Does your Software Asset Management tool really manage software licenses?
If you thought managing software licenses, agreements and contracts was not in any way one of the most envied and glamorous tasks of Software Asset Management – you would be right!
Keeping a track of software agreement life-cycles, licence purchases and allocations can be complicated and arduous, especially when growing and dynamic IT environments are constantly changing and responding to the requirements of the business and its users.
Evaluating a SAM Tool for truly effective license management
A SAM practitioner tasked with licence management will likely find themselves overwhelmed and reacting to the demands of the IT environment if a robust SAM program incorporating people, process and technology is not established. Although this article is set to explore the specific importance, role and capabilities of a SAM tool to assist SAM practitioners with proactive and effective licence management, it is imperative to understand that high hopes for a successful SAM program should not be pinned to ‘technology’ alone. Without people and process underpinning and directing the effective use of a SAM tool for licence management purposes, the wider SAM program will inevitably falter and stall.
When evaluating SAM tools for licence management capability and features, a SAM practitioner, on behalf of their organisation, would be well advised to consider the following:
Importing software license data
How easily can salient software agreement and licence information be imported into, reviewed in and exported/reported from the SAM tool? Although manual record entry, review and bespoke reporting will not always be avoidable, the automation and ease of these kinds of activities would be desirable capability to reduce time spent on licence management.
Maintaining accurate software licensing records
Does the SAM tool support the reconciliation and continuity between legacy licence purchases (purchased with support and maintenance) with upgrade licence purchases, product transitions (including new versions and licence metrics) and maintenance renewals? Intuitive recognition and evaluation capabilities to assist with changes in licence lifecycles is a useful capability to ensure licence records are maintained accordingly.
Flexibility in reporting software ownership
Can licence records be managed effectively within a business unit or departmental hierarchy? Will the organisational structure of the business be represented across different sites and geographical areas, reflecting centralised and decentralised ownership and purchasing of software? Being able to control the movement and allocation of licence records across the business can assist with informed compliance activity.
Optimisation of software licenses
Can user-based subscription licenses be assigned to individual active users within the SAM tool? Software licence consumption would then be managed more accurately, increasing licence utility while achieving cost avoidance and avoiding surplus licensing.
Automation of software license allocation
Does the SAM tool allow licenses to be evaluated and allocated automatically against a specific set of criteria to remove painstaking manual licence allocation over a large device or user set.
Should you be interested in exploring the nuances of licence management as part of your existing SAM practices in further detail and would like to discuss how License Manager can help you realise benefits such as these, please contact License Dashboard for more information.