The Software Asset Management or SAM, is still an unfamiliar and controversial subject amongst enterprises in Brazil.
Often confused with software audit, SAM it’s frequently an overlooked subject by most brazilian companies, and ‘selectively avoided‘ by those responsible for its management within companies.
Just over a decade, few major manufacturers made regular audits of software licensing in Brazil. Five years now, this type of audit has become frequent with the structuring of the leading global software vendors, establishing local compliance teams with the support of major global consultancies.
It happens that software licensing is not a matter easily digestible, and often for this reason, companies do not pay enough attention to the issue, especially in these current times in which the key issue for CFO’s and CIO’s no longer “will we be audited?” but “when will be audited?” by the manufacturers of the software we use in our company.
In this context, it is important to be prepared for the day that you receive the notification for implementing the use of verification clause, lost in a paragraph in the middle of dozens, sometimes hundreds of others in their contract with manufacturers.
the key issue for CFO’s and CIO’s no longer “will we be audited?” but “when will be audited?”
Many companies realize this reality precisely at this point, the confrontation with this situation nothing dresser, where depending on the result some thousands (or millions) of dollars ever provided in their budgets, it will be presented in an invoice to be settled in a period of weeks. Things to do in a situation like this? How to justify this disbursement to shareholders, boards, CEO’s?
The best way to deal with this issue is to be prepared. More than ever, information is power and be well informed on the status of its software estate is no longer an option but an obligation. And in this case the phrase assigned to Gene Kranz, flight director for the Apollo 13 mission applies perfectly: failure is not an option.
We are at Hands On Solutions, conducting an unprecedented research in Brazil to assess how companies are dealing with this reality, with managing their software assets. The survey is open on answers collection phase for those interested in participating in this link.
Compiling the results so far, I would like to share some interesting points.
73% of companies do not reconcile the software installed with the source contracts at least annually
According to the responses received so far, 73% of companies do not reconcile the software installed with the source contracts at least annually. Many customers believe that by just installing a SAM tool solution, paid or open source, provides good basic information on their facilities but when they receive the visit of manufacturers are faced with situations that were completely unknown, for example, installed software without authorization in its equipment, or worse, “modified” software to run on USB sticks (cracked portables). Result: disbursement for settlement, even if software without any use for the company’s business.
Another example in the field of recognition step in the inventory, tools that do not have signature recognition algorithms can produce wrong results, not recognizing, for example, Adobe solutions installed on modalities free trial or view only. In such cases these products can be confused with on premise solutions or be framed in the new manufacturer’s business model, the Creative Cloud during a licensing audit.
Over the years a product that tends to generate controversy during audits if your company does not have an adequate control licensing is Microsoft SQL, which has several versions whose cost ranges from zero to fifty thousand US dollars. This product for example needs to be properly identified and controlled, avoiding both unnecessary costs and non-compliance risks.
nearly three out of five companies have not even think in structuring an action plan to address an issue of such importance
Also according to the results gathered so far, 64% of companies even thought of implementing a SAM plan structured, that is, five years after the intensifying licensing audit activities in Brazil, nearly three out of five companies have not even think in structuring an action plan to address an issue of such importance. According to Gartner research, companies that implement structured processes for software asset management can decreases in the order of up to 35%, the total cost of information technology in the first year of implementation.
In Hands On Solutions, we work with your company before or during software licensing audits as your team members, independent experts in software licensing, helping you to reconcile, optimize and save money on software licenses.
According to the responses obtained so far in our research, the number of companies that already have been audited in the last twelve months already exceeds that did not receive auditors. Of those who were audited in the period, 12.5% received an audit, 29,17% of two to five audits, 8.33% six to ten visits and 4.17% between eleven and fifteen licensing audits within a twelve months period.
And in your company how is the control over software assets? Do you have that information updated and under control? How confident are you to receive a visit from an auditor starting next Monday, provide your company control information and sleep like a baby waiting the audit results?
Your company have operations in Brazil? If your answer is ‘yes’, be sure to participate in our research. There are 32 objective multiple choice questions, based on ISO 19770-1:2012 Tier 1, which specifically deals with inventory and reconciliation. Where everything begins and the foundation of a good SAM program. Access the survey here.
About the Author
André Rangel is a business consultant and subject matter expert on Software License Optimisation, Software Asset Management (SAM) and Software License Contract Compliance, with remarkable record for continuously exceeding, results, strong compliance mindset with exceptional negotiating and sales skills.
André represents Brazil on the SC7 “Software and Systems Engineering” sub-committee of ISO and is a member of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7 WG 21, working to develop and improve SAM standards, supporting education and adoption of software asset management around the world.