Software Asset Management (SAM) data is the underpinning information for many businesses. Looking at this data and applying it to different departments, however, is a theory that a lot of organizations haven’t implemented yet. Providing your Procurement team with access to your SAM attributes helps eliminate the cost of licensing over spend, and sharing the data with your IT team stops over deployment of software and lowers your risk of non-compliance. Not only that, it’s an effective tool for identifying and eradicating underused or redundant software and restricting access. SAM is not a straight vertical and so should not be owned by one department alone, joint ownership will benefit an entire organization.
IT Security under scrutiny
Without a SAM solution in place, a company cannot fully protect what is installed across their environment, and if the IT team can’t see what is deployed, how can they know what procedures to implement to ensure the network is safe? Protecting your company from hacking, Trojans or data breach is a top priority so we advise our customers to really get to know what is going on within their network in order to take steps to effectively protect software and data.
Know your software
Establishing what software is deployed across the network is the first step to ensuring protection of one of the most valuable assets an organization owns.
At first, this will seem like a daunting task, especially for larger organisations. A full hardware inventory should include every network device with an IP address to include desktop computers, laptops, printers, routers, switches, firewalls and servers (to name a few). SAM Managers will know that the technology used for a full software audit, will also list all devices connected to the organisation’s network. Working alongside the IT security team, this knowledge share will identify potentially costly holes in the software’s security, as well as what is installed, how it is being used, and therefore what requires a license. Ensuring all network devices are running the appropriate security software and understanding what is installed and where can open the door to different security options that best suit your company’s needs.
WFH, BYOD and The Cloud
The working-from-home (WFH) craze has taken the globe by storm. With more and more employees working outside of their office, secure VPN lines have been put in place to ensure relevant data can be accessed anywhere. IT Security teams must understand how many employees have access to the network through VPN, and how they are using their devices when they’re not in the office – downloading a new piece of software could put the entire organization at risk! Knowing what software is being used, both inside the office and out, can help minimize the risk of having a malicious application installed.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is another extremely popular way to work these days. With an increase in BYOD comes an increase in the possibility of employees downloading cheap or illegal copies of software. By establishing a robust BYOD policy, organizations will have a record of what software is deployed across each device, ensure there is no risk once it hits the network and be confident in remaining compliant (whether the software is covered by a personal license or company owned license).
SAM and IT Security professionals should also be thinking about the future of their software. If parts (or all) of their IT are to be moved to a cloud based solution then staying on top of compliance is essential. All changes being made to the IT environment should be carefully documented to remain both protected and fully licensed.
Software Asset Management needs to be at the forefront of an organization’s strategy. Encompassing anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-malware cyber-protection, SAM takes on a business’ network security by highlighting potentially invisible event-based processes and identifying suspicious or unusual activity right down to the individual device or user.
All organisations would do well to take note of license management – and realise how valuable implementing a SAM process could be.
About the Author
Libby Phillipps | Marketing and Events Co-ordinator with License Dashboard | Connect with Libby
Always looking to make the working lives of her clients that little bit easier, Libby Phillipps is dedicated to helping IT, Finance, Procurement and SAM professionals deliver savings to their organization with License Dashboard. She is also crazy about her pooch Kes and have a love hate relationship with aerobics and running…
About License Dashboard
A global leader in Software Asset Management, License Dashboard combine unrivalled software licensing expertise with professionally-developed software solutions designed to help both large and fast-growing organizations manage their software expenditure, minimize costs, optimize utilization and streamline the entire software lifecycle.