Essentials of Software Asset Management

Understanding the essentials of Software Asset Management and the benefits it can bring to to your business.

Software Asset Management can help you save money, manage traditional and emerging compliance risks, better plan your software investments and uncover unused and under-used assets.

Software Asset Management Saves Money

Asset management is good practice in all forms of portfolio management. Managing software assets helps businesses identify which software assets need to be replaced, what the spend is across different types of software, and what support and renewal costs are on-going and need to be factored into future budgets.

ITIL V3 guide to software asset management

Ageing software estates usually come with high support costs, unclear refresh and investment plans and missed opportunities to use functionality in newer software versions.

Software Asset Management helps you get a grip on your software estate, understand where spending is being wasted, what software can be retired, consolidated or replaced and the vendors you should approach to negotiate bigger discounts.” (* as quoted in [1])

If you find yourself in a merger or divestment situation you will need to understand how to separate or consolidate software across businesses. Without mature Software Asset Management tools and practices you will find this difficult and cumbersome.

Software Asset Management and Traditional Compliance Risks

Software Asset Management will help you uncover compliance issues and plan license renewal and budgeting. When you understand what is in the portfolio, how it is used, its ‘age and condition’ then you can make informed decisions about whether to invest in a software refresh, retire the asset or sweat the asset for a little longer. Make sure you stay legal at all times of course, as you may be asked to prove it or face the consequences.

Software Asset Management: Understanding and Implementing an optimal solution

Software Asset Management and Emerging Compliance Risks

Trends such as Bring your own Device (BYoD) do not stop with the device. Users will also bring their own software. This creates problems around clarity of software ownership, licensing and terms of use. Companies need to understand that poor quality; inappropriate, unsupported and insecure software might be loaded on personal devices. Understand where the big risks lie, and accept that guidance, education and persuasion are your best hope of addressing them.

Equally, be bold in your thinking and response to new trends. Is the software you are providing fit for purpose and matching the needs and expectations of savvy ‘consumer tech’ users?

In Short…

Software Asset Management will help you understand the age, use, cost and compliance of software. It will help you identify unused and underused software and provide savings opportunities in terms of cancelling or redistributing licenses. Bake this into your purchasing strategy and avoid buying licenses you simply don’t need. Exploit economies of scale.

Software Asset Management will also help you in merger and divestment situations, and with disruptive trends like Bring Your own Device and Bring Your own App. As IT budgets shrink and business units buy direct from Software as a Service Vendors, the traditional role of the IT department is under pressure. Use Software Asset Management as part of cost management and take the lead in advertising and evangelising the software services that your departments provide.

I also recommend reading [1] “Why Software Asset Management is now a ‘must-have’” on for further analysis and discussion.

Further Reading on Asset Management

By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

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