Software Asset Management (SAM)
Software Asset Management is a business activity that focuses on mapping and optimizing an organization's software infrastructure and processes. By optimizing aspects such as purchasing, use, maintenance, control and sales of software, organizations can pursue effective management, control, protection and compliance of software. The higher goal of this business activity is to effectively use software assets and thus save costs and avoid legal dangers, while the productivity of the end user is of paramount importance. Ensuring software compliance is a practice applied to ensure that an organization does not encounter any problems during a compliance audit. During such audits, compliance with relevant software licenses and regulations is checked to ensure that the organization meets legal and contractual obligations relating to the software used. By taking software compliance seriously, an organization can proactively ensure compliance and reduce potential legal and financial risks. Software Asset Management is important for large organizations, but SMEs are increasingly paying attention to SAM. There are some technologies that can help with Software Asset Management, which will be discussed later in this article.
Why is software asset management (SAM) important?
Software Asset Management can be performed in different ways within an organization, with different benefits. Software Asset Management would lead to the following benefits:
- Software Asset Management helps save costs, through SAM organizations can find out exactly which licenses are or are not in use, and they can take measures such as selling surplus licenses. In short, IT budgets can be used more effectively and the available resources can be used more intelligently.
- Software Asset Management helps with financial overview to create an annual cost estimate and predict future costs.
- Software Asset Management leads to lower risk, especially in areas such as compliance. SAM can be used to determine whether illegal licenses are being used and whether sufficient licenses are available.
When an organization is software compliant, it is important to remain so. There are several ways to promote this, some of the recommended steps are below:
- Appoint a software asset manager;
- Appoint a license administrator;
- Draw up a policy for the use of software and communicate it to users;
- Centralize the purchasing of software;
- Minimize the number of software suppliers;
- Take administrative actions to register the number of users and software licenses with proof of purchase.
Software Asset Management (SAM) tools
- Software Inventory Tools
While in previous years Software Asset Managers often used complicated Excel spreadsheets to provide a clear overview of the software assets, more and more organizations are switching to software inventory tools. Systems in a network can be easily scanned using a software inventory tool. These tools are used to create an automated inventory of the software installed on the various devices in a network. This process provides organizations with a structured way to gain insight into the software assets in use, which can help them effectively manage and secure their IT environment. The tool collects information about the systems and the software installed on them. In short: Software inventory tools identify the available software licenses.
- License Manager
Where a Software inventory tool mainly focuses on identification of systems and software, a License Manager goes deeper into ensuring compliance and licensing agreements. This software is designed to track and monitor the number of available licenses, and, where necessary, provide notifications when license requirements are not met. For example, License Managers strive to help organizations optimize licensing costs and ensure that these organizations do not violate licensing agreements. This type of SAM technology can be used in combination with a software inventory tool.
- Software Metering Tools
Software metering is a powerful application that allows organizations to measure the use of certain software applications among its users. In this way, IT departments can better substantiate certain choices. Based on the key figures of software metering , one can make choices not to renew certain software licenses because they are not used enough. This saves organizations money and other resources.
- Application Control
Application control is an important technology within SAM. Using this tool, IT experts can limit or completely disable access to certain applications for selected users. This tool is indispensable within organizations with sensitive data or a lot of hierarchical structure.
- Software Deployment Tools
Software Deployment Tools streamline the process of distributing software and updates within an organization's network. These tools are able to install and deploy applications to devices connected to the network from a central point.
- Patch Management Tools
Patch Management Tools are software applications used to simplify and automate the process of identifying, managing, and deploying software patches and updates for operating systems, applications, and other software components. Their goal is to improve the security, stability and performance of computer systems and networks by fixing known vulnerabilities.
- Request Management Tools
Request Management tools are used to let employees submit software requests through a centralized form, streamlining the request process, ensuring proper documentation, and enabling efficient communication between requesters and IT teams.