SAM I AM: Software Asset Management Is Asset Management

I admit it. The acronym in the title of this post is a shout-out to Dr. Seuss and his classic (children’s?) book, Green Eggs and Ham. But it’s also true, and directly relevant to your IT, IT asset management (ITAM), and SAM efforts. (Your cybersecurity efforts can benefit as well, but that subject is for another time.) 

What Are We Talking About?  

The Gartner IT Glossary defines SAM this way. 

A process for making software acquisition and disposal decisions. It includes strategies that identify and eliminate unused or infrequently used software, consolidating software licenses or moving toward new licensing models. 

That same resource defines ITAM thusly.  

IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions. 

Replace the word “software” with the word “asset” (or “assets”) in the Gartner SAM definition, and it applies with equal validity to all assets with business value, even those outside of IT. Further, under these definitions, it seems clear that you’d need the elements of SAM to achieve the goals of ITAM.   

Software has multiple characteristics that make its management different from that of other IT and business assets. Perhaps most significant among these are the growing use of cloud-based software and mobile devices. These and other evolutionary trends are forcing enterprises and their software providers to revisit and revise traditional software licensing and pricing practices. Nonetheless, SAM and ITAM more than overlap. They share both common objectives and core requirements for success. 

SAM and ITAM: Common Objectives and Core Requirements 

My esteemed Ivanti colleague Marcel Shaw has ably detailed these in his excellent post, “Three Components Required for a Complete IT Asset Management Solution (Part 1 of 4): Six Common Objectives.” I will summarize and annotate them here, but you really should read the entire post and series. 

Common ITAM/SAM Objectives: 

  • Control inventory – nothing gets added without the knowledge and approval of IT. 
  • Control costs – buy nothing you don’t need, and use everything you buy. 
  • Budget planning – measure and show the value you deliver to get the support you need. 
  • Lifecycle management – manage every asset throughout its entire lifecycle, from acquisition through retirement and disposal. 
  • Security – the more you know about your assets, the better you can protect them and your business. 

Common Requirements for Success with ITAM and SAM: 

  • Discovery – know what you have and document what you know. 
  • Asset Intelligence – collect and normalize all relevant physical, financial, and contractual information about every asset. 

Asset Lifecycle Management – automate IT and business processes that enforce company requirements, provide notifications of upcoming or needed changes, and enable inventory, cost, and security controls. 

How you go about meeting these requirements and objectives depends upon specific circumstances at your enterprise. However you do so, though, you would do well to focus on technologies and processes that help you modernize, automate, and consolidate your ITAM and SAM efforts. That focus can help you and your team discover all of your most critical IT assets, provide insights from what you discover, and take action based on those insights that improve your asset management efforts. 

Manage All Your IT Assets – Ivanti Can Help 

Start with our on-demand webinar, “Steps to Cut your Software Spend by 30 Percent.” Then, check out our SAM and ITAM solutions. Ivanti can help you discover and inventory what’s on your networkpass every software auditcut your hardware and software costs, and achieve asset lifecycle management. Explore our solutions, then contact Ivanti, and let us help you improve management of all your enterprise’s IT assets.