6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Using Spreadsheets for SAM

While spreadsheets seem convenient for recording and tracking information, they simply aren’t adequate for effective Software Asset Management (SAM). When you track software asset information via spreadsheets, you’re likely to find yourself lost in a maze of outdated and incomplete information, completely unprepared for audits.

Unlike spreadsheets, solutions such as ServiceNow’s SAM module offer more comprehensive functionality that automates many tasks and provides complete transparency so you can take control of your software assets. With the right SAM solution you’ll be able to reduce IT costs, increase efficiency, optimize utilization and minimize compliance risks. In terms of licenses alone, you could save up to 30%.

6 Reasons Why Spreadsheets Shouldn’t Be Used for SAM:

1. Manual Updates

Spreadsheets need constant manual updates to keep your information accurate and up to date. This is a great deal of manual effort when you consider the complexity of IT estates that are constantly changing. Despite constant updates, you can still end up with inaccurate information, as it is difficult to track utilization and license position by manual efforts alone. The risk of errors is higher with manual data entry and there is also the danger of unapproved changes to data. Imagine what would happen if someone accidentally deleted or modified data in a spreadsheet.

2. Poor Visibility

Spreadsheets simply do not provide comprehensive visibility of your software assets, and without clear visibility you don’t have proper control of your assets. Data is buried in spreadsheets and poor utilization and non-compliance can easily pass unnoticed. Data must be manually extracted and analyzed to assess software utilization, costs, compliance and license position. Add massive volumes of data to this picture and you have a recipe for missing or misinterpreting important data.

3. Confusion over License Position

Unlike SAM solutions, spreadsheets cannot automatically detect your organization’s license position and notify you of the current compliance position. Aside from compliance issues, you need the right number of licenses for optimal utilization and cost control. Too many means excess expenses and too few means your employees don’t have access to resources they need, or you’re not making full use of the license terms available to you. In addition to manual effort to ascertain license position, the data is likely to be out of date or erroneous due to the shortcomings of manual tracking.

4. Cloud Software Complicates Things

Cloud software makes SAM even more complex. With virtualization and migration to the cloud, it’s practically impossible to accurately track utilization, compliance and licenses cost data by spreadsheets. Despite these complexities, the IT department or SAM manager must still ensure the compliance of cloud software subscriptions. This task is made more manageable by SAM solutions that perform many activities automatically and present data and insights via dashboards.

5. Fragmented Storage

Spreadsheets are by their very nature a disparate solution that cannot provide a single, centralized view of updated, real-time information. This type of fragmented storage does not provide clear visibility that is necessary for IT decision-making and compliance. IT and Software Asset Managers struggle to consolidate information when dealing with multiple spreadsheets updated by various personnel across the organization.

6. De-Provisioning Requires Extra Effort

What happens when an employee leaves your organization? The software and IT they have been using must be de-provisioned. However, without integration to a live employee directory (which is offered by certain SAM solutions), IT must coordinate with HR to de-provision software in such scenarios.

So why struggle with spreadsheets that hinder your entire organization and eat into your IT expenses? A cloud-based SAM solution is much more effective, overcoming these challenges and offering multiple benefits that spreadsheets simply cannot match.

Benefits of a SAM solution:

  • Stay audit ready with clear compliance position.
  • Optimize utilization of your IT budget and maximize savings.
  • Automate many tasks and take control of your software assets.
  • Software life-cycle management and optimal utilization.

If you’re interested in leveraging ServiceNow for managing your organization’s software assets, 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.

Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts is VP of Marketing for Aptris. He joined in 2010 with 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and communications. He coordinates Aptris’ overall marketing and branding strategies.