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In the world of IT, the same can be said of Software Asset Management (SAM), and the many opportunities it offers businesses to save money. Real, measurable savings. Up to 30% of your software spend, according to a recent Gartner study. Yet still a number of companies remain reluctant to ‘take the shot’.
In Search of Recognition
Why is this the case? Well to begin with SAM lacks the ‘X factor’ associated with other IT investment areas. It’s not the hottest topic and it can struggle to make it onto a business’ priority list.
Outside of its traditional audience (the IT team and procurement), few really understand SAM’s value when compared to other high profile investments.
It’s similar to the way hockey compares to soccer or basketball, sports that only require a ball to get you started. Hockey on the other hand requires investment – in skates, protective clothing, a helmet and a stick. All of which makes it feel less accessible, even if it does reward those who persevere.
Why SAM is a Worthy Investment
It goes without saying that every company wants to reduce software, operational and support budgets over time. To ensure license spend and infrastructure costs are closely aligned to business strategy – and to negate the risk of being over or under licensed.
Yet when budget season comes around, SAM often gets benched, like a top NHL player forced to sit on the sidelines and wait for his time to hit the ice.
But savvy business leaders are increasingly getting switched on to SAM, and giving it the recognition it deserves as a worthy investment able to lower IT spending. In fact, according to Gartner, getting started with SAM and ensuring it’s a vigorous and well-funded practice is imperative for any successful business.
Taking Your Shot – The Top 5 SAM Benefits
Usually the decision to implement SAM practices comes in a fit of panic moments after the findings of a software audit are revealed. But aside from the CFO’s obvious desire to avoid a large and unbudgeted cost, SAM can also help with optimizing your IT operations:
Hard cost savings – SAM allows organizations to consolidate their software environment, leading to more control over costs and the information needed to guide future investment decisions.
Avoid fines and penalties – Gartner estimates that 68% of organizations receive at least one audit request each year. But with SAM any license deficits can be identified and addressed in advance, thereby minimizing the financial risk.
Strategic alignment – at its core, SAM offers a 360 view of an organization’s existing IT investments and how they are being used to align with their business objectives. On top of this, software metering and usage data allow business leaders to forecast their future IT needs.
Repurpose rather than buying new – with employees moving position all the time, SAM offers a cost-effective framework by which licenses (and therefore the associated cost) can be re-harvested to ease the pressure on IT budgets.
Competitive edge – adopting a manual approach to tracking software licensing is typically expensive, time-consuming, and susceptible to errors. Automating this process not only cuts administrative tasks by at least 50%, but it also frees up resources to focus on higher-value projects.
People Management is SAM Too
Outside of its core markets, there’s little chance of ice hockey coming out top on polls relating to favorite sports. Likewise for SAM and the business priority league table. Yet the situation inside many companies is unsustainable: where frequently you’ll find just the one lone individual focused on SAM – yet still held accountable for reducing risk on multi-million IT software budgets.
This is not the way it was intended. SAM shouldn’t be a single person’s responsibility. Instead, an efficient implementation requires very specific expertise, which in turn requires an investment in employee acquisition, training and development.