Software Asset Management (SAM) is a critical but often underrated business process. A mature software asset management process provides the capabilities needed for effective maintenance, control, and protection of software assets across the various stages of their lifecycle. As your SAM strategy becomes more sophisticated, it will offer a range of benefits – such as visibility – that contribute to a worthy return on investment (ROI).
Visibility into your software assets extends far beyond good housekeeping; it can move your organization from the reactive and inefficient handling of software audits into an educated and proactive state. This predictive state of mind can have a significant effect on cutting costs, resulting in an excellent return on investment for many organizations.
To maximize their ROI, SAM teams must understand where they are on the road to SAM maturity. This means taking steps to eliminate reactive SAM processes, and moving towards a SAM process that fosters a proactive attitude. Keep reading to find out how a mature SAM solution can radically alter your ROI – to the tune of up to 30 percent!
Eliminate Extraneous Software and Licenses
One way that a SAM process creates ROI is by identifying outdated software solutions. After identification, organizations may wish to replace their current software with something more modern and effective. Other organizations may simply be interested in making sure their solution is up-to-date, inspiring maximum productivity.
Implementing a strong SAM strategy can also drastically reduce overconsumption within an organization. Many organizations waste a considerable amount of resources on underutilized software – in fact, 36 percent of software is underutilized or even completely unused by businesses in the United States. When the expenses are totaled, that represents expenses of $30 billion in just four years across multiple industries. SAM can help your organization take back its piece of that pie.
Save on Labor Cost
Not only can SAM save money by eliminating unnecessary licenses, a mature SAM program saves your employees precious time. The positive impact of a well-executed process can ripple across your entire organization, helping all of your employees work as effectively as possible. Conversely, a poor, reactive SAM strategy can have widespread negative effects. An unexpected audit can cause a major disruption in the day-to-day operations of your organization. When your workforce must focus on putting out a fire, many departments are hindered.
One department that directly benefits from a managed SAM process is IT. Software and license experts can properly evaluate your software landscape and determine how many licenses exist, and where they are located in the infrastructure. Trusting a professional could save your IT department a 20 to 40 hour commitment per week, allowing them to work on the important daily demands of your organization. Keep in mind achieving SAM maturity is not a quick process: due to various nuances with licensing rules, implementation can take from six to twelve months.
Did you know that 65 percent of organizations will undergo an external software audit at least once a year? These can result in huge, and often unanticipated financial penalties. These fines are significant: The Business Software Alliance, representing organizations like Adobe, Oracle, and Microsoft, will fine up to $150,000 per infringed product, in addition to legal fees. For some organizations, penalties can become behemoths, such as when the US Army had to pay $50 million after installing unlicensed apps.
The reactive panic caused by an upcoming audit can divert a huge amount of resources away from the business to focus on putting out a fire. If you’re fearing that your organization may be in a reactive state, you’re not alone: nearly 90 percent of mid-market organizations don’t have effective SAM tools or processes in place. The frenzy inspired by an audit is why it is important to implement a process that works for your organization so you can begin predicting the future, not reacting to issues as they arise.
Reap the ROI!
Now that you know how a strong SAM program can produce a considerable ROI, it’s time to learn how to attain that strong SAM program. First, begin with a maturity assessment to determine the baseline of your SAM maturity. Generally, the stages of SAM maturity begin with the discovery stage, before moving into normalization, compliance and reuse, and ultimately optimization.
Afterwards, improve license visibility by taking inventory of licenses that live on both your cloud and data center. Having your software and licenses distributed makes it very common to lose track of where this information lives, so this is a vital step. Next, expand your focus from solely license management into both compliance and contract management for subscription licensing.
Once your data has been organized, it is important to learn the unique opportunities and risks that your licenses provide. Looking forward, be sure to maintain reliable data regarding your SAM usage and consumption data to help track changes over time. Finally, be sure to craft a consistent governance model for your SAM strategy – and clearly communicate this to your team.
After your software asset management process has matured, it’s time to start enjoying your return on investment. The more software your organization uses, the more ROI you can expect to enjoy. This is because SAM allows organizations to discover software licenses that has been lost or forgotten. Software asset management will help identify and consolidate these misplaced programs, and assist with organizing software across your network infrastructure going forward.
A mature software asset management program provides a wealth of benefits to your organization. It can lower or eliminate your risk when audits occur, and provide a great amount of visibility into which licenses you need and where they should belong. With a managed solution, you can rely on trusted experts to correctly manage your software solution the first time – meaning that you won’t need to worry about putting out a fire when a software audit occurs.
Interested in maxing out your ROI from your software asset management process? Then it’s time to stop being reactive, and start becoming proactive. To learn more, try our SAM maturity assessment, or contact us to determine how to find and execute the perfect software asset management solution.