Software Asset Management (SAM) concerns tasks related to managing and optimizing all the software assets and costs for an organization. Some of the main benefits of effective SAM include:
- Clear license position
- Being audit-ready
- Avoiding penalties for non-compliance
- Optimizing IT procurement and expenses
It is not a one-time activity, but a series of ongoing processes and activities throughout all stages of a software asset’s lifecycle.
Typically, the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of an organization is in charge of SAM. There are certain pain points that are major challenges when it comes to SAM. Being prepared to face these challenges is essential to effectively managing your software assets.
Top 4 SAM Pain Points
1. IT Environment Flux
The modern organization’s IT environment can be complex, and this complexity is compounded by the fact that it is likely to be in a state of flux—new software being deployed, other assets being retired, and more. This flux increases the difficulty level of effective software asset management. For instance, license changes when software versions are updated adds to the complexity of your IT environment.
In addition, cloud applications and services have their own nuances for managing licenses and clearly keeping track of compliance position and levels of utilization. The fact of the matter is, when you manage to evaluate the compliance status of your organization’s IT estate, it has probably already changed—leaving your compliance status doubtful.
This is certainly the case when an organization has a manual system for tracking their IT estate and software licenses. The key to overcoming this challenge is a system that provides real-time visibility.
2. Noise During Discovery
During the discovery stage of SAM, software assets are identified. However, many discovery tools often pick up a lot of noise (aka unnecessary information), rather than the relevant software that needs to be tracked. This noise can be a huge mountain of unwanted data that your IT or SAM team has to sift through, to figure out what is relevant and what is not.
Thankfully, there are software applications available that largely automate discovery and eliminate such noise to a large extent, saving you a great deal of wasted time and effort.
3. Reactive Instead of Proactive Approach
A reactive approach is prevalent with many organizations unprepared for audits. This lack of preparation means you’re not sure what the outcome of your organization’s audit will be. The penalties for lack of compliance can be thousands or even millions of dollars. That’s a huge price to pay and can easily be avoided when you follow a proactive approach to SAM. This keeps you prepared so you know your license position ahead of time, minimizing the risk of penalties.
Organizations that have manual processes to track license position often struggle with too many touch points that fail to stay up to date. In addition, having excess software licenses is not cost-effective, while having too few leaves you with inadequate resources. Eliminating a few hundred excess software licenses has saved millions of dollars for some organizations, and that’s no small change. Software tools that automatically track license position and software assets can be the touchstone of a proactive SAM approach.
4. Blacklisted Software
It’s a fact of human nature that many employees download and install unauthorized software, which can pose a security risk and lower productivity levels. Gaming applications, video or music players, and so on are the usual suspects. If such blacklisted software is being used in in your organization, then you lack control of your IT estate. And control is one of the primary goals of effective Software Asset Management.
Thankfully, there are software solutions that help overcome these pain points. For instance, ServiceNow, a cloud platform that facilitates enterprise-wide transparency and collaboration, offers a SAM module that automates many SAM tasks and processes. It eliminates manual errors and gives you a single source of truth with real-time visibility.
If you’re interested in leveraging ServiceNow for managing your organization’s software assets and need a helping hand, get in touch with us and our experts would be glad to help. In addition to being an Elite ServiceNow partner, we’re proud to be 100% laser-focused on ServiceNow. Let us bring our industry-leading laser precision and dedication to your organization and get you started with SAM or any other ServiceNow module that you’re interested in.