Over the past few years, companies have become more interested in improving their Software Asset Management (SAM) programs – the people, processes and technology they have in place for managing and optimizing the use of their software licenses. What are the reasons for this shift in prioritization?

From our perspective, these are the five major business drivers that are influencing organizations to pay more attention to their SAM programs.

  1. No formal SAM program. Many organizations have no official or centralized SAM program in place and want to understand how they are currently managing their software assets. In many cases, companies have pockets of SAM in the form of using spreadsheets, however they have no central repository of data to provide an enterprise view of IT assets for effectively managing hardware and software. These organizations are seeking technology to assist them in managing software licenses and providing compliance reports.
  1. Software Audits. Companies are being hit with constant software audit requests and need to understand why their current SAM processes are not working and how to mitigate the gaps in order to provide a stronger defense in responding to the auditors.
  1. Contract Negotiations. Often times, organizations are dissatisfied with software contract renewals and negotiations and do not feel comfortable that they got a good deal. Having a better understanding of current deployments, usage and future requirements leads to more positive contract negotiation outcomes.
  1. Tools Selection. Many companies that are seeking SAM tools to provide license management and compliance reporting understand that they need to have a handle on their current processes and technologies in place to better identify the specific requirements for a solution. Focusing on a SAM program’s people and process prior to acquiring technology leads to a more successful tools evaluation, selection, implementation and eventual overall customer satisfaction.
  1. Software Spend. Organizations are always looking for ways to reduce their annual software spend. Typically, they have little visibility into their software compliance positions and, to minimize audit exposure, purchase software without understanding which licenses they have available and can harvest or re-use within their organization.

Conducting an assessment of how you are currently managing and optimizing your software licenses, analyzing the gaps and risks, and making improvements to the overall program from a people, process and technology standpoint will place your organization in a stronger position with your software suppliers. No longer will you need to worry that you are out of compliance with your software agreements or that a negotiated contract is not the right size for your firm. Your organization will be able to identify opportunities to avoid unnecessary software purchases through harvesting existing licenses and reduce the amount of maintenance spend by confirming which licenses are actually being used. When it’s time to select a SAM tool to help automate managing and optimizing software licenses, you will understand what your organization really needs to know so you will be in a position to select the right tool for your environment. Finally, having access to deployment and usage data and being able to run reports real-time will provide you with information to help make decisions related to purchases and future strategies.

There is no down-side to assessing your SAM program, so consider doing this in-house or asking an external expert like Siwel to help!