What is SAM?
Software Asset Management (SAM) is no longer a foreign term in the business world. The release of the ISO/IEC 19770–1 SAM Standard back in May 2006 helped to firmly place it on the map. So what is Software Asset Management (SAM)?
Software Asset Management (SAM), is a series of business processes for managing your company’s software assets. SAM offers a range of benefits – for instance, it helps you keep control of what software (and software licences) you own, which devices your software is deployed on, and for which upgrades your organisation qualifies.
SAM is the practice of integrating people, processes and technology to systematically track software installs, licenses and actual usage in order to help reduce IT expenditure, maximize user productivity and minimize risks associated with software (e.g. legal compliance and security).
SAM requires a multi–layered approach based on the following key elements:
- Identify all software on the network, you can do this manually or with automated software ‘discovery’ tools
- Tracking the usage of applications
- Understanding the licensing obligations and how specific vendors’ licensing schemes apply to the individual organisation
- The ability to automatically reconcile the installation and usage of software against license entitlement
- Creating and enforcing policies for the procurement, installation, usage and retirement of software assets
An efficient and effective SAM programme can result in significant cost savings and the reduction of business risk associated with the management of software assets.
The underlying justification for SAM is the need to apply good governance to software assets – without it, organisations could be subjected to significant risks including legal and financial exposure. By defining the necessary processes for ensuring the effective management, control and protection of software assets, organisations could potentially see benefits that far exceed implementation costs.
With this in mind, many organisations are looking for guidance and support in implementing an effective SAM programme. Here are just some of the benefits of SAM:–
- Facilitation of the management of significant business risks including:–
- Risk of interruption to IT services
- Risk of deterioration in the quality of IT services
- Risk of legal and regulatory exposure
- Risk of damage to public image arising from any of the above
- Cost Control
- Reduced direct costs of software and related IT assets as a result of improved management
- Better pricing through improved use of volume contracting arrangements
- Avoid purchasing new licences when old ones can be redeployed
- Reduced infrastructure costs for managing software and related IT assets
- Reduced support costs for out of date and incompatible software
- Increased productivity and employee satisfaction through improved IT reliability and reduced problem solving
- Improved competitive advantage by exploiting the business benefits that up to date software enables i.e:–
- Better informed decision making through the improved quality of the data and transparency of the information available
- Quicker response to market opportunities
- Early alerts to problems in the business and therefore quicker response to rectify
- Slicker integration of business acquisitions