Working remotely in Software Asset Management

Coronavirus has meant that working remotely has become the new normal. However, well before this pandemic, those IT and Communications companies that could implement fast and reliable remote working solutions had already afforded their employees the option to work from home. Some organizations prefer to have their employees on site due to internal culture, or the company’s profile, but the technologies that surround these days mean those employees are fully enabled to do most jobs away from the office if the organization decides to make the move following this global pandemic.

Rather than focus on the pros and cons of home working, which have been covered extensively by others in the last few weeks, we want to look specifically at what remote working means for a Software Asset Management function.

Remote Management of Software Assets

The role of a Software Asset Manager is essentially to manage a company’s software assets. Responsibilities include, but are not exclusive of:

  • managing the hardware where the software is installed or used
  • handling software requests
  • planning for purchasing and deployment of software
  • building processes and procedures for the purchase and deployment of software
  • utilizing reporting and documentation to ensure license compliance and appropriate utilization of the IT assets

Assuming that policies and procedures are already in place, one of the main tasks of a SAM professional is to discover and monitor the hardware and software assets.

Remote Discovery

Discovery is done through a combination of queries and detecting software tools that can be deployed remotely in the IT environment, quickly returning information about the hardware configurations and software titles installed. Depending on their structure, companies will have hundreds, thousands, or sometimes tens of thousands of hardware assets in use, often within various locations around the globe. It is, therefore, almost impossible for a SAM manager to physically locate and inventory these assets without assistance from a tool., SAM teams rely on remote discovery solutions in order to build their inventory.

Once discovery tools have uncovered the hardware assets used by an organization, constant monitoring of the hardware and software is required. This is achieved through a Software Asset Management solution.

Remote SAM Solution

Software Asset Management activities sit somewhere between IT and Finance departments. Interaction with both teams will ensure a SAM program is successful. The stakeholders within these departments need access to the data the SAM solution provides. To clear out any noise, and ensure relevant information is easy to locate, License Dashboard recommends a secure internet-based reporting tool.

Due to organizations using multiple and varied settings and hardware configurations, not all physical hardware assets can be discovered remotely. This is perfectly normal, but SAM teams are advised to keep in close communication with all the local IT teams to help bridge any gaps and provide first-hand information about these assets. Finance teams will be able to provide information around the overall IT budget, and working with SAM teams reveals opportunities to move licenses to make cost savings.

With multiple teams working together, an easily accessible, real-time communication tool, is of crucial importance. Email should be the primary communication tool, as certain requests need to be recorded, classified and prioritized, however, an instant communication tool like Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom or WebEx, (one that can facilitate instant and direct communication), will allow teams to work together across different locations.

Software Asset Management can be performed remotely

Provided internal policies and processes have been put in place, and robust and reliable discovery tools to discover the IT assets have been deployed, a SAM role can be performed with success remotely. Using a stable SAM tool to centralize and manage all information helps maintain that success, and a direct communication link between all teams involved ensures consistent visibility throughout the organization.

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Ben Murden

Ben Murden

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