With software playing such a central role in the day-to-day functions and growth of any modern organization, SAM has many benefits to help companies achieve strategic goals and keep their software running smoothly.
With software asset management your organization can:
Software asset management is a big undertaking for any organization, but without it, businesses could find themselves wading through difficult compliance issues and hugely wasteful software spending.
Next, here are the software asset management best practices that you can use during the implementation or after you already started the SAM program.
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When planning and implementing a software asset management strategy, SAM best practices will form a framework for tackling what may seem like a daunting task.
SAM tools will help management evaluate their software landscape, implement software new solutions where needed, and manage the various licenses associated with software purchasing.
The first step of any SAM venture is to assess your software asset management maturity level. This means determining where you already are in the process and mapping out a plan for where you wish to end up. Most organizations take months or years to achieve complete SAM maturity, and there are many tools to determine which stage a business is at.
For assessing SaaS maturity levels, LeanIX’s ROI calculator can make a prediction of where a business already is. There are five stages to SAM maturity:
There are several core processes that form the DNA of software asset management. The previous step, SAM maturity assessment will help you pick the core processes your SAM project needs to be built around. It is best to pick the most important one for your organization, around which you can build a stakeholder buy-in and a team in the next step.
Engaging stakeholders in the SAM process is key to its success. Software asset management is not something that can be done without commitment because it involves hiring dedicated SAM personnel to guide the process and see it through to full maturity.
Establishing stakeholders' buy-in can be done by describing the benefits SAM brings to a modern organization; cost savings, lowering risks associated with complex software licenses, and optimization of assets.
Building a SAM team is the next step. Companies can either opt to hire a full in-house Software Asset Management team or third-party software license consultants.
While an in-house team is more expensive in the long run, they will share company values and goals, and it means that SAM can become an integrated and ongoing process that will adapt as a business grows.
There is also the hybrid option, which will match full-time personnel with expertise from the outside.
The evaluations completed in the first two steps of the SAM implementation process will help organizations decide what SAM solution is best for their needs.
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right tool. Businesses will want to assess the size of their company, and whether the company infrastructure is strong enough to support their chosen solution.
SAM teams will also want to make sure they are choosing the right tool for what’s needed; whether that’s data gathering or license management. It’s important organizations use solutions that establish a positive ROI for their goals.
This phase serves as the basis for all core processes within SAM. Software discovery including SaaS discovery and shadow IT discovery are vital to understand and document before you can move into the following steps of the SAM process.
SAM tools that specify on SaaS can do this automatically; such as LeanIX’s SMP which will add visibility into your SaaS estate, increase SaaS ROI and remove security gaps and ensure compliance.
As previously discussed, one of the biggest reasons to implement software asset management is to demystify software licenses and analyze where software is being used (and how often). This step will establish that.
Software management tools are designed to organize licenses based on department and find areas of underused software.
Software usage is analyzed through usage trend data which will then enable informed decision-making about renewals and future investments.
SAM managers can then use the usage and license data gathered in the previous step to determine whether an organization is receiving value from SaaS and software investments.
From here organizations can learn how to optimize software spend and decide how they wish to recycle, relocate and optimize licenses to get the best ROI from these agreements.
The process will remove or right-size unused or forgotten SaaS apps and licenses.
Now organizations are ready to implement software procurement policies. Through completion of the previous steps, SAM teams will be able to pinpoint where policies are needed and who will need to be involved.
Examples of policies that can be implemented during this stage are vendor life cycle management policies and SaaS renewal strategy; both of these will establish clear guidelines for vendor-client relations and help automate renewals and updates.
Once these policies have been established, organizations are able to focus on the biggest benefits of their SAM strategy; transformation and value.
Procurement policies allow businesses to understand when a solution isn’t working anymore and decreases the threat of costly audits and overspending on unused software.
Lastly, each step in a software management asset strategy will help companies forecast and establish software budgets as their business evolves.
Money wasted on unused SaaS software is a big problem for a lot of organizations, so once a comprehensive SAM process has been established, areas of improvement in usage and spend history will become apparent.
This will allow for more accurate forecasting of software budgets and how to make SaaS software solutions more cost-effective.
While some focus only on specific use cases, some can also map software assets to your business capabilities using application portfolio management practice.
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