Introduction to Software Asset Management

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What is Software Asset Management & How to Get Started

What is SAM or what is software asset management? Anyone from the software or IT industry could easily relate to this question.

Every organization or individual uses software in one way or the other in their daily schedule. In this course, organizations or individuals purchase software or get them for free. While the free software grants most of the permissions to the users, the paid software has certain limitations and controls reserved.

For example, there could be software that allows their usage across multiple systems or multiple users. On the other hand, there is software that is limited to single-system or single-user usage.

Software asset management can be defined as the strategy to manage all the onboarded software. This can include maximizing their usage while optimizing them as much as possible, and monitoring software procurement and their deployment. Software asset management also includes the disposal of outdated or legacy software, getting them replaced with new ones, protecting all the software assets, and others.

What Drives Software Asset Management?

Software drives the business and they are undoubtedly the greatest asset for any organization. Any anomaly in managing these IT assets could be extremely hazardous and result in huge financial loss for the organization. Also, not adhering to the license permissions and obligations could also increase the overall risk of using the software.

Better and efficient software asset management systems and strategies enable an organization to stay well informed and have sound knowledge about all its software assets. This in return enables and empowers the organization in making efficient decisions in both purchasing and deployment of their software assets.

Cost Optimization

Most of the time, organizations end up purchasing software that they might not require or use rarely. This could happen due to multiple reasons: requirements from non-IT teams, overlapping of software, a deficit in monitoring software requirements, or any loose end in the IT team. Over purchasing of software could also be a result of using too much legacy software as they become obsolete quite quickly.

A typical software asset management system enables organizations to keep real-time track of their software usage. Be it purchasing or deploying the software, SAM tools give a detailed overview of the software assets. SAM tools make the entire process of managing, monitoring, and tracking software assets transparent along with optimizing the entire process.

Thus, companies can reduce their overall software costs with an effective SAM strategy. Companies can also cut down costs by purchasing only essential software while discarding the non-usable ones.

Software Optimization

According to Gartner, any organization is likely to have around 25% or more shelfware software at any given point in time. This means, that companies usually end up purchasing at least one-fourth of software that they hardly use or put to use. Software asset management empowers companies to detect all the shelfware software or any other outdated software.

Software asset management systems and strategies also enable companies and users to get deep insights into software licenses and permission. Thus, they can comprehend their purchased licenses better and plan out further strategies to optimize their usage. With an effective SAM tool, organizations can even stretch the limit of all their software licenses and other permissions.

Stay Compliant

Whether free or paid, every software comes with a license. The fact is that free software allows the user to use the software without paying for the licenses. Even users can make changes; alter or modify the software under certain conditions. However, the paid software comes with an array of terms and conditions. Understanding these terms and conditions is very crucial as violating them could lead to several compliant issues.

If an organization has its software asset management system in place, it can easily manage all its software licenses. This will also help them to understand the EULA better and use the licenses accordingly. Thus, reducing the compliant risks and other legal issues.

Software Asset Management System Empowers You to Track & Manage All Software Licenses Via a Unified Platform. Switch to these Automated Workflows – Stay Compliant & Reduce Costs

Software asset management systems enable you to create a unified channel or system to track, monitor, and manage all your software assets. Be it managing your software inventory or software deployment, distribution of software assets, or purchasing new sets of software, SAM tools promise you everything.

Software asset management systems help your organization create automated workflows on software expiration, license permissions, costs, and all other aspects. Hence, you can track and monitor all your software activities from just a single platform. Well, this surely empowers you and your organization to reduce costs tremendously and stay compliant with all legal issues and requirements.

Gain Control Over All Your Software Assets

Software Asset Management primarily focuses on how to efficiently optimize all your software assets. Be it on-premise or in the clouds, software asset management systems and tools always focus on how to optimize the software that is in use. Furthermore, these tools help you or your organization to reduce software costs, stay compliant, and reduce all audit risks.
SAM tools primarily do all these by:

  • Collect accurate and real-time data on software deployment across all your existing systems.
  • Providing in-depth knowledge on all license contracts within the organization.
  • Enabling you to understand all the license complexities and leveraging them to stretch license usage.
  • Managing your software inventory to avoid over-purchasing or under-purchasing of any relevant software.
  • Compiling data from various sources and understanding different roles of software across one unified platform.
  • Helping the organization to highlight the correct resources and build strategies to retain them. 

Reduce License Risks

An ideal software asset management system or strategy always includes efficient software license management services. With this service, organizations can manage all the software licenses effectively from across one single platform. OpenLM is one such company that has been helping organizations in optimizing all their engineering and specialty software licenses.

With OpenLM’s software license management services, companies can utilize more than what they usually pay for. Companies can even stretch their licenses to get more from them. OpenLM has recently shifted its software license management to the cloud that offers an array of services and benefits to the customers. You can check the cloud services here.

Automate IT & Non-IT Processes

SAM tools empower organizations by automating the entire software asset management process through a unified channel. These tools also help companies by creating workflows that can also be customized according to their needs and requirements.

