“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
That was said by the French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle who was exasperated at trying to lead a nation brimming with so much determined individuality. Oddly, it is a sentiment that could be shared by the folks at any large organization’s IT department. In their version it would read more like, “How do you manage an IT infrastructure which has tens of thousands of different machines?”
In many cases, these are a diverse set of endpoints including mobile devices used by individuals who hardly think twice at installing some new piece of software. In those instances, how is a manager even supposed to know where the devices are? Even once they are located, how does he or she find out what software is on it and whether or not it is up to date?
The issue of software asset management (SAM) is a critical one that organizations have been struggling with for almost as long as there have been computers. Unless addressed properly it poses direct financial and security risks to the entire company.