what-is-software-lifecycle-management

What is Software Lifecycle Management?

Defining SLM From Our Viewpoint

What is Software Lifecycle Management?

Software Asset Management (SAM) is a business practice that enables effective management and control of software throughout its lifecycle. In the past, SAM was thought of as a nice-to-have or non-strategic priority - just a project you quickly cobbled together in reaction to an event such as a publisher audit. Today, organizations realize that having a proactive SAM program with defined metrics and a team with the right combination of skills, processes and technology provides actionable information. This ultimately allows companies to drive change, save money and keep their software estate protected.

The added complexities of managing on-premises and cloud assets, in addition to a lack of visibility into ownership and actual consumption data, bloats budgets and leaves companies vulnerable to audits and data insecurities. Effective SAM, or more broadly, Software Lifecycle Management (SLM) – as we call it here at SoftwareONE – can stop all that by being an enabler for digital transformation, cloud transformation and strategic procurement. It has emerged as an absolute must in the industry.

At SoftwareONE, we’ve become dedicated to delivering the skilled resources, process, and tools needed to help organizations design their most valuable SLM strategies yet. With SLM, companies can optimize costs, strengthen security, and measure consumption to right-size contracts. Let’s delve into what exactly SLM is, and how we define it here at SoftwareONE.

Our Definition of SLM

We define SLM as the business methodology that combines the best practices of Software Asset Management (SAM) and digitized procurement with the aim of delivering enhanced customer experience and value. It is our proven approach for the holistic, organization-wide administration and control of all software and cloud investments, covering the entire product lifecycle from the time of purchase, adoption, overall management, and through to retirement of the assets. It takes the best of our SAM and Procurement capabilities and brings them together to maximize the value of your cloud and software portfolios – ensuring you maximize usage of what you have and only pay for what you need.

The software lifecycle can be broadly broken down into four phases: request, provide, manage, and change. These phases apply to all software and cloud services throughout the organization. Let’s first take a look at the four phases and their sub-components:

  • Request - Everything begins with a software request. From there, the process moves towards demand qualification and product evaluation. The final aspect of this stage is to receive business approval for the request.
  • Provision - From there, an organization will enter pre-deployment. This is where you will check in on your license availability and End User License Agreement (EULA). Acquisition and contracting will be done next, followed by software provision, packaging, and deployment.
  • Manage - During the management stage, you’re going to be focusing on license administration first. Then, you’ll lay the groundwork for software compliance and its overall usage. This is where you will get the best feel for your spend and license optimization.
  • Change - At the point of change, unused software can be uninstalled and licenses can be transferred or re-harvested. Finally, you can then retire the software and terminate the related (maintenance) licenses.

We view the SLM process as the best-practice approach for the control and administration of your organization’s software and cloud investments. It’s through a seamless, integrated set of systems and activities across the lifecycle of software that organizations can maximize the value of their portfolio.

What Does This Mean for the Industry? 

Nowadays, it seems as though there are SLM-related roadblocks at every corner. Between the complexity of managing on-premises and cloud environments, a lack of visibility into who owns which assets and where they are, trouble handling cost management, audits, and data insecurities, it’s safe to say the industry will be turning to SLM now more than ever.

There are, of course, going to be challenges that arise for organizations as they navigate the process of implementing an SLM strategy. Setting the right expectations for success is a key first step in ensuring the success of your SLM program. Many organizations fail to define the metrics that will measure their performance or may find themselves struggling with where to focus. Essentially, it may be challenging to know how to collect accurate inventory and usage data to get the ball rolling.

For this same reason, SoftwareONE places a huge emphasis on defining the SLM strategy that has clear and realistic expectations and value metrics, and is not developed in isolation of other business areas. A clear strategy definition starts with understanding where you are and what your end goal is. A mature SAM practice will deliver increased business value from software investments.

How SoftwareONE SLM Services Can Strengthen Your Strategy

As we’ve learned, mature SAM results in reduced risks and cost, improved overall software, and cloud ROI. These outcomes are especially important in today’s uncertain times. Communication and collaboration needs are high, however it’s still important to keep risk and governance of your software estate at the forefront so you’re prepared for – and protected – in the event of an audit.

That’s why SoftwareONE is offering SLM managed services like SAMSimple, focused on Microsoft and 14 Tier 2 publishers, and SLMAdvanced, focused on all Tier 1 publishers, as well as Tier 2 & 3 publishers. These can help you make sense of your software assets, understand your compliance position, enable cost savings potential and maintain protection during an audit. Our subject matter experts serve as trusted advisors by providing recommendations on how to mitigate potential compliance issues while taking advantage of cost reduction opportunities.

SLM is the Way of the Future

Software Lifecycle Management is proven to solve your governance, cost, data analysis and risk issues. Here at SoftwareONE, we continue to enhance our scope and definition of SLM as the industry evolves. Our services help our customers further optimize their SLM practice by constantly showing them optimization potential and the latest innovations, which help to execute and run an even more effective SLM initiative. People, process, and technology, however, will always be the backbone of a strong SLM strategy. By leveraging these core components, we support our clients along the entire SLM chain, regardless of their maturity level.

Ready to Embark on Your SLM Journey?

We are ready to help support your SLM strategy. We’re offering our SAMSimple solution free for six months so you can understand your compliance position, enable cost savings potential and maintain protection during an audit. Download the flyer to learn more today.

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Author

Shadi Khoshab, Blog Author SoftwareONE Blog

Shadi Khoshab

Product Manager, SLM Managed Services

Group Innovation & Technology

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