What can SAM do for you?
Software Asset Management (SAM) is the process of keeping track of all software assets in an organization. This can include applications installed on employee computers and management of software licenses, SaaS subscriptions, and entitlements as well as their related purchase and contractual documentation.
Where does it begin?
After defining the SAM project scope and objectives, a typical Software Asset Management process begins with collecting data. The data required for SAM normally includes inventory lists of installed software, purchase information including invoices and license contracts and entitlement data. Different departments may have this data in various systems, often a range of IT tools and spreadsheets. Software or Asset Managers are tasked with devising a way to centralize this information for convenient access for reporting. Analyzing data from one central location is much simpler, and is vital to extract information that can be used to optimize software assets, maintain compliance and reduce costs.
What is Software Asset Management Used For?
A company may have hundreds of software licenses to keep track of, making manual monitoring of this data impossible. What happens when one of those licenses needs to be renewed? What if ten of those licenses need to be cancelled because a project just ended?
A SAM solution takes care of the tedious, time-consuming tasks involved with managing software assets. It notifies appropriate staff when licenses need to be renewed, cancelled or updated. Additionally, companies can easily make software available to new and current employees or remove unnecessary software when an employee no longer requires it.
SAM helps organizations manage costs. Without SAM an organization may purchase more licenses than necessary. A SAM tool allows managers to see unused licenses, which can be cancelled, saving on renewal and subscription costs. A SAM tool can also help organizations forecast and plan for future software expenditure based on the organizations previous purchasing behavior.
SAM helps organizations understand their compliance position (more formally referred to as effective license position). Comparing what has been purchased with the reality of what is installed and in use within the organization.
The benefits of a SAM Tool:
Save Time: A dedicated tool to consolidate all of the data related to software assets is much more efficient than manually combining data from multiple solutions
Compliance: A clear inventory of the software installed on the network combined with accurate licensing and purchase data will reduce the chance of non-compliance.
License recycling: Software that is not being used can be identified and the licenses can be re-harvested to be used elsewhere in the company.
Improved Processes: The data can be used to populate the configuration management database. This is necessary for organizations that want to provide users with software and services that they need, implement automated processes and streamline IT processes.
Security: A SAM tool provides visibility of exactly what software is installed on the network, allowing unauthorized software to be identified so it can be promptly removed, avoiding potential security risks.
In conclusion, the benefits of a SAM tool span across cost management, compliance, streamlined IT processes and security. Software asset management tools provide clear reporting that detail your effective license position helping organizations to maintain compliance. Such tools also provide reminders when subscriptions or contracts are due for renewal, and in turn, allow detailed tracking of software expenditure with high-level analytics reporting. All of these benefits serve to reduce the workload of employees that would otherwise have to manually consolidate information across multiple tools and analyze data with the noise unfiltered.