Is your organization making use of multiple software without a process to monitor those different tools? If the answer is in the affirmative and you’re part of a large company, you’re missing out on a software asset management (SAM) tool. A SAM tool takes care of license renewals, compliance, performance and software audits to name a few.
In this article, we’ll explore the following:
- What is a software asset management tool
- How to select the right software asset management tool
- Whether it is feasible for your company to have a SAM
- The ways in which your business can benefit from a SAM
So, let’s get right in:
What is a software asset management tool
Let’s give you a simple explanation of a SAM tool. It’s software used by companies to carry out specific activities more effectively.
Software asset management makes sure there are enough tools on hand to carry out different tasks effectively. It also helps decision-makers not to purchase tools that do not enhance value significantly.
The following are considered part of software asset management:
- Ensuring that the software meets expectations in terms of performance
- Keeping track of software licensing
- Making payments for renewal
- Managing agreements with various license companies
- Maintaining compliances
- Prepping for routine software audits
- Monitoring software usage to aid in better purchasing and renewal decisions
- Managing software spending and resource allocation effectively
What are the ways in which your business can benefit from SAM
TLDR: A software asset management tool that helps in mitigating risks and in saving costs for the company.
A software asset management tool can provide your business with many benefits. All of them boil down to two important advantages: saving costs and minimizing risks. Let’s break down the benefits into the following subcategories.
Library of tools
Choosing software is a challenge in itself. The number of tools available for each department is massive. Each department head has a different preference for using a tool. As a procuring agent, how do you find the most effective tool from the vast variety of options at your disposal?
Some software asset management platforms have the option of searching through its library of tools.
For instance, Zluri’s software asset management tool has a library of over 225,000 applications. To help you pick and choose the best tool from this massive directory, Zluri has a discovery engine that makes use of the following five methods to collect data:
- Whether the application integrates directly with other apps – ease of use with existing tools
- An expense/finance management system – helps in budgeting
- Single sign-on (SSO) and identity providers (IDP) – increase security
- Desktop agents – how much support will be available
- Browser extensions – compatibility with existing browsers
Keep track of digital assets
One of the most important advantages is that a SAM tool can help you manage and keep track of your software assets. There must be some software that’s relatively unused in comparison to others. A SAM will help you to identify such tools. Then, you can eliminate any unnecessary or redundant tools, which will save your company money and resources.
Keeping track of digital assets not only entails reviewing asset availability but also includes monitoring maintenance cycles, addressing required bug fixes, and resolving critical problems that arise.
If the software is integrated with the existing tools, it will help keep your systems running smoothly and efficiently.
Re-harvesting software is simplified
Another major benefit of using a software asset management tool is that it can help to simplify software licensing. This will save you a great deal of time and frustration, as you will not have to go through the complex process of gathering all of the licenses for each piece of software that you are using.
It will also save you a lot of money, as you will not have to pay additional fees for software that you no longer need or use. In this way, your organization ensures that all of your software is up-to-date and secure.
A software asset management system has a reporting feature. The reporting helps in optimizing subscriptions and licenses across the entire organization. It helps in streamlining compliance, so companies can avoid hefty fines for non-compliance.
Strictly adhering to compliances automatically means that risk is mitigated.
With a SAM tool, the number of software audits is increased. So, for instance, a company makes use of software that helps in collecting and storing customer data. During an audit with the help of a SAM tool, it is found that the software is non-GDPR compliant.
Before the company is fined for non-compliance, a decision is made to stop using the tool. This way, the company isn’t charged a penalty.
Increase in the overall effectiveness of the IT department
Identifying potential vulnerabilities in your systems and fixing them before they can be exploited is the key to a successful IT department.
A software asset management tool scans unauthorized software which helps in reducing IT risks and improving cybersecurity. It also improves transparency as any team lead can view which software is being used by the team members.
A SAM tool has all the data you need to help in making efficient business decisions. The tool has the option of a managed service provider which gives knowledge of key software contracts and their features.
For example: using the SAM tool, a procurement manager notices that his company has been purchasing tool licenses from X company for a couple of years. Company X is also offering another tool that his company is looking to procure. This puts the procurement manager in a position to ask for some loyalty discount.
In addition, a SAM tool will help to procure agents understand exactly what software and feature(s) they need. This means that the sales team of the software company can’t trick them into buying more features than they need.
As a result, the organization is in a better position to negotiate and won’t be sold a higher package than the one they need.
How to choose the right software asset management tool
Selecting the right software asset management tool is crucial.
You can effectively manage all the other applications if you choose the correct tool.
If you make the wrong decision here, it means you’re failing to effectively manage all the other tools being utilized by the firm.
Here are some of the requirements that you should look for in a SAM tool:
- Cost: The goal is to minimize how much money is spent on the current tools. The goal of utilizing a tool for budget optimization is defeated if the SAM tool itself is excessively expensive.
- Nature of the company: A small or mid-sized business is typically not in need of a SAM tool. Spreadsheets can be used instead to manage the existing software. However, adopting a SAM tool is preferable for a big business with numerous software licenses being used in various places.
- Infrastructure: The SAM tool’s infrastructure should make it easy for the software’s deployment in various departments and locations (if there are multiple offices).
- Integrations: Will the SAM tool integrate with the currently existing tools? Do the existing software have an open API? If the response is yes, integrating becomes simpler.
Is it feasible for your company to have a SAM
If you work for a major corporation with multiple offices in different locations, then the answer is yes. It is feasible.
Overall, there are plenty of reasons to adopt a software asset management tool in your business. In the contemporary world, data management is a crucial step for any company that’s building stable processes. Due to how difficult and time-consuming data administration can be, many companies struggle with it.
You can better manage and organize all of the company’s digital assets by keeping track of them with the use of a software asset management system.
Software asset management can help streamline development processes, especially if several tech stacks are being used.
Large organizations with data silos find it difficult to effectively manage the marketing process and deliver results. The number of tools available today is enormous. So different team leaders have different preferences as to which tools they consider to be the best. Without data and experience with the tools, buying new software licenses doesn’t make commercial sense. This is also where a SAM tool steps in.
In short, a good software asset management system eliminates some of the pain points associated with managing the multiple tools being used in companies, helps in automating processes, and in providing a clear view of an organization’s digital assets.
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