Software Asset Management Basics and Benefits

What do SAM (Surface-to-Air Missiles) and SAM (Software Asset Management) have in common? Well, I’m no rocket scientist, nor do I claim to be an IT asset management guru. But I’m pretty sure it boils down to money.

Missiles cost defense departments tons of treasure, and software comprises 22 percent of an organization’s IT budget on average. The objective then, as far as Ivanti is concerned, is how we can help you increase visibility into your IT assets and cut your software spend.

Software: A Tough Nut to Track

Unlike computer hardware that you can touch and feel, software is by nature ephemeral and more difficult to track. Compound this challenge with the fact that two out of three organizations can expect at least one software audit request in the next 12 months, and 52 percent of enterprises report their software has been audited multiple times.

According to Information Week, 41 percent of CIOs lack visibility into their IT compliance status. And CIO.com reports that 52 percent of organizations estimate that losses stemming from the use of unlicensed software totaled more than 10 percent of their entire revenue.

Employ SAM and Lighten Your Load at Audit Time

By employing a process-driven SAM program to analyze what you own and how you’re using it, you lighten your load at the time of an audit by being in command of the information your software vendor will demand. You also stand to trim your costs by recovering and reallocating underutilized licenses, buying only what you need when you need it, and making more lucrative agreements with your software vendors.

SAM is a management discipline that combines internal processes and the oversight of an asset manager with automated systems to drive real value across your organization. To be of value, SAM must entail ongoing, repeatable procedures used by all areas of the enterprise to define product versions and the terms and conditions of their use, to demonstrate actual ownership with verifiable records, and to determine who is authorized to use which titles.

The Foundation of SAM is Entitlement Management

Entitlement management is the practice of assigning the right to use a managed software title, and it creates the administrative policy that you can then reconcile discovered installations against. With this core practice in place, SAM discipline then offers the validation you need to protect yourself at the time of an audit and to plan effectively for the future by:

  • Ensuring the consistent capture of data over time 
  • Providing a history of changes over time  
  • Demonstrating control at any given time of your software asset entitlements 

SAM will do much more than take the pain out of an external audit; it will allow you to perform routine internal audits to determine if your software assignments benefit your organization, if you have the right software assigned to the right machine, and if you are working with the right vendor. Without processes that offer up hard statistics, you have no leverage for negotiating license agreements, volume discounts, or the details of the audit process. 

Top 10 Benefits of SAM

  1. Provides intimate knowledge of what software has been purchased—and deployed 
  2. Turns data into decision-making information 
  3. Supports both enterprise and departmental agreements 
  4. Improves internal analysis, chargeback, and financial accountability 
  5. Reduces legal/financial/reputational exposure risk 
  6. Improves efficiency and lowers IT support and maintenance costs 
  7. Assists in budget planning and resource allocation 
  8. Streamlines merger and acquisitions 
  9. Provides data for license renegotiation and purchase right sizing 
  10. Ensures consistent and repeatable processes 

New Webinar: “Steps to Cut Your Software Spend by 30 Percent”

A great way to learn how solutions from Ivanti can help you help your organization reduce your software spend is by viewing our on-demand webinar hosted by Ivanti’s Jonathan Sims, SAM Consultant, and Todd Labrum, ITAM Product Manager. They’ll discuss, among other things, five smart tips for reducing your software spend.

Invest some time to view the webinar and to learn more about Ivanti IT Asset Management solutions.