Software Asset Management (SAM) is the on-going process, throughout the lifecycle of your deployed software applications, whereby one manages IT practices with the intention to streamline workflow, stabilize IT budgets, and increase visibility of the IT environment. It involves managing and optimizing the acquisition, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software assets within an organization. This is a constant process requiring continual maintenance and, whilst this may seem to be a simple task, the various constituent parts to each application generate a volume of raw data that requires rigorous tracking. It is a critical aspect of IT management as it helps organizations ensure compliance, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency. With software expenditure making up approximately 21% of a company’s total budget, proper management of an IT environment has a direct impact on the profit margins of your corporation. Software Asset Management requires a precise combination of People, Process, and Technology to generate positive business outcomes. When one can bring the strongest players to each of these attributes, one gains the highest level of understanding of the current software environment. Rather than the generic technologies used by Xensam’s legacy competitors, we take the process further using the one-of-a-kind technologies leveraged within our toolset.
“Software Asset Management (SAM) is all of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control, and protection of the software assets within an organization throughout all stages of their lifecycle.”
– ITAM Review
Implementing the right SAM technology within your software environment can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line. By achieving the strongest visibility and managing software assets effectively, organizations can avoid overspending on unnecessary software licenses and reduce the risk of license non-compliance. This can lead to significant cost savings, the avoidance of costly fines, and the strengthening of one’s network security.
A key aspect of SAM is ensuring compliance with numerous software license agreements. This involves tracking the number of licenses an organization has purchased and ensuring that they are being used within the terms of the agreement. These obligations are often surveyed by the vendor during random audits and, without an updated understanding of one’s IT environment, one runs the risk of being under- or over-licensed – the result: excess spending and unbudgeted costs or fines at audit.
Another key aspect of SAM is identifying and managing underutilized software assets. This involves identifying software that is installed on computers but not being used. Once this position is evaluated, one can either reassign or remove the licenses. Xensam, using its unique technology (Active Usage), can help organizations better optimize the deployment of their software assets. By ensuring that software is optimally deployed to the right users, organizations can reduce the number of licenses required and improve overall efficiency. For example, by allocating software to specific devices or users who actively use the software, organizations can avoid purchasing unnecessary licenses for end-users who do not require them. Additionally, by ensuring that software is deployed to the right hardware, organizations can improve performance and reduce the need for upgrades or replacements. This can lead to significant cost savings beyond those afforded by Xensam’s traditional legacy competitors. The level of software optimization Xensam makes possible decreases the burden software costs have on the company’s bottom line. Xensam’s “Active Usage” function provides a Software Asset Manager with the exact duration that an employee works within an application. With other legacy SAM tools, one only receives information regarding the duration an application is open, a level of detail which leaves one unable to make informed financial decisions about the costs and benefits of each purchased license or deployed application. Xensam empowers you to do just this.
SAM solutions can also help organizations manage software assets’ end-of-life requirements. This includes identifying software that is no longer supported by the vendor and planning for replacement or retirement. By managing end-of-life software assets, organizations can avoid security risks and ensure that they are running the most up-to-date software. Additionally, by planning for replacement or retirement, organizations can avoid the last-minute purchases and costs associated with security breaches.
Finally, correct Software Asset Management can prevent against the issue of Shadow IT. Shadow IT is the term used to describe software that has been bought, deployed, or used within a company’s environment without the consent (or prior knowledge) of the IT department. Experts estimate that 40% of a company’s IT occurs outside of the IT department, with 80% of workers admitting to using SaaS applications at work without IT’s direct approval (Source: McAfee Security). With the implementation of Xensam’s advanced and modern toolset, IT departments gain visibility and are encouraged to outline specific internal procedures and policies that protect against such actions. Therefore, Shadow IT can be easily identified, and the IT department gains control over all purchased assets.
In conclusion, Software Asset Management (SAM) is a critical aspect of IT management and has a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. By managing software assets effectively, organizations can ensure compliance, improve security, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency. Implementing an advanced technology, such as Xensam, one can avoid overspending on unnecessary software licenses; reduce the risk of non-compliance with software vendor agreements; identify and manage underutilized software assets; optimize all software deployment; and ensure all end-of-life protocol is followed. All these factors help organizations to save money, improve performance, and ensure compliance with vendor agreements. The result: a more efficient and cost-effective library of software assets.
Whilst this article has outlined some of the benefits of deploying a SAM tool within your IT environment it does not portray a comprehensive list of the benefits Xensam’s solutions can provide you, your IT department, and your company’s bottom line.
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