The benefits of software asset management (SAM) are becoming more well-recognized, but several fallacies continue to hold some organizations back from achieving the full potential from their SAM investments.
“Organizations assume SAM is solely to resolve audits, but it’s much more than that one-shot exercise and expense” says Rik Schaap, Software Asset Management consultant at COMPAREX Canada.
While SAM is a powerful tool to avoid the costs associated with ever-more-common software audits, Schaap notes it provides greater benefits when it is used to comprehensively track, manage and observe software lifecycle. “The visibility gained through SAM allows organizations to work towards optimization and more significant cost savings.”
Still, Schaap says, five common misconceptions continue to prevent many organizations from implementing SAM best practices and optimizing their software portfolios.
- “Procurement takes care of it.” — Since procurement is responsible for acquiring software, it’s natural—albeit wrong—to assume it is also responsible for tracking it throughout its lifecycle. Procurement has the purchase history, but is not privy to information on product lifecycle, usage rights, usage data or the install base. Taking SAM to the next level requires more deeper analytics than a purchase receipt.
- “We don’t need to take inventory around mergers and acquisitions.” — Mergers and acquisitions are a major motivator for software vendor audits, since when organizations merge the acquired software license agreements are often overlooked. Software publishers know this and suspect past agreements won’t align with the new company structure. They are usually right, since organizations are typically more focused on other logistics. “Knowing these software assets are really important when you buy another company,” Schaap adds. “That will come back to bite you.”
- “We don’t need a dedicated SAM tool.” — SAM is too often viewed as a one-shot exercise, and viewed as heavy expensive through that lens. This is a mistake, says Schaap, since SAM can plays a major role in creating long-term ROI from software investments. Without consulting a dedicated SAM specialist, organizations typically don’t see future cost-savings realized through: application rationalization, preventing unneeded upgrades, and eliminating duplication through software cross-functionality.
- “SAM is just only needed for our upcoming audit.” — Schaap notes the misconception that SAM is only needed during a software vendor audit is gradually fading. In fact, more companies are recognizing the reality that once targeted for one software audit, others often loom on the rumours of non-compliance. An effective, ongoing SAM practice protects during audits.
- “We understand our usage rights perfectly.”— Software license and contract management are often overlooked when it comes to software lifecycle management. Enterprises purchase software in large volumes without full understanding of its usage rights, resulting in improper installation and the associated audit risks.
“Enterprises typically have a vast number of software publishers in their portfolio, each with unique terms. A dedicated specialist who understand all the contract terms from all vendors for the thousands of pieces of software is incredibly rare,” Schaap notes. “But without a dedicated licensing specialist—who knows not only the terms but has up-to-date knowledge of initiatives, incentives and pricing—enterprises are going to pay far more for their software.”
Schaap says that by moving past these misconceptions organizations can take the steps required implement SAM as a process and truly look at their software from lifecycle perspective.
This is where Schaap says he and the Software Asset Management experts at COMPAREX Canada come in. Through Managed SAM as a Service, provided as part of the company’s SoftCare offering, COMPAREX Canada experts offer the deep-rooted vendor knowledge needed for clients to implement a dedicated SAM practice that maximizes savings and ROI through continuous tracking, monitoring and metering of software assets throughout their lifecycle.
This is the fourth in a blog series on COMPAREX SoftCare. For an overview on the solution, view the first blog in the series, and watch for our next blog that looks at the steps needed to optimize your SAM practice.