Back to Basics: What is SAM?

One of the biggest challenges facing SAM today is making it a priority in an organization’s ever growing ‘to do’ list. I always think it can be likened to our ‘healthy eating’ regime, we all know it should be a priority in our busy lives and that the benefits will come, but it’s a complicated subject and sometimes it’s easier to stick to what we know! There are a number of reasons SAM slips down the agenda, with perhaps the simplest one being the lack of understanding each stakeholder has of what SAM really means to them and how it impacts their responsibilities.

We all know SAM stands for Software Asset Management, but what does that actually mean? How does it affect someone’s day-to-day activities? What does it mean to the CFO, head of procurement, the IT Manager or anyone else who is concerned with the use, deployment or purchasing of software – that’s pretty much everyone, right?

To answer these questions I thought it would be interesting to go back to basics – back to the fundamentals of what SAM really is. So, in a series of blog posts over September i’ll be looking at the basics of SAM, how we would define it, and what it means to you – the SAM, IT, procurement and finance professionals.

First things first; what is our high-level definition of SAM?

To us, SAM is a very simple concept that is very easily over-complicated. You can wax lyrical about the nuances of managing the licenses of different platforms (Windows, IBM, Linux, VMware etc.), handling upgrades, assigning grandfathering rights etc., but at its fundamentals, SAM is just the outcome of a simple equation:



By looking at this equation, SAM is simply about the perfect alignment of your software spend with your software needs. Don’t over-spend or under-spend on software, just buy the right amount.

By doing this SAM achieves two fundamental goals:

– Optimizes your software spend by ensuring you use all of the software you have and only buy the software you need (and on the right licence for your needs)

– Ensures compliance by proving that every piece of software installed on the network is licensed correctly What do you think of this definition? Is it too simplistic? Are there benefits or features of SAM that we are missing? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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