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3.8 min to readAsset Management

How to move up the SAM maturity ladder

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
Asset Management

A Software Asset Management (SAM) Maturity Assessment will help your organization determine what level of the SAM Maturity model you’re currently on. After your organization has run through the process of a SAM Maturity Assessment, you will likely be left wondering which steps can be taken to progress your organization from your current level to the next.

Whether your organization’s SAM strategy is starting completely from scratch or you’re stuck somewhere in the middle, it is important to understand how you can make your way from reactive to predictive. After all, timing between levels could be months or even years, so you will absolutely want to get ahead of the curve. Let’s take a look at how you can move up the SAM Maturity ladder to move your organization forward.

Moving from chaotic to reactive

An organization in the chaotic phase of SAM is at the lowest level possible in terms of the maturity model. Since an organization at this stage is typically completely lacking in policies and control over their assets, they are dealing with audits as they come. Dealing with audits on an ad-hoc basis can put major strain on a business, so organizations at this level are usually trying to get their head above water.

Key steps to take 

To move from chaotic SAM to the next level - referred to as the reactive phase - your organization should focus on understanding your risk. Take a compliance assessment to get a better idea of where you are under or over-licensed.

If your organization is at the chaotic level, start to think about which procedures and resources could help get your team back on track and go from there. While organizations at the reactive level still typically have incomplete policies, it is surely a step up from the chaotic level.

Next, focus on actually putting those policies in place. Consider using SAM Services to help devise a roadmap that would best fit your organization. Having a team of trusted advisors on hand will help to determine what the future of your SAM lifecycle should look like and put milestones in place.

Moving from reactive to proactive

As mentioned above, the next level of the SAM maturity model is referred to as the reactive phase. This is not quite as bare bones as the chaotic level, as organizations in this phase have slightly more control over their IT assets, but IT audits are still a huge setback that can knock a them off course. 

Key steps to take

Organizations in this phase usually still don’t have much of an idea of where their IT assets are being used, so the best way to take steps towards the proactive phase is to begin tracking your assets.

Take inventory of your software portfolio using your SAM tool. Once you’re aware of and accounting for all of your assets, you’ll be able to analyze trends and eventually align them with your business goals. The biggest plus, however, is that you will be able to stay in compliance and out of the way of risk.

Moving from proactive to service

For those at the proactive level, you should be at a point where you are able to predict audits. This should come as a relief from the chaos of reacting in previous stages. One potential roadblock you may still be experiencing, however, is that your organization is still struggling to put solid procedures in place.

Key steps to take

When it comes to moving towards the service level of the SAM maturity model, the largest difference is that you’d begin to work with an IT as a service provider. Your policies, procedures, and tools would all be utilized on the daily. 

To get to this point, you’ll have to ensure that your SAM processes are running like a well-oiled machine. Getting comfortable within your procedures will allow you to work alongside IT to maintain your software asset lifecycle. Though it is easier said than done, predictive services will lend a helping hand. This way, you’ll know exactly what your game plan is when it comes to unsupported software, remediation, security risks, budget and more. 

Moving from service to value

Before we get into the service and value levels of the SAM maturity model, it is important to note that not many organizations are at either of these stages. If your organization is in the service stage, you’re in great shape but there is room to grow. Everyone on your team and within the IT department is working towards maintaining and managing your assets in near-perfect harmony. You’re able to get more granular at the value stage, where you’d be able to begin taking what you’ve analyzed and directly applying it to your business targets.

Key steps to take

To be able to take full advantage of the next stage - referred to as the value level - you’ll have to begin to align assets in real time. What this means is that you’re spending only what has been allocated, getting rid of what no longer needs to be used, and taking the necessary daily steps to stay in compliance. Alignment will not only allow you to better understand your business targets, it will help your organization adapt and evolve with your overall business needs.

Maintaining value

The final stage of the SAM maturity model is the value level, and it is no easy feat to make it to this point. Once you have, however, it is important that you do not get comfortable. Organizations operating at this level are fully optimized, yes, but maintaining this level still takes plenty of hard work.

Key steps to take

Again, this stage means your assets are aligned in real time and your organization is able to adapt to any given situation. Reaching this level of maturity is a competitive edge for businesses, so you don’t want to slip up.

To maintain the value level, ensure you’re getting the most out of your SAM tool. If you’re not utilizing it to the fullest, you could be draining your budget and leaving resource expertise on the table. Continuing your education of your organization’s SAM maturity is incredibly important, and will enable you to maintain your most efficient strategy yet.

As you climb the ladder

Climbing the SAM Maturity ladder is not easy, but it can be done with the right people, knowledge, and drive to reach the next level. No matter which level of SAM Maturity you have found your business is at, remember that steps can always be taken to progress. After all, every ladder leads to the top.

A yellow building with a blue sky.

Let us do all the work

We know that your software estate is expensive and complicated but our Software Asset Management (SAM) practice works with you to provide the people, process and tools to manage, optimize and create business advantage throughout your hybrid world. Cloud users are wasting approximately 35% of their spend – let us help you avoid the waste.

Let us do all the work

We know that your software estate is expensive and complicated but our Software Asset Management (SAM) practice works with you to provide the people, process and tools to manage, optimize and create business advantage throughout your hybrid world. Cloud users are wasting approximately 35% of their spend – let us help you avoid the waste.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.