Software Asset Management relates to managing, controlling and optimizing an organization’s software assets and expenses. According to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), it is “All of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control and protection of the software assets within an organization throughout all stages of the lifecycle.” In most cases, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Software Asset Manager is responsible for SAM.
Let’s take a look at the 5 major pain points that often arise with SAM.
- Unwanted Discovery Noise
Discovery is the initial stage of SAM during which relevant software assets are identified. Unfortunately, many discovery tools often discover a lot of unnecessary information or “noise” in the form of all software installed on machines instead of the relevant software that must be tracked. This extra noise is unwanted and burdens the IT team or SAM team who has to manually sort through the information.
- Changing IT Environments
The complexity and flux in an organization’s IT environment compounds the difficulty of SAM. License changes when software versions get updated complicate things more. Cloud applications and services give rise to their own set of complications in terms of managing multiple SaaS (Software as a Service) application licenses and tracking their utilization and compliance. The result is that even when an organization manages to get a clear picture of their compliance status, their IT configuration has probably already changed leaving their compliance status questionable.
- Re-active Approach
Many organizations scramble to prepare for audits at the least minute instead of staying audit ready. This re-active approach can result in an unpleasant surprise when audits are performed. Penalties for non-compliance of licenses with contract terms can cost organizations thousands or even millions of dollars. A pro-active approach that keeps an organization audit ready ahead of time mitigates risks and penalties.
- Blacklisted Software
In many organizations, employees can download and install unauthorized software which has security risks and can impact employee productivity negatively. Typical unauthorized software includes gaming applications, pirated music players, and so on. You are not in control of your IT estate if blacklisted software is in use.
- Uncertain License Position
Knowing your license position is important because when it’s audit time, your organization can be slapped with hefty penalties for lack of compliance. However, many organizations struggle with manual processes with many touch points to track license position. Having too many software licenses is inefficient and expensive, while having too few leaves you with insufficient resources.
Fortunately, there are software solutions that ease or eliminate these pain points. One such software is ServiceNow®, a state-of-the-art cloud platform which offers a SAM module that automates many of the processes and tasks related to SAM. If you’re having trouble with Software Asset Management for your organization and would like a helping hand, please feel free to contact us. We’re always here to help.