Now that you understand the importance of having visibility at the C-Level, it’s time to break down the actual steps you can take in the short, medium, and long term to get there. To bring the ITAM role to light, there are a few steps you can take to turn the tide in your direction. Let’s break these down a bit further:
SAM Data Collection
Start with your software asset management (SAM) tool. Leverage your organization’s current SAM tool to gain visibility of installation, version, editions, and software usage. The key here is to prioritize your review of assets depending on upcoming renewals and big vendors so you can ensure quick wins, avoid extra costs, and save on spend.
Cloud Spend Management
Many organizations are faced with bridging the gap between technology and licensing – this is not a new challenge. However, with significantly more production workloads/applications getting moved to the cloud, there is even greater complexity at a much more rapid pace. Staying compliant, approving complex invoices, and leveraging software entitlements are all becoming daily challenges. Learning how to manage – and ultimately how to show value down to the second -- will be a highly viable and important function. This is definitely an area that can have an impact within a short time period, and make significant cost savings over the short, medium and long term!
Entitlement & Contract Management
When it comes to entitlements and contracts, you’re going to want to gain better control and visibility by leveraging vendor portals and/or licensing partners. This will give you a good understanding of what’s happening with the software licenses for any given vendor. Once you have this information, your organization won’t only have the ability to pair this with other insights to start making more informed decisions, but you will have a stronger case for negotiating when it comes time to renew. Again, this will bring cost savings the C-Suite will appreciate.
Renewal Scheduling & Tracking
For renewal scheduling and tracking, make sure you are aware of when the fiscal year ends for each vendor your organization has and when it would be best to try to negotiate with those vendors. If any of these vendors have decided to ease up on renewal dates and discussions due to the pandemic, be sure to take full advantage. No matter when or how you have the renewal conversation, make sure you discuss financing and payment terms, and be aggressive with what you ask for. After all, these are uncertain and unprecedented times and vendors may be willing to work with you.
Adjusting Costs to Real Demand
To adjust costs to real demand, combine a few of the steps we’ve already walked through. Pair the SAM data you’ve collected with the contract and entitlement data that’s been uncovered so you can nail down a true license position for your current state. Speak to the product owners or architects to understand the future strategy for each product set within that vendor, and you not only have a current position, but also a vision of where you want to be. Your data in the current state should be an invaluable resource to assist in establishing future requirements. Then, you can use this information to inform the bill of materials and negotiate the right products and quantities at the time of renewal. Once again, due to the state of the world, we recommend trying to ensure a more flexible licensing model or contract terms. This will only help your organization in the long run.
Your C-Suite may not be aware that vendors are still moving forward with audits despite the pandemic. It’s important to convey to them that a single audit could truly be devastating in a time like this. Once you break down the cost and effects of an audit, your C-Suite should be more apt to keep your budget as is so you can ensure you have audit defense in place.