How to avoid Software Asset Management (SAM) mistakes 

What is Software Asset Management (SAM)? 

Software Asset Management (SAM) manages and optimizes software assets within an organization. It involves tracking and monitoring software licenses, installations, usage, compliance, and costs. Implementing a SAM program can help organizations save money, reduce risk, and ensure compliance with licensing agreements.  

When Software Asset Management (SAM) is done well, an organization can realize savings on license purchase and derive the best value with their software investments. SAM ensures organizations avoid unnecessary software licenses and prevents overpaying for licenses that could be acquired at a lower cost.  

Software Asset Management (SAM) is an ongoing process and not a one-time task. Effective SAM, along with the use of software asset management tools, plays a crucial role in IT budgets.  

However, many organizations make common mistakes when it comes to SAM. These mistakes can lead to financial losses, security risks, and legal consequences. We will discuss some of the most common SAM mistakes and share tips on how to avoid them.  

1. Lack of centralized software inventory or system 

One of the most common mistakes in SAM is not having a centralized software inventory or system. Even in cases where there is a software inventory, selecting the right type and what processes to use can also be a problem. Your adopted SAM process should be the best fit for your software inventory considering your technical environmental needs as well as what type of data is to be collected.  

Not adopting the right centralized Software inventory may mean that your organization will have an incomplete and inaccurate record of all the software installed across your network. Without this information accurately, it becomes impossible to track license usage, identify unused or unauthorized software, or detect potential security risks.  

What to do 

  • To avoid this mistake, organizations should adopt and implement an automated inventory tool that can scan and collect data from all devices on your network. This will provide a comprehensive view of all installed software and enable better tracking and management.  

2. Not Tracking Software Usage 

It will be wrong to assume that the number of software licenses you have purchased is equal to the number of installations. This may not always be the case. Go out of your way as a Chief Information Officer or part of management to ensure employees have installed software in accordance with the vendor’s terms and conditions. If the installations of the licenses are for multiple devices, make sure it is not out of place. If tracking is not strategically done and timely, there may be unused licenses sitting idle and gathering costs.  

Adopt internal processes that is workable, is the best fit for your issues and gets you data that can help make license purchasing decisions. Discuss with all stakeholders like the Chief Information Officer (CIO), IT manager, to agree on which SAM process will work best to have their buy-ins and avoid complacency on their part when the implementation takes off.   

What to do 

  • To avoid this mistake, organizations should regularly track and monitor software usage. This will help identify any discrepancies between license purchases and actual usage and allow for better optimization of resources.  
  • Avoid rushing through a process to implement a SAM and engage in proper communication on any changes with all stakeholders.   
  • Adopt a proactive approach by leveraging both real-time and historical data. This strategy allows you to optimize current assets effectively and anticipate potential challenges. 

3. Lack of software usage policies 

Without proper policies in place, it’s difficult to control the installation and usage of software within your organization. This can lead to employees downloading unauthorized or unapproved software, putting the company at risk for security breaches and non-compliance with licensing agreements.  

To avoid this mistake, your organization should establish clear software usage policies and communicate them to all employees. These policies should outline approved software for different job roles, installation procedures, and consequences for violating the policy.  

What to do 

  • Get leadership in your organization to support the SAM adoption process.  
  • Put and make an individual (s), preferably the IT team in charge of enforcing compliance and will be held accountable if software usage policies are flouted.   

4. Overly relying on Software Asset Management 

The fact is that this is a process that can help with your license purchase, monitoring and usage as an organization, but it does not mean other supplementary intervention should not be considered. Note that the management process of your licenses yields results based on the data you are looking for and well customization was initially done. If customization was done with a certain intended results to be achieved yet the right data gathering process is not commensurate, the wrong feedback may be derived.  

Having a supplementary way of getting data may help in such instances. However, if possible, consider a not one-size-fits-all approach but variations to help cover up for where there may be short falls. Also put in place individuals who understand the workings of the SAM process and know where to appropriately apply human intervention.   

What to do 

  • Put in place knowledgeable personnel to provide oversight and supervision as part of your SAM  

5. Not seeking experts’ guidance with your SAM implementation 

An expert brings experience to the table when deciding on which SAM process will best work in your situation or requirements. Remember, the management process you are hoping to adopt is to address a particular license (s) gap and give you solutions. The expert, having worked for years with various organizations with different needs, will have seen your kind of challenge before and knows what the best fit is. There is avoidance of a trial-and-error situation to give you what you require and avoid wasting your time and resources.  

Know that tools cannot replace the value, experience, observation and insights an expert brings. You might have the right tool in place but may not be maximizing its use for data collection, analysis and your interpretation will be all over the place. You will need expert support to guide you and point your organization in the right direction with your SAM.   

Leverage our team of experts support for your SAM 

Our team of experts can help you manage your SAM and not lose track of license agreements, renewal dates, and compliance requirements. This we have done for many organizations avoiding under or over-purchasing of licenses, saving them monies and preventing financial losses.  

We will also help you invest in a robust license management system that can track your licenses and their associated agreements and deadlines. This will help ensure compliance with software vendors and protect you against security risks.   

Working with us will see you implementing best practices such as regular tracking of usage, accurate license management, and clear usage policies optimizing your resources and ensuring smooth operations when it comes to software license usage.   

The added advantage you get working with our team is leveraging our up-to-date knowledge about licensing related issues to guide you on processes to adapt as your software licensing needs changes.  

Let our team of experts help you stay proactive and avoid SAM mistakes and reap the benefits of efficient and compliant software usage. Managing software licenses may seem like a daunting task, but with us, a smooth and beneficial process can be implemented by your organization. 

Take charge of your software licenses today! Send us an email info@q-advise.com  

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