How dynamic should software asset management be? 4 IT drivers for your SAM system

rory canahan.jpegGuest post by

Rory Canavan – CEO, SAM Charter


As an IT professional, you aspire to provide the best service possible with the systems and resources at our disposal.  If you have embarked upon the creation of a Software Asset Management System (SAM), then you might work under the assumption that Level 4/Dynamic/Full ISO 19770-1 conformance is the desired state to attain.


However, it might be beneficial to pause a moment and consider what drivers our SAM System is expected to address:


Vendor Audits:  No one wants to have to go back to the CFO and ask for more money for the IT budget because a blind eye had been turned to software installations.  (Use SAM here to rationalize your software estate wherever possible; the fewer the titles you have to manage, the tighter your scope will become for your SAM System)


IT Security: Protection of information offers competitive advantage; your SAM system can help determine which users have access to specific software installed on their devices.  Have you turned a blind eye to purging your Active Directory structure to address Joiners, Movers and Leavers within your company? How proactive are you at recovering mobile assets?


Helpdesk/Service-desk:  Inventory data from your SAM systems can once again be used by helpdesk staff to determine if compatibility issues are at the root cause of end user problems.  Do you have any degree of integration between your Helpdesk software and your SAM System?


Software Asset Configuration Management: The building and maintenance of systems is one of the biggest loopholes in software licensing. It is important to use your SAM System to identify the IT staff who can influence a licence position in their day to day jobs. This will help ensure they understand that a check-box used here, or a tick-box ticked there could out-strip their salary if inadvertently used or deployed in the wrong manner.  How many systems architects or deployment specialists have SAM training in your company?


All of the above are very IT-centric drivers for a SAM System, and will have their own pace as to how quickly a SAM system should respond to their needs. With this in mind, remember that true leverage (and finance gained) for a SAM system will result in the business drivers (arguably the non-IT drivers). 


Linking SAM to a new systems deployment that is predicted to add tens or hundreds of thousands to the bottom line is much more likely to catch the board’s ears than “we can audit and reconcile our software estate once every two weeks if we strive for Dynamic SAM”.


Your SAM system should be as dynamic as the business needs it to be. Make sure you find that rhythm between the business and IT and the resulting tempo will be the pace at which your SAM system should hum.


I also encourage you to learn more about IT Asset Management and SAM here.


Rory Canavan

With a technical background in business and systems analysis, Rory has a wide range of first-hand experience advising numerous companies and organisations on the best practices and principles pertaining to software asset management.

This experience has been gained in both military and civil organisations, including the Royal Navy, Compaq, HP, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and several software vendors

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