Getting beyond compliance and into effective SAM – Part 2 of 4

In our opening article, we began looking at what stops organizations getting to the most effective part of Software Asset Management (SAM). We outlined the following three high level challenges that prevent most companies getting past compliance and into the valuable part of SAM i.e. saving an organization money:

  • Slow implementation of technology, teams and processes
  • Being bogged down with transactional License Management tasks
  • The complexity of software licensing

We’ve covered the challenges of software implementation and in this blog we’ll move on to the second in our series of ‘getting past compliance’ to look at how SAM Managers are being bogged down by transactional tasks. In our experience, it’s the biggest chain around an organization’s SAM program, so let’s consider why.

Part 2: Transactional Software License Management tasks

Once an organization has spent the time implementing their technology, next comes the mammoth task of gathering, consolidating and normalizing software install and usage data, as well as license entitlement. Replacing a system that has been in use for years is a time-intensive process in itself and should not be underestimated. Having to allocate adequate time to piece together dozens of spreadsheets, sift through pages of procurement records and gather entitlement records from vendors can often take weeks or months of dedicated work in the first instance, not to mention the unplanned ‘unknowns’ that could be revealed throughout this task.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Once a uniformed data set is reached from both sides, it’s time to reconcile them by vendor to create your compliance position. Sounds simple enough, however it’s at this point an organization needs strong licensing knowledge. This could come in the form of an internal resource, however it is essential that that resource is experienced and skilled, as well as familiar with the goals associated with the adoption of the new technology. Allocating a resource based on work capacity or availability is not likely to result in success.

This is, of course, where a software License Management tool can help, but SAM Managers still need to spend time challenging what they’re looking at – from simply checking the data is correct to understanding how the devices are being used e.g. as a development, testing or production device. All of these factors can influence how that machine is licensed.

The point is, it’s not as simple as inputting data and clicking a button. SAM best practice starts with careful planning and resource allocation, and should have business goals and function at its heart. Getting a clear picture of compliance takes a lot of time and effort, and a well-organized approach to include inventory, reconciliation and developing effective ongoing procedures – often, by the time the task has been completed, it’s time to start again!

If you’d like to learn more about running a more effective SAM program/becoming a more effective SAM Manager, speak to us today.

Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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