IT Governance

7 Tips for Highly Effective Software Asset Management

When time and money are saved, the business cheers. That means your business would be pleased to benefit from more software asset management (SAM), which can achieve both. In a post at his website, Joe the IT Guy shares seven tips for great SAM:

  1. Know your environment.
  2. Learn to walk before you run.
  3. Agree on a SAM policy.
  4. Engage with your “supporting players.”
  5. Understand the complexity of software licenses.
  6. Have a plan for audits.
  7. Keep engaging.

SAMtastic

The beginning of effective SAM is to know what software assets exist in the first place. Reach out to the service desk, talk to business colleagues about non-network technology being used, examine data from network monitoring tools, etc. Once you know the lay of the land, you can then select your initial area of focus—probably products from a big name that you use frequently, like Microsoft. Or Joe says you can start according to software renewals and audit schedules, if that makes more sense for your situation.

As SAM comes into play, articulate for others why it is happening through a SAM policy. Make it clear where the value is in SAM and why abiding by its rules is important for the business’s health. Additionally, remember to build in touch points with “supporting players” in the process, such as the service desk, change management, purchasing/procurement teams, and release management personnel.

Joe acknowledges that “proof of license” is a deceptively complex thing with software licenses. So to keep yourself safe legally, Joe recommends requiring vendors to put into writing what they consider proof of license. But when treacherous audits strike anyway, it is important to have plans in place, about which Joe says this:

Build up a bank of templates for repetitive tasks such as response emails, meeting requests, and written communications so that everything is as easy and as consistent as possible. Where possible, run a “practice” audit first with support from other departments/teams if needed. And if you have an internal audit department, use them! This way, if you’ve missed something during day-to-day operations, then you can put it right immediately. Having a different department involved means a degree of separation, however it also means that they’ll ask about things that you may have otherwise not considered.

SAM will best succeed as a team effort, and in fact, it is probably a requirement. For additional thoughts, you can view the original post here: http://www.joetheitguy.com/2017/08/30/7-habits-highly-effective-software-asset-managers/

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