When it comes to license management, which activities take up the most of your time?

During the course of September and October we have been looking at the value that a well-managed SAM programme can offer to different stakeholders within the organisation. Naturally the first place we looked was the SAM manager, since that is most likely the primary readers of this blog. Based on the conversations we have with SAM managers every day, we speculated that most of their time is spent on license reconciliation – wading through garbled license inventory data in an attempt to match it to the software being used. But how accurate is this picture? What else takes up a SAM manager’s time?

In order to find out for sure, we turned to the vibrant SAM community on LinkedIn to find out for sure where SAM managers are spending the most of their time. We asked one question to SAM managers everywhere: When it comes to license management; which of these activities take up the most of your precious time?

And here’s the results:

As could be expected, reconciling licenses against usage came out top, and by quite a margin. 37% of SAM managers spend the bulk of their time reconciling licenses. The next most time-consuming task for SAM managers (at 23%) is compiling software install and usage data – nearly a quarter of SAM managers spend most of their time on inventory! Wasn’t inventory automated nearly a decade ago?

So, according to our straw poll, 60% of SAM managers spend most of their time on tasks that can be automated. We don’t joke when we say that, with a relatively good inventory tool feeding into it, License Manager can complete a basic license reconciliation in minutes. We also recently added a number of enhancements to automate a number of previously manual tasks around data import, cleansing, license allocation and preparation of the license baseline, which all work to speed up the reconciliation process.

Don’t believe us? Watch our short video to see License Manager in action:

We regularly say that the most important job for a SAM manager should be balancing what is installed with what you’re allowed to install. The license reconciliation gives you the data to do this so it feels good to spend time on it, but it’s only the first step. License reconciliation is a means to an end. Only once the data is reconciled can the SAM manager spend their time interrogating the licenses they already have to ensure they really are the best value for their organisation. Yet sadly only 13% of SAM managers spend most of their time doing this. We aim to change that.

While our straw poll is not a comprehensive and exhaustive study, it does offer up some insight into the daily life of SAM managers. How does it compare to your typical day?

Lastly, thanks to everyone in the following groups who participated in the study.

FDA Compliance Gurus

ISO 19770

ISO/IEC 19770

Licensing and SAM

Software Asset Management Professionals

Software Asset Managers

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Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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