Software Asset Management (SAM) is a business practice that involves managing and optimising the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilisation and disposal of software applications within an organisation. To efficiently run SAM, support and interaction are required from a number of areas within the business:
- Operations/IT need to provide data from discovery tools/Active Directory/Anti-Virus/SCCM etc.;
- Operations/IT need to support, maintain and run any SAM tools and databases;
- Commercial/Finance need to supply Purchase Order and Contract information;
- Commercial/Finance will be the interface for software audits.
Although these stakeholders are responsible and accountable for the information required, it must be decided who will ultimately own the service line, govern it and create the policies.
The majority of the information that feeds SAM comes from tools that are managed by IT. Also, as well as SAM relying on hardware information, it can provide analysed data and reports back to IT to support refresh, maintenance, decommissioning, leasing, end of life and data quality etc. With this in mind it could be considered that SAM is more aligned to IT as that is where the data comes from and they also benefit from the analysis.
However, SAM is about software – including licensing, compliance and audits. If a piece of hardware is operating how it should but is not licensed correctly, it is not IT that will bear the financial burden. Consequently, it would make sense that the ownership of SAM sits with Finance.
SAM must be policed. Policies need to be written and adhered to by all stakeholders. There is significant service compliance and governance involved due to its cross functional nature. If there is a Service Integration and Management (SIAM) function in place at the company, its aim is to seamlessly integrate interdependent services from various internal and external service providers into an end-to-end service, in order to meet business requirements. SIAM should therefore police SAM however Finance would still be ultimately accountable.
To conclude, it is generally understood that SAM should be aligned to Finance due to the implications of the software finances. However, they cannot manage this alone and will need IT and other areas to be responsible and accountable for the data they provide and policies they must adhere to. A governing board will ensure this.
For any further help or advice around SAM, please contact ITAMS.
ELP stands for Effective Licence Position and is related to a specific software vendor or product.
Being able to create an ELP is fundamental to keeping on top of your product compliance for audit defence and to support ongoing SAM activities such as optimisation and cost control.
Many of our customers have a relationship with one or several SAM Service Providers to help with different parts of a SAM solution or to design and manage the entire solution, but it is often the case that the chosen provider(s) do not have the right capabilities to suit their requirements.
For further information on SAM Service Providers and how to select them, please sign up to receive our complimentary guide:
Many organisations believe that a SAM Tool will solve all their SAM issues.
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For your organisation to be successful in SAM, the following five components of SAM are all key and should be considered carefully as part of your SAM programme.
For more information on how to successfully manage SAM within your organisation, download our guide:
Since July 2012 when the European Court of Justice clarified in the case between UsedSoft and Oracle, where the law confirmed that ‘second hand’ software licences could be bought or sold, has anyone ever purchased licences or sold to a ‘used’ software dealer?
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