How Do You Involve Stakeholders Outside of the SAM Team?

License Dashboard was pleased to host a speaking session around Agile Software Asset Management methodology at The ITAM Review’s Online Conference this summer. Throughout the session we fielded questions from our audience and have since created a blog series to answer each one thoroughly and ensure we provide the full picture of what SAM Agile can bring to an organization.

In this release we will discuss the extremely hot topic of involving stakeholders across your organization in your company’s overall SAM strategy. Raising the profile of SAM not only ensures each team is benefitting from this function, but it also instils how important it is to have a dynamic, approachable SAM program that supports the IT infrastructure and stands as a backbone to the organization.

SAM and the IT Stakeholders

IT and software installations tend to go hand in hand, but often the SAM team isn’t involved. That is, a piece of software is purchased and then installed by the IT department without consulting the SAM team, which leads to duplicate or unnecessary license purchases, and therefore unnecessary spending Adding a step to the request process to involve the SAM team will prevent that software overspend.

Alongside the reduction of costs associated with licensing, IT can lean on SAM teams to provide significant information regarding their software and associated data. For example, utilizing SAM to understand the current edition of installed software ensures organizations are running up to date versions, which minimizes security risks. SAM teams can also work with IT departments to understand what is and isn’t needed within the organization when licensing renewal dates roll around.

SAM and Procurement Stakeholders

Creating an inclusive procurement strategy ensures that SAM and procurement teams work together and are in contact whenever an organization requests new software. This relationship is key to understanding whether payment requests need to be sent to financial departments or if unused licenses are available throughout the organization, including ones that are currently installed but not needed by the employee.

Procurement also pays a key role in understanding which licenses are needed, and how an organization uses them. Looking at server licensing, it becomes a complicated mass of cores, processors and virtual devices but a certain number of each must be procured to ensure compliance is maintained throughout the software lifecycle. Procurement can approach SAM to understand what they need and why, so the organization is not put at risk.

SAM and Finance Stakeholders

An average audit costs $500,000, not including time away from business, according to Gartner. This can be avoided by ensuring your SAM team is equipped to correctly manage software assets throughout the organization, whether that is internally or with third party assistance.

On the other side of this, some organizations overcompensate for audit risk and purchase more licenses than are actually required. By optimizing the software already in place, financial teams can save up to 30% on their overall software spend. Not only is this quick win great for both SAM and Finance teams, the long-term relationship means that together they can make more informed business critical decisions that are a best fit for the organization’s needs.

SAM and Managing Directors

Once the SAM team has other departments onboard, presenting the values to director level stakeholders is easy, and managing IT assets has the potential to go beyond any original expectation. Showing the value SAM brings to each department and the overall business means it will have its part to play in every business decision.

With tailored reporting presenting the most relevant information for each department, SAM becomes part of the department’s critical business data. If each individual department better understands the role SAM can play in their decision making, this can be communicated with Managing Directors and C-level stakeholders, meaning SAM, and its value, becomes part of an organization’s culture

How can the Software Asset Management team approach each stakeholder?

But, how do we get to the point of involving all stakeholders? Start by showcasing how the SAM function can benefit them.

If there is a specific report that can make a stakeholder’s job easier, provide them with it. Saving money is usually high on the agenda, and so a high-level overview of where instant cost savings can be made is a great place to start. You can then showcase other areas where SAM can assist their departments. But while grabbing attention via one report is a great start, listening to what each department needs will keep SAM a key component in their decision-making. Find out what is motivating each stakeholder, and what would help individuals in their roles.

Clarity is key. Heading into a meeting with a clear plan of action that shows exactly how SAM will make lives easier will mean department heads are more likely to take notice. And armed with the data and statistics to back up predicted cost savings will reveal how you came to your conclusions should they ask.

Utilizing the SAM Agile approach means each department can request the information that’s relevant to them via you or directly to your SAM consultant, further establishing SAM within your organization. SAM Agile enables organizations to make this a repeatable process in a defined timescale with value reported at the end. If it’s working well within one department then it’s more than likely to work in others.

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Ben Murden

Ben Murden

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