These workflows can be created for both IT and non-IT processes simultaneously. While IT teams come as the primary team that needs to be automated, other teams can also leverage these software asset management systems and tools to automate their respective processes. HR, Product, Marketing, Sales, and other teams can also be automated while having customized workflows for better and streamlined operation with SAM tools.

A Single Platform to Manage All Your Software Assets

With software asset management systems and tools, it is always easier to build a single-architecture solution. With this solution, you can manage all your software assets in a streamlined way. Hardware assets can also be managed equally over this platform or architecture.

Over this single architecture, employees can raise requests for new software whenever they need it. The architecture also allows them to request hardware. On receiving the requests, IT admins can easily assess them and take further actions to fulfill them by purchasing only what is required. Thus, they can also manage software inventory efficiently without over-purchasing software or hardware components.

Key SAM Regulations: Comprehend Your World of Computing

Knowing your computing world is in fact the greatest key to managing all your software assets. Without knowing the environment around you, you simply cannot conclude with the exact calculation of what software you require or how to optimize them. Before you start purchasing software or hardware assets for your organization, you must understand your needs, requirements, capabilities, and deliverables.
Software asset management tools are the ones that can get you insights into all your software and hardware requirement. With these tools, you can assess all your hardware and software possessions, and make quick decisions to purchase further if required.

Discovery, Software Asset Management & ITAM: The Deciding Triplets

Every organization must know and understand its software requirement from the beginning. They should also have sound knowledge of how they want to shape their future in terms of the collection of software they want to build. Only then, they would be able to stay compliant with all their software licenses and reduce any legal risks to the organization.

Almost every IT business strategy has three main pillars – Discovery, SAM, and ITAM. These triplets can empower the organizations to understand what they have or what they want to have in the future. Efficient discovery tools tell what is installed in the company servers, software asset management systems and tools give a blueprint about the cluster of software in use, and ITAM tools make sure that all the software assets are getting accounted for, deployed, maintained, and upgraded or deployed as per the need.

ITAM or ITSM Strategy Depends Largely on Software Asset Management

Creating a centralized IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) system possesses remarkable challenges. Well, this is a challenge that most IT organizations undergo. Hence, organizations often transfer the authority to their other branches or get decentralized to create their own centralized IT planning strategy.

Software Asset Management (SAM) plays a key role in creating this centralized IT plan with ITAM and ITSM. SAM enables the IT team to track and monitor all the software-related expenses and bring them down whenever required. As SAM tools can also help in monitoring the number of installations, consumption of licenses, and other such configurations, it helps the IT team to come up with quick and scalable decisions.

Use Case to Understand How Software Asset Management Saves

Consider Team-A in your organization requires 50 new licenses of Autodesk AutoCad for its 50 members. The team raises a request to the IT team. Though the IT team can purchase the required number of licenses, they would first check-in into the centralized system and uses their software asset management systems and tools to check if there are any free licenses with other teams that can be allocated to Team-A.

Now, assume Team-B has a total of 130 Autodesk AutoCad licenses out of which, only 80 are in use. This means the remaining 50 Autodesk Autocad licenses are sitting idle.

Since SAM tools follow an automated architecture, it would allocate the 50 idle licenses in Team-B to Team-A. This way, the IT team saves on purchasing additional 50 numbers of licenses as they were having an excess of those licenses.
This is just a reference case for a team with 50 members. Now, consider the same for an enterprise-level organization that employs around 50,000 employees. Now, you can easily calculate how much software asset management system tools can save for your or any enterprise-level, SME, or start-up level organization

So, Is It Worthy to Have Software Asset Management Tools?

In case, you are still confused about what is a SAM tool or what can a software asset management system/tool achieve for you, you must look at the above case study. From the above example, it is evident that the SAM tool not only saves hefty amounts in your central IT budget but also helps you save most of your time.

Imagine your organization has around 5,000 employees located around 50 corners of the globe. Each of these members would require software licenses to perform their daily tasks. Would you be able to go around each of these employees asking if they have any idea licenses that can be allocated to other employees?

Practically speaking, this sounds near impossible or would require an ample amount of time and monetary resources. The ball is in your court now to decide how much software asset management systems and tools can save for you!

You Cannot Agree More With These Points on Software Asset Management

● Put Idle Licenses Into Action
Every organization comprises almost a cluster of software. All this software comes with paid licenses. Allowing these licenses to site idle would incur heavy losses to the organization. SAM tools can help you put these licenses into action.

● Stop Paying More for Software Licenses
SAM tools also help you streamline and optimize all your software licenses. While you can optimize these licenses and also stretch them to utilize them more, why would you pay additional dollars to over-purchase the same licenses?

● Get Things Automated
SAM tools create an automated workflow cycle to monitor and manage all your licenses. Keeping a record of all your licenses on an excel sheet or manually would gain you nothing, but would kill your time.

The Key Benefits of SAM

Here are some of the most notable benefits of having a software asset management system:

Gain Control Over Software Licenses

Software Asset Management tools help organizations to know the ins and outs of their software inventory. This way, they can gain total control of all their software licenses and build the system as they wish.

