Whether implementing software asset management (SAM) for the first time or seeking a new provider, getting your software estate under control is critical to your business. Some companies choose to outsource the entire software asset management programme, others realise that they can effectively implement an in-house SAM system to oversee everything from purchase to archiving. Here are Livingstone’s top five reasons to implement a SAM system today!
1. Cost Saving
No one wants to waste money (but they increasingly do) when it comes to software assets. Licensing is expensive, but getting licensing wrong can be even more expensive. SAM cost savings are twofold:
*Effective management saves costs by ensuring the correct number of licences are in operation at all times. Effective management also allows for mid and long-term planning, allowing for better financial management and control in perpetuity.
*Fines imposed after audits for overused licences and other non-compliant activities are reduced.
2. Time Saving
Attempting to discover the extent of your software estate and the depth of its licensing needs is a time consuming project. Often undertaken in preparation for a vendor audit, comprehensively assessing one’s software assets is a lengthy process, but the ‘hit’ and subsequent flurry of work associated with an audit can be mitigated with a comprehensive SAM system. Knowing at all times what software and licences are in use (being prepared) has huge time rewards when audited as the process is quicker and more painless. Employee productivity increases as proper training and support is provided for the correct systems. Harmonised software prevents fewer interface conflicts and more effective companywide communication.
Non-compliance is very expensive. Compliance, on the other hand, rewards one with a Zen-like state of mind, comfortably resting on the knowledge that you have well-negotiated licence agreements and are paying little-to-nothing in fines imposed by software vendors for non-compliance. Compliance can be difficult to achieve, but with a good SAM system and complimentary policies in place, a software estate can be managed effectively and within the boundaries set by the licensing terms, ensuring continuous compliance.
A thorough review of one’s software assets can be very revealing. With the majority of companies not able to provide a comprehensive snapshot of their software estates, the insight they lack not only compromises vendor agreements, it leaves them vulnerable to malware and reflects badly on management and control measures. SAM systems allow deep insight into the technical and licensing needs of an organisation and gives purchasing power where it matters.
With insight comes control and with control comes the confidence you are operating a fully compliant software estate. Control also means having management over the security of your network, fully understanding what your software does across the entire organisation, identifying weak spots and addressing them, knowing your complete software inventory… the list goes on. SAM is so much more than being ready for a vendor audit.