As well as looking at the software your business uses, it is the role of an IT asset manager to assess the hardware that is in place. Most equipment has an effective life-cycle, and once it gets to the end of this it becomes less efficient and more costly to repair and upgrade. How your business deals with this redundant equipment can have an effect on your overall Software Asset Management (SAM) strategy.
Inventory of Assets
When you’re replacing out-of-date machines such as laptops and desktops, it’s important to consider the implications on your SAM. If a business has an effective SAM strategy in place, then they are less likely to run into problems when replacing old hardware. This is because they will understand exactly which software packages they have on their machines and the type of licenses that they hold.
If you don’t know exactly what software you have in the business, then it is easy to forget about the packages that you already have installed on the now redundant machines. This could have a negative effect on your SAM strategy in a number of ways. It can result in the over-purchasing of new software and licenses, reducing the amount of cash available within the business. However, there is also the possibility you’ll still have software installed on machines that you no longer hold the appropriate licenses for. This could result in issues if your company was the subject of a vendor and software audit.
The Audit Process
Companies can often hold on to hardware even when it is no longer in use. This could be simply because they don’t know how to dispose of it correctly and are concerned about sensitive material. However, it could also be because they believe there is still value in the machines and they might be of use in the future.
In doing so, businesses can fail to renew the licenses for software that is installed. This may be due to forgetting that the software is being used or because they don’t believe they require a license as the machines are not functioning. Even when equipment is not in use, you’ll still require the licenses if you own the machines. It would be more effective to dispose of the machines securely in the first place. This way, you cannot forget about them and you won’t run into issues if a software vendor decides to audit the company.
How to Prevent Problems Occurring
Putting an effective SAM strategy in place can prevent problems occurring during an audit. It’s important that software and hardware are both managed and purchased centrally. This way, there is one main contact who understands exactly what assets the business has and can keep track of them across the company.
This strategy will also enable you to plan for the replacement of out-of-date equipment. You know exactly when the most appropriate time to buy new equipment is and can plan license renewals and software upgrades to coincide with this. This process will enable you to streamline your IT strategy and make it more efficient.
Old equipment can affect a business in a number of ways. Not only can it make it less productive, but leaving old software installed on machines can damage an otherwise efficient software asset management strategy.
About the Author:
Livingstone provide an end-to-end software asset management solution for organisations looking to gain complete visibility and control over their software licensing spend.
Combining their unique approach, accurate inventory and entitlement data with experienced Software Asset Management (SAM) specialists, they understand their client’s software licensing needs and goals. They arm their specialists with vendor agnostic Livingstone technology to provide real time licensing transparency and control.