
Last but not least, SAM entails optimizing software usage to ensure that the company is receiving the most value out of its software investments. This may entail reallocating licenses to where they are required or locating outdated or underutilized software that can be retired.
Software Asset Management and Risk Management
Risk management is yet another crucial component of SAM. SAM assists businesses in identifying and reducing the risks related to the use of software, such as locating programs that the manufacturer no longer supports or that have known security flaws. This is particularly crucial in the modern world, where data leaks and cyberattacks are a daily occurrence. Organizations can increase the security of their IT infrastructure and lessen the chance of a security breach by recognizing and addressing these issues.
SAM aids businesses in increasing the effectiveness of their software usage. Organizations can redistribute licenses where they are needed or retire software that is no longer required by tracking software consumption and identifying underutilized or unused software. This can increase worker productivity and lower the time and money needed to manage software assets.
Finally, SAM gives businesses the information they require to make plans for upcoming software upgrades and purchases. Organizations can locate places where they require more software licenses or where they might need to upgrade to a newer version of a specific software application by examining software usage statistics. This can assist businesses in investing in software wisely and guarantee that they are getting the most out of their software assets.
Why Enterprises Need Software Asset Management
SAM is a continuous process that needs to be continuously monitored and improved. For enterprises to ensure that software is managed successfully and efficiently, a SAM program that is integrated into their IT and procurement processes is crucial. The actions listed below should be followed by organizations to set up a SAM program. First, decide on the program’s objectives, which may include lowering software costs, assuring adherence to software license terms, or increasing the effectiveness of software use. Second, designate a specific team with the power to enforce SAM policies and procedures to be in charge of the SAM process. This team will also be in charge of gathering and evaluating data regarding software usage.
Third, create guidelines for managing software assets, such as those for software deployment, software retirement, and software purchase. Fourth, choose software solutions that assist the SAM procedure, such as usage tracking, license management, and software discovery tools. Last but not least, incorporate the SAM process into the company’s IT and procurement processes to ensure that SAM policies and procedures are adhered to uniformly throughout the company.
Organizations should implement a SAM program that is integrated into their IT and procurement processes to address these issues. This entails giving a specialized team charge of the SAM process, power to enforce SAM policies and procedures, and responsibility for gathering and analyzing information on software utilization. As part of managing software assets, the team should create policies for software deployment, software retirement, and software procurement. The company should also choose software tools for the SAM procedure, such as usage tracking, license management, and software discovery tools. Also, to ensure that SAM rules and procedures are followed uniformly throughout the organization, the SAM process should be incorporated with the company’s IT and procurement processes.
SAM is a complicated process, and for it to be successful, it needs the correct people, procedures, and tools. Making sure that all software usage is reliably documented and reported is one of the main problems of SAM. As it may be challenging to identify every piece of installed software on the network, this can be particularly challenging in businesses with big or complicated IT systems. To make sure that the company is getting the most out of its software assets, SAM also necessitates constant improvement and monitoring.
Software Asset Management (SAM) is an essential procedure for businesses of all sizes. Cost reductions are among SAM’s main advantages. Organizations can reduce the number of licenses required by maximizing software usage and locating underutilized or unused software, resulting in significant cost savings. Additionally, SAM assists businesses in avoiding significant financial penalties for breaking software license agreements.
In reality, the costs of the penalties for breaking the law can often be far higher than the price of getting the required permits in the first place. By verifying that they have the appropriate amount of licenses for the software they use and are using it in accordance with the licensing agreements, SAM may help organizations avoid these fines.