Reduces Costs:

Software asset management systems and tools enable organizations to optimize all their software licenses and use them to the maximum limit. This not only helps them to use licenses more than what they have paid but also utilizes unused licenses and saves the budget.

Makes Future Ready:

Every organization has both short and long-term goals. Software asset management tools make the workflow transparent and help organizations to become future-ready by aligning the software requirements strategically and predicting the probable software requirement for the future.

Repurpose Software Licenses:

Repurposing software is another key benefit of any Software Management Tool. Why over-purchase software while it can be repurposed and used by other users? OpenLM’s License Harvesting is one such repurposing method. Explore License Harvesting today to know more.

Gain Competitive Edge:

While the entire workflow can be automated, organizations can easily save on their money, time, resources, and what not! By complying with this, organizations can easily gain a competitive edge in the market by adopting software asset management tools.

Top 4 Questions You Must Answer When Planning Your IT for 2022

1.     Are You Aware Of What’s in Your IT Estate?
In an IT infrastructure, there are several blind spots that can yield missed opportunities. OpenLM’s license and asset management solutions and services help you to get rid of these blind spots.

2.     How Optimized Are Your Software Licenses?
With OpenLM software license management services, you can easily reduce your software expenses by at least 25-30% annually. Get in touch today to hire OpenLM services.

3.     Are Your SaaS Costs Within Control?
Almost every employee can purchase any SaaS app at any moment. In such a scenario, can you hold control over your SaaS applications? Switch to OpenLM to grow agile in SaaS adaption and gain full control over SaaS costs and usage.

4.     How to Optimize Cloud Migration?
OpenLM has recently announced the launch of its Cloud Portal which makes migration seamless, cost-efficient, and hassle-free. Contact team OpenLM today to know more about this.

Control Your Risk and Spend with Software Asset Management Tool

As already mentioned, every software comes with a legal license that explains all the terms and conditions of its usage. Also, while there are software licenses that come for free, there are other licenses that incur a cost. Though the free software licenses offer flexibility to use them, the paid licenses come with legal restrictions.

In any of the software licenses, you would find conditions such as who can use the software, where can the software be used, when will the software expire, and other relevant technical aspects. Failure to comply with any of the mentioned conditions could result in compliance issues for the organizations.

With software license management tools that are always a part of the SAM tool, organizations can easily zero down the compliant risks and save themselves from any legal hurdles.

On the other hand, with such software license management tools, organizations can gain a 360-degree view of all their software licenses. Thus, if there are any underused licenses, organizations can easily detect them and put them to use. In other cases, SAM tools also help organizations by estimating the exact software requirements and saving big budgets on their annual IT investments.

Things to Know Before You Opt for a Software Asset Management Tool

SAM tools undoubtedly have an ample number of perks and benefits for any organization dealing with software licenses. However, it is always advisable to watch out for a couple of things before you select a SAM tool to manage and monitor all your software assets.

Here are some of the primary objectives of having a SAM tool. Check them to understand how much you are in sync with them.

  • Total control and visibility over software assets.
  • Ensuring 100% compliance with all software licenses and agreements.
  • Zeroing down audit risks across the organization.
  • Create a transparent process of using all software licenses.
  • Avoid purchasing licenses that are not required.
  • Keep away from duplication of licenses in any form.
  • Utilizing licenses as they are while optimizing license costs.
  • Build a streamlined IT asset management process.

Here are some of the key reasons for software asset management tools:

  • To automate the entire process of license procurement and consumption.
  • To detect shelfware licenses (or unused licenses) if any and terminate them.
  • To create a single-architecture model to monitor, analyze and track IT assets.
  • To calculate the life-cycle of each license and utilize them by stretching their limits.
  • To ensure hassle-free software operation across cloud, on-premise, and mobile.

5 Lessons to Pick Up From the SolarWinds Breach 150

You may not have products or operations similar to SolarWinds, but you must not avoid the breach that shook Solar Winds. Revealed in 2020, this is among one of the most reckoned cyber-attacks around the globe. The breach took place through two backdoors – Sunburst and Supernova.

Here are five lessons that you must pick up from this breach:
1.     Imitate Ransomware Attacks:
Ransomware is real, and every company could be prone to it. Every organization must initiate simulated ransomware attacks to discover the loose ends of their security measures.
2.     Software Vulnerability Test:
While partnering with any third-party vendor, every organization must check for the integrity of the software they work with. Failure to check this could bring in situations similar to SolarWinds.
3.     Don’t Rely on Internal Developments:
Be it internal developers or internal development, security could always be a threat as developers cannot assure 100% security. You need to think much beyond that of a developer to avoid what happened to SolarWind.
4.     Make Your Logs Accessible:
If you have logs, you must keep a strict check on them. Be it firewall logs or workstation logs, or server logs, you must make them accessible to monitor the traffic; both inbound and outbound.
5.     Regular Security and Risk Assessments:
Each time you onboard a third party or sign a contract with them, you should always assess the security measures and risks involved. This way, you would timely record and can prepare for suture ransomware attacks. 

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