What is Software Asset Management (SAM)?
Software Asset Management is the entire infrastructure and all the processes needed for the efficient purchase, usage, management, control and disposal of all software assets in a company. This strategy will help reclaim budget and maximize cost savings. A correct SAM practice will not only let you identify which applications and software are installed, but also if the software is up-to-date and if you are compliant to all software licensing regulations. Licenses are assets that should always be regulated. Every software product is different and should be installed and used in a particular way. It is therefore the end-users’ job to comply to the terms and conditions stated in the license agreement. Usually software vendors do not allow you to use more software than you signed up for – although sometimes you might do it, without noticing, and they will regularly check this through software compliance audits. SAM as a whole is a lot larger than the compliance aspect only, but license management tends to be the first step for companies starting their SAM strategy.
The drivers of SAM
We all need good software – it is at the core of every organisation. A strong SAM strategy will empower businesses to make smarter licensing decisions. The drivers of SAM are:
By applying the insights gained from a SAM strategy you will be able to save time and money
Get more out of your licenses by understanding their contents and the correct way to employ them
Regulating risk and budget. This is often the first step for companies that start with SAM.
Selecting the correct SAM tools
A strong and solid SAM strategy is definitely worth a company’s time and effort. It is actually those companies that do not have a SAM program in place that are at great (financial) risk. Unfortunately, many organisations don’t realize the importance from the get-go and start with SAM too late or because an audit is around the corner. Licenses are also easy to overlook or to forget about. A good first step to set up an effective SAM strategy is to select the most fitting SAM tools for your needs. It is important to remember in the selection process that there is no such thing as an easy or straightforward solution to fix all your problems. Keep in mind certain elements such as the compatibility with the current environment, the size and complexity of your company and how the inventory tool is licensed when choosing your SAM tools.
Gain a competitive edge
There are many advantages that your company can benefit from using the right SAM tools. These advantages include:
• Cost transparency and cost savings due to a clear overview of software needs.
• A clear overview will also save you time. By automating certain tasks, you will have more time to focus on core priorities.
• More effective and solid SAM processes and making smarter long-term decisions.
• No more surprises because you are prepared for the next software audit.
SAM is all about good vendor relationships
The bedrock of strong vendor relationships is overseeing your software licenses. It is highly likely that you will keep using these software products for a good number of years to come. As a user you anticipate that the products will develop and contribute to more business value.
This is, however, only possible if you are in constant communication with your vendors. To meet your business needs, vendors will need to know how they can serve your needs better. You are of course more capable of giving useful feedback if you know the terms of your license agreement and the way you are currently using the software. So instead of negotiating about your compliance position, stay on top of business and spend that time gaining the most value out of your vendor relationship.
Being over licensed
Costs can get really big when you fail an audit. On top of the costs, it also interrupts ongoing business and can take a really long time to finally get it over with if you’re not having a SAM process. What happens a lot is that companies are “over-compliant” or over licensed because they don’t want any trouble and prefer to be rather safe than sorry. They choose to overpay upfront trying to outsmart the audit risk. This doesn’t hurt at first and may seem like a small risk to take. It is not however. Because being over licensed and continuously paying for long-term maintenance that is not even necessary can end up costing more than failing an audit. Instead of failing an audit and paying the fine at once, money is slowly dripping out. On top of this, the problem is not being fixed. So make sure to install and use the correct SAM tools and stop overspending.
SAM tool set-up
Read more about the set-up of SAM tools or common challenges when using SAM tools. We also have an overview of whitepapers and blogs about SAM tool set-up. Do you have any questions, or would you like to discuss your SAM strategy with us? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we are glad to help.