If you’re going to manage and secure your IT environment, you need to know what’s in your IT environment. Effective software asset management (SAM) can help you do all three – and save your enterprise some money, too.
SAM: Save Audit Money
One of the most consistent incentives to improve SAM at an enterprise is to save money on software. Audits by software vendors, “true-ups” intended to reconcile licenses with real-life usage levels, and over-licensing of critical software all represent significant software spending opportunities. And software assets and licenses continue to evolve.
These and other factors make effective SAM as necessary as it is challenging. In its research report, Optimizing IT for Financial Performance, respected analysts Enterprise Management Associates® (EMA™) identified four key challenges as particularly difficult.
Daunting discovery and inventory – you can’t manage what you can’t see and track. However, many organizations are hobbled by a surfeit of separate tools and processes. Among respondents to the EMA survey, 50 percent of organizations have 12 or more discovery and/or inventory capabilities/tools, and 11 percent have more than 30 tools.
Data (in)accuracy – surveyed organizations spend an average of 10 hours a week resolving data accuracy issues. Some 32 percent of those respondents spend more than 25 hours each on this critical set of tasks.
Data dispersion – respondents have little or no consolidated view of their data. Each spends an average of 30 hours reconciling asset inventory data, and an additional 30 hours collecting asset entitlement data for a major audit.
Sub-par processes – 25 percent of survey respondents still use spreadsheets for their asset management initiatives, an approach rife with opportunities for mistakes and inefficiencies.
Clearly, effective SAM requires the ability to discover and inventory all critical software assets, and to keep that inventory accurate and up to date. The challenges may be daunting, but the potential cost savings offer strong incentives to overcome them. In 2016, published industry estimates placed the average cost of a software license true-up for an organization with $50 million in annual revenues at $263,000. (See “The Real Cost of a Software Audit.”)
SAM and Cybersecurity
Getting discovery, inventory, and management of software assets right enables significant benefits beyond cost savings. If you can discover everything that’s running across your environment, that knowledge can help provide insight into how best to take action to protect that environment. (See “Three Components Required for a Complete IT Asset Management Solution (Part 3 of 4): Asset Intelligence.”)
You can know the status of patch deployments across your critical endpoints and servers, and prioritize your patch management efforts. You can know in greater detail which users are using which software, which users have administrative privileges, and which users actually need those privileges. You can determine which software in your environment is authorized by IT, and flag or forbid any software that is not. And should a breach be successful, comprehensive knowledge about your software assets can ease and speed remediation and restoration of full operations. (See “Infected by Ransomware—Now What?” and the webinar “Hacked!?! How Can I Fix This Fast?”)
Multiple cybersecurity guidelines and Ivanti experts agree: comprehensive patch management, combined with effective control of applications, devices, and admin rights, can significantly improve the security posture of any enterprise. Comprehensive, timely SAM can help with all of these measures, while helping your enterprise to save money. (See “Beyond WannaCrypt/WannaCry: Wanna Know What’s Next?” and “Your Threats Are Evolving. Are Your Defenses?”)
Ivanti: Your SAM and Cybersecurity Partner
Ivanti can help you discover and inventory what’s on your network. Then, whether you want to add a SAM solution to your ServiceNow deployment, predict your software (and hardware) spend, manage cloud and “shadow IT” applications, or simply pass your next software audit, Ivanti can help. And if you’ve got immediate cybersecurity challenges, Ivanti can help you manage patches for your clients and servers, as well as your applications and your users’ admin rights and privileges.
Check out our solutions online. Check out our on-demand webinar, “Steps to Cut Your Software Spend by 30 Percent.” Grab a complimentary copy of the EMA report. Then, contact Ivanti. Let us help you achieve more and better SAM, and maybe even free up some additional budget for better cybersecurity as well.