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ITSM and SAM, a Potential Marriage

Software asset management (SAM) is becoming increasingly attractive within ITSM circles, and this may eventually result in the wholesale marriage of the two practices. But as in any marriage, although two individuals find many commonalities, they must also reconcile their inevitable differences. In an article for The ITSM Review, Rory Caravan discusses what each side stands to gain, and what they must sacrifice for a more ideal union.

Benefits

There are many benefits that SAM would bring to ITSM, and vice versa:

Inventory agents for SAM report the same data as inventory agents for ITSM, so if an ITSM tool is already in place, why not use it and save a network manager a headache relating to network bandwidth?

Additionally, SAM-related data would also be indispensable to the service desk, since most end-user questions about licensing or software would be directed there anyway. And looking from the opposite end of the aisle, SAM could benefit from ITSM, insofar as SLA adherence would generate “on time” compliance reports that would in turn drive strategic and operational benefit.

Misfits

There are, or course, some discrepancies of bringing SAM and ITSM into the same fold:

Except for the most basic of calculations, “one license does not equal one install”. Reconciliation engines within SM tools are going to have to step up to accommodate upgrade rights, downgrade rights, rights of secondary use, multiple use rights, etc.

Service management will need to prove their ability to deliver asset management, something IT already struggles with, as contracts departments are already wary of sharing confidential software vendor information. Then, like two people moving into the same apartment, there will need to be an IT process overhaul – systems integration will need to happen, with service management processes accounting for licensing deviations in the software management cycle.

Living Together

It’s important to remember that, regardless of whether or not SAM and ITSM are actually married, their cohabitation warrants significant changes. SAM needs integration into IMAC to hedge against non-compliance risks. For instance, a “random” approach to installs may invoke liability costs “exceeding the salaries of your entire IT workforce.” The takeaway from all of this is that ITSM may be eyeing a long-term partnership with SAM, but should avoid the shotgun wedding.

Read the original article at: http://www.theitsmreview.com/2015/08/itsm-crossing-sam-divide/

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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