Having returned from the IAITAM ACE conference in New Orleans, I was struck by the number of times I heard, “I am not sure what to focus on when starting a Software Asset Management program.”
The question seems simple and this recent blog from John DeVito outlines some key considerations to take into account when building a SAM program within your organization. The question of where to begin becomes more complicated for a SAM manager who is charged with reducing risk and costs across IT assets. Presuming the SAM manager already has executive sponsorship, and has determined scope (usually desktop), this is how I answered the question…
When a SAM manager is starting their program, they want to be able to show the executive sponsor quick wins. Often, the SAM manager will look at the spend of their top five software suppliers to identify opportunities to reduce spend – whether it be a change in license type (e.g. a premium version being downgraded to Standard), a reduction in maintenance or consolidation in the number of suppliers. Clearly, this approach requires research, and cooperation with other parts of the business, including procurement, finance, and IT operations. It also means that savings may not be achieved in the desired time-frame as changing license types generally requires waiting until the end of an existing license term, or when considering consolidating suppliers, and requires a great deal of due diligence and input from other parts of the business.
A simpler approach is first to look at your existing assets. Presuming you know the number and types of devices, analyze your software installations. Can you determine if your organization using all of the software it has installed?
Back to our question, where do I start?
1E has a free tool called Software Lifecycle Intelligence. This tool helps SAM managers learn how much software is installed, yet unused (but paid for) within their environment. The tool will also help the SAM Manager understand their security risk and Windows 10 readiness – giving the SAM Manager valuable information in which to bring back to the organization.
The 1E Intelligence tool has just been updated and reorganized based on customer feedback to highlight the most common questions a customer may have about their software environment, especially when looking for immediate value from a software asset management program. I encouraged those who I spoke to try it out. The information the tool provides is confidential, and not shared with 1E.
Software Lifecycle Intelligence: Assess your Windows upgrade potential, identify vulnerabilities in your environment and estimate the software waste for the most common applications.
The Hidden Cost of Unused Software: A report analyzing the results of a four-year study of over 1,800 software titles deployed on 3.6 million desktops, in 129 enterprises, across 14 industries showing that, on average, 37% of all installed software is unused.
AppClarity: AppClarity accurately captures and reports application usage across the enterprise, reducing cost, complexity and risk by removing the guesswork around software asset management. Our software puts data to work: automating the reclaim process to minimize application sprawl, saving enterprises millions.