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A Cost-Effective SaaS Model Demands

Reliable SLM Processes

A Cost-Effective SaaS Model Demands Reliable SLM Processes

In a fast-paced world where companies rely on many different software applications in order to operate, IT systems are becoming increasingly complex. A poorly managed IT system can quickly get out of hand, which may result in becoming non-compliant with vendor regulations, leading to large audit costs and ending in hefty fines.

This is where a good set of business processes for effective Software Asset Management (SAM) comes in. SAM is an integral business practice for companies of all shapes and sizes. At SoftwareONE, we recognize that the best SAM programs are not hastily scraped together. Instead, they are well thought out and methodically designed by experts with a background in delivering the right tools and processes to help you save costs and increase the security of your software applications.

The difference between ineffective SAM programs and a properly developed one is what we at SoftwareONE like to call Software Lifecycle Management (SLM). SLM not only takes the best parts of an effective program to manage all of your software applications, but it also includes overseeing the entire lifecycle of your software and cloud assets - from the very beginning of the procurement stage, all the way through to the eventual retirement of the assets. As more cloud-based applications implement strict compliance guidelines and charge by usage, ensuring your software estate is properly managed has become essential.

Let’s take a closer look at how SLM differs from SAM, and why they’re crucial to a cost-effective SaaS deployment.

The Traditional Software Asset Management (SAM) Process

In order to set up a proper SAM program, you need to ensure that you have the right processes and tools in place to oversee the IT system across the entire organization. Historically, when software assets were primarily on-premise, they were easier to track. Real-time reporting of licenses and users was not yet standard, and companies were not expected to have processes in place to achieve this. The emphasis was always on the vendor to ask the end-user what was being used, and for them to pay accordingly for those licenses.

However, with the rise in cloud-based applications, including Software as a Service (SaaS), your processes and tools must evolve to oversee the dynamic software applications in the cloud.

Companies are now expected to have a proper SAM program in place to manage rapidly changing SaaS-based applications alongside their existing on-premise assets. A good SAM process includes being able to efficiently identify what licenses are being used, and who they are  being used by. This allows you to optimize licenses purchased and renewed, eliminating unnecessary costs. Another key process involves continuously monitoring software assets in order to prevent unauthorized access. All of these processes are a part of an effective SAM program.

Introducing Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS has exploded onto the cloud scene with its convenience and ability to allow companies to easily scale. It is no wonder why SaaS products now make up the largest segment of the cloud market, with almost half of the overall software application spend, surpassing both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

One of the reasons SaaS has become so prevalent is its simplicity and versatility. SaaS offers a solution to address virtually any business need, from communication, sales management, CRM, and billing. After deciding what service suits your needs best, and the length of the subscription you would like to sign up for, the software can be easily accessed via the internet, whether it’s a web browser or application. On top of all this, it’s a breeze to maintain, as the software provider takes care of on-premise hardware requirements and any software updates during the life of the subscription.

Unfortunately, what makes SaaS implementation so straightforward tends to also be its downfall. Because SaaS is designed to be easy to adopt and use, the number of applications can quickly get out of hand without proper controls over procurement. It is no longer as simple as ensuring enough licenses are paid for; companies must also track their SaaS usage in order to keep costs down. Few organizations have the expertise to do this efficiently and effectively.

Leveraging SoftwareONE’s SLM Diagnostics

While traditional SAM programs may have inefficient or outdated processes, SoftwareONE’s SLM Diagnostic brings the expertise, processes, and tools needed to thoroughly assess your current processes and adapt them to suit SaaS. The results of the assessment are presented to you in visual dashboards filled with key metrics for executive decision-making and allows your organization to track and benchmark your software assets.

On top of its intuitive build, SLM Diagnostic provides all this information to you in real-time. Starting with an initial assessment, the diagnostic tool will take inventory of your organization’s software assets, providing you with a clear picture of your SaaS estate. Understanding what software assets you have - both on-premise and in the cloud - can lead to increased efficiency and optimized costs. After the initial set-up, assessments become automated and allow you to quickly review your estate on demand.

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Final Thoughts

Software application spend is one of the largest expenses for most companies, with SaaS making up the majority of this cost. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Organizations simply need to adapt their traditional methods for managing software spend, instead of lifting and shifting their legacy processes.

Unfortunately, most organizations do not have sufficient resources to dedicate an IT team to diagnosing and reviewing their SaaS estate. Hiring a cloud expert can be expensive - and having them focus solely on revising SAM processes to better fit SaaS applications isn’t the best use of their intellectual capital. Thankfully, there is an alternative.

By using SoftwareONE’s SLM Diagnostic, you’ll gain the experienced professionals and tools necessary to properly manage your software spend. In the end, this will help you manage costs, improve ROI and achieve your goals.

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Author

Steven Davison

Steven Davison

Business Owner – SLM Consulting, Diagnostic Services

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