Software Asset Management (SAM) software is used to manage the entire lifecycle of an organization’s enterprise software, including installation, maintenance, protection, and disposition or removal. Software asset management tools orchestrate all licensed and unlicensed software that is on-premise, on devices and endpoints, or available as a service in the cloud.
Gartner describes Software Asset Management software as useful for identifying and eliminating unused or infrequently used software, consolidating software licenses, or moving toward new licensing models.
This article helps you understand what SAM software is, how it works, and how to build a SAM software adoption strategy and use case. Specific points covered in this article include:
SAM allows infosec teams to better manage and track software patching to improve security.
SAM decreases the risk of overages in license usage or out-of-date licenses, which can incur seven-figure penalties from software vendors.
SAM simplifies audit and compliance processes by creating a single source of truth for the entire software estate and related software assets.
SAM helps IT teams identify stranded licenses and "shelfware" as well as opportunities to consolidate purchases and access economies of scale.
Modern SAM automates many of the repetitive manual tasks involved with asset management and integrates with other tools using automated workflows.
IT, procurement, and finance teams can quickly and continuously analyze software consumption
SAM can integrate and reconcile data for software across on-premises, SaaS, and cloud infrastructure to create a single source of truth for software license usage and trend information.
Procurement teams can use SAM to streamline procurement processes. IT teams can create software usage management strategies.
SAM helps IT and HR teams ensure that all employees have the software they need when they want it, from their first day on the job until their last day working for the organization.
Most organizations today are adopting SaaS because it is easier to install and set up, more economical and flexible with regard to license expansion or reduction, and tends to be built on more modern infrastructure that supports more types of software assets. Security-conscious firms that wish to air-gap their SAM may opt for on-premise.
Does the SAM cover all three types of software - on-premise, SaaS, and cloud infrastructure? Also important, does it integrate data across all types into a single source of record that is accurate and easy to query or visualize?
Consider how each SAM solution discovers software assets. Can they discover virtual and mobile instances of software? Today's best SAM systems are agentless - meaning, they aggregate data from existing management tools like SSOs rather than installing additional agents.
How customizable is the SAM software? Does it offer pre-configured connectors to other commonly used systems that can automate workflows? How easy is it to create integrations from scratch? Will you need to write code or can you simply connect via APIs?
How quickly can you scale your activity on a SAM and add new assets? Is it usage-based or seat-based, or core-based? Do you need to renegotiate additional licenses, or does it offer usage bands?
What are the software license management and software license tracking features of the solution? Can it provide license recycling, license quarantining (for legal purposes on sequestered machines), contract management, and quickly tabulate licenses in use to respond to vendor audit requests that could lead to penalties?
Can the solution be quickly set up to analyze and report on common KPIs for security, IT, financial, and operational metrics? Does the tool enable role-based reporting for each stakeholder? Does it come with visual dashboards or charts and graphs to simplify SAM storytelling and reporting?
Managing Software Assets in the Context of an Enterprise Technology Management Strategy
Download this white paper for a solid understanding on how to best manage your software portfolio as an integral part of your enterprise technology management