I’ve often noticed that the first 90 days – or three months – after starting anything new is when you actually start to find your groove and find your “new normal.” Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a new town, or beginning a new hobby – you need to commit to the new act, position or move and ensure you are giving it the full attention it needs in order to be successful. Starting down the path of Software Asset Management (SAM) is no different.
The path to success
Most organizations will begin their SAM journey with the implementation of a SAM tool to help automate and manage the entire process, but it’s what happens after the SAM tool implementation that will make or break a successful SAM journey. There are three key steps to follow those first 90 days, and SoftwareONE can help guide you through the process.
Software asset management tools – no matter which vendor it is – are not drag and drop. Yes, in the long run the tool makes managing the solftware lifecycle of SAM easier, however getting the initial implementation correct is imperative to a successful software asset management strategy. Your first 90 days after implementing the tool is still a work in progressEnsuring license data is loaded correctly and moving to a business as usual state often takes a third party’s expertise.
As we’ve so often noted at SoftwareONE, your tool is just one piece of yourSAM puzzle. Just as important to the success of software asset management is the process and people behind it. The data that you put into your tool, and the team that you use to analyze the data, is nearly as important as the tool itself. One of the most complicated parts of any SAM installation is the entitlement data – who has access to which software licenses from each and every publisher you’ve ever purchased from. Couple that with historical purchase records or software license upgrades to various versions or editions, and this can often lead to over a decade’s worth of data to comb through and ensure accuracy before it is up and running in the tool. Taking the time to guarantee that your data is clean and meaningful will lead to a smooth SAM lifecycle moving forward. However, the SAM tool itself cannot solve this issue. Data cleansing is often a manual process completed by having a team of experienced analysts that understand the publisher history and current data and trends.
Clean data is not your end-point however. In SAM – I hate to break it to you – there is rarely an end-point. A SAM lifecycle strategy is the continuous monitoring and management of your software estate to stay on top of compliance, license usage, and outside risks. In addition, software publishers are nearly always changing their entitlement rules, so once your tool is in place it is imperative to also have the discussion of who will continue to manage the overall SAM process. Some companies opt to keep this in-house, others outsource everything, while some take a hybrid approach between the two. At SoftwareONE we can work with you in any capacity but we do recommend that you work with procurement, finance and IT to ensure those three teams within your own company are all communicating and helping to maintain the SAM implementation.
Your New Normal
Now that your tool is in, your data is clean, and your teams are communicating you can check SAM off of your “to do” list, right? Not so fast. If you’ve done all of that in your first 90 days then you are definitely on track, however it is key to maintain that new normal so that the SAM tool can continue to do its job – monitor and manage your software entitlements. Together with the right team and a dedicated set of processes your first quarter of successful SAM will morph into a longer-term successful strategy but you must have the right people and processes behind the tool.
In our next webinar May 16th – Get Your Assets Out of the Shadows – we will discuss how SAM delivers value to the overall business, the benefits of a mature and consistent SAM practice, and the value of integrating SAM into your software lifecycle. We hope you can join us! Register here today.