by Jason MacKay and Erik Moll
Organizations that implement best practices in SAM have can use it to help further revolutionary changes in IT.
Software asset management (SAM) can help IT to complete a transformation from one focused strictly on cost-savings and return on investment into a position of being “value brokers,” says Erik Moll, COMPAREX Canada’s Director of Digital Transformation. It is the next step for many IT organizations, but it requires a mindset change.
He notes that to use SAM for such transformative change, it needs to stop being viewed as a once-and-done project and become an ongoing, continual practice. “The rewards we can reap through seeing SAM as a continual process rather than just during an audit or issue are simply astounding,” Moll says.
As organizations transition to cloud or hybrid infrastructures for more flexible, agile and elastic operations, IT must be able to ensure governance and security. These efforts can naturally run counter to each other, Molls suggests, but a continual SAM practice can allow IT to support them both enabling true software control.
Typically, however, organizations lack the resources, expertise and data required to implement such a SAM practice. Moll points to Managed SAM as a Service, such as COMPAREX SAM2Go, as a means to overcome that hurdle.
In addition to the direct paybacks SAM delivers of more efficient and cost-effective procurement, savings through software rationalization and risk mitigation related to audits, by implementing best practices—and making it a continual process through Managed SAM as a Service—SAM can provide IT with several transformative benefits:
- Strategic alignment – SAM is the basis for software compliance and risk management. The knowledge it provides about the software portfolio offers transparency, supports standardization and improves budgeting. Organizations can also better forecast needs, as software metering and usage data provides the base for optimal license usage.
- Competitive advantage – SAM provides a competitive advantage since organizations can ensure software is at its most up-to-date and secure, and proof of licensing can be governed centrally. In addition, during mergers and acquisitions such information is all the more crucial. At the same time, purchases of the most current versions of software or updates can be avoided if they are not necessary.
- Employee satisfaction – Effective SAM can ensure all employees have the tools needed to complete their tasks at greatest efficiency. In addition, managers and employees can more easily justify the acquisition of software needed to improve productivity, and better meet deadlines. If there are issues with software, an advanced SAM practice helps to ensure support cases are quickly resolved.
- Peace of mind – As the basis of good software governance, SAM allows organizations to implement policies and procedures that reduce the amount of unapproved software downloads, and so potential viruses that can infect the network. Backup and recovery plans are improved through the detailed information gained by tracking all software assets.
- Business compliance – SAM ensures the automizing and standardizing of processes, and supports reduction in their complexity. IT can then concentrate on optimally supporting the company goals. The reassurance that all software installed has been legally purchased and complies to the license use rights, offers the security that there will be no threat of unexpected break downs in the IT systems and general business.
- IT resource flexibility – SAM can improve organizations reaction time when adapting to changed conditions. “With SAM processes implemented, companies can use their IT resources efficiently and quickly react to market conditions and sales possibilities,” says to Jason Mackay, General Manager of COMPAREX Canada. “SAM leads to information of a better quality being readily available, and so better decision making and a higher level of operational excellence being achieved.”
Moll reiterates that knowledge is key to achieving success through SAM. Only through the ability to keenly analyze software inventory and usage data with expert eyes can that data become actionable, transformative information.
“If you are building your own SAM practice, you must either have that highly-sought-after expertise or pay handsomely to acquire it,” Mackay says. “Also, no one person typically has such broad and deep knowledge of every vendor, license agreement and application and suite.”
“But a team of consultants using an extensive database of vendors and software can help you leverage SAM to truly transform IT.”
This is the sixth and final in a blog series on COMPAREX SoftCare. For an overview on the solution, view the first blog in the series.