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The BREXIT Effect

Have you considered what the potential effects on your software licensing costs could be following the UK’s decision to leave the EU?

This blog looks at some of the key considerations you need to take into account following this historic decision.

Read Blog

Tips on Building a SAM Policy

A SAM policy is an important part of your SAM programme and like any other policy, it is designed to ensure rules are followed and communicated appropriately.

There are two types of policy, one aimed at the end user which covers things like software use and security aspects, and the second which is an operating policy, covering aspects of SAM more from an operational governance perspective.

The business goals of your organisation will dictate the tightness of your SAM policy, creating a trade-off of user/IT enablement versus risk management. However, at any level you must ensure that for the policy to be effective, it must be clearly defined, communicated, enforced and managed.

Defining the SAM Policy

So, how do you start putting together a coherent and comprehensive SAM policy?

First of all you need to start by asking yourself a few questions:

1) What existing corporate policies and governance structure do we have in place, and do they
reflect our current business goals?
2) Who will be responsible for writing, maintaining and communicating the policy?
3) What processes do we need to define and manage an asset from requisition to retirement?
4) Who will be involved in the process and what responsibilities will they have?
5) How will the policy be enforced, both for users and for IT professionals?
6) Who is the audience for the policy?

What to include in your SAM policy

The content of a SAM policy differs from one organisation to another and depends on various factors such as the size of your organisation, users’ software requirements, staff mobility, use of mobile devices, structure of IT and procurement departments etc.

Your SAM policy needs to include strict guidelines that you want from a SAM governance perspective and which specifically relates to the SAM programme.

Tips on formulating your SAM policy

To ensure your SAM policy is effective, remember to:

1) Clearly define your policy and ensure it is easy to follow, enforce and manage.
2) Whilst the writing of the actual SAM policy is the responsibility of the IT Asset/SAM Manager, it is important that buy-in is sought from peers and all stakeholders involved or impacted by it.
3) Review and check your policy against business goals and align appropriately.
4) Differentiate between policy (why we do it), process (what we do) and procedure (how we do it, when we do it and with whom).
5) Standardise formatting for all policies (templating).
Policies should follow a uniform format, all policies should be structured in the same way throughout the organisation. In other words, if your organisation has existing policies, be sure to use them as a template to creating your SAM policy.
6) Create a Communication timeline/plan for distributing the policy details to stakeholders and business areas
7) Communicate the policy in line with your SAM processes and governance structure and corporate communications guidelines.
8) Your policy should be kept up-to-date. Initially it should be revised two months after release and then every 12 months thereafter.

Need more help?

So, if you still need some help building your SAM policy, ITAMS has developed a new one day workshop on SAM Policy Development for any newbie to SAM or existing SAM practitioner.

The workshop aims to help you identify, assess and develop appropriate policies to underpin your SAM practice and provide you with the core building blocks required to meet your business and SAM service goals. You’ll also get a set of best practice templates to take away.

For more information and to book your place, please visit click here.

The Importance of Data to your SAM Service Line


Is your software asset data providing you with the right information to help you make informed decisions for your business?

In this post, ITAMS’ consultants define “data”, what data elements support IT asset management (ITAM) and what the data model comprises of for effective licence and compliance management.

Accurate, complete, and timely data is essential for reliable licence and compliance management. Regardless of how many sources you have, data coming into your asset repository must be of sufficient quality, quantity and coverage.

Data quality is the measurement of the correctness and completeness of data elements across all entities and the applications of standards, including attributes therein. When data is generated across multiple systems and then brought into the repository, where there are multiple data elements mapped to a single attribute, the data should, according to best practices, have the same format, i.e. Date = DD/MM/YYY.

Data quality also refers to the age of the data; it must be generated and transported in a timely fashion which supports the asset needs. Timeliness of data will depend on the asset (licence) and business requirements.

Data quantity then, is the measurement of the number of relevant data elements you have available to map against each entity. For example, if you are trying to create an asset profile, but all you have available to you is the product name and the date acquired, then you have insufficient data quantity. In order to create an asset profile, you would also need: PO number, SKU number, cost etc. Without the correct data quantity, your assets will not be complete.

Data coverage refers to the measurement of the availability of data elements, entities across the entire organisation in all environments and platforms. In order to generate a correct view of your assets, you must have data on Wintel, UNIX, Development and Test, Production, Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure, Regional Data etc. Unless you limit the scope of your SAM Service, you must have sufficient coverage for asset data.

Data elements in support of ITAM (of which SAM is a subset), must:

  • Include all relevant data, not just software asset and licence data.
  • Support all IT asset views resident in different technologies:
  • – Acquired (IT asset & licence repository).
    – Installed (inventory discovery).
    – Used (usage metering).
    – Entitled (access authorisations).

  • Support specific requirements for analysis and reporting.

The data model is comprised of:

  • Entities – e.g. asset, contract.
  • Elements (fields) – e.g., asset name, asset type.
  • Definitions (purpose, intended content).
  • Standards for key data elements – e.g., asset status.
  • Attributes – e.g., alphanumeric, character.
  • Links between entities – e.g., assets to licences to contracts.
  • Relationships amounts entities – e.g., ‘installed on’, ‘assigned to’.
  • Sources (systems-of-record) for each entity, possibly element.

Without data, your technology will not support your business requirements and be unable to provide you with the reporting and analysis information needed to make qualified decisions regarding your assets.

For more information about SAM data analysis services, please contact ITAMS.