IT Governance

4 Ways to Help with Software Asset Management

Software asset management (SAM) is built on a principle that isn’t as straightforward as it sounds: managing software. You have to know who is using it, how they’re using it, and how the software is supposed to be set up. This all works together into trying to figure out what is being utilized properly and what is not. It’s a bit of a mess, but there’s a way to work with it. In a post for SITS, Peter Hubbard offers some steps to take with the “neglected art” of SAM:

  • Agree on your scope.
  • Check your policies.
  • Check your processes.
  • Check your tools.

A Grand SAM Dunk

The first step to getting your software under control is to figure out what’s being used and to then set up a scope for SAM. Gather your top vendors together and define what’s being used from each of them by your organization. An example would be finding out what constitutes a license for the application. Then figure out the scope by deciding what aspects specifically you’re focusing on: servers, devices, etc.

Now that you’ve been able to nail down the scope for SAM, you need to check your policies. This requires checking how software moves between departments, how it’s moved around when unused, etc. Basically, you want a clear idea of where your company stands on these points so you can know what can and can’t be done with the software. Furthermore, check your processes to see how software is moved around so you know which areas are most appropriate for implementing process controls.

Hubbard wraps up by discussing how to check your tools:

According to pure ITIL, there are nine separate abilities that a SAM toolset should offer your organisation. Of those nine, three are utterly critical and you need to see what abilities you have in place.

  • Software discovery – What tools do you have that can discover software?
  • Software Usage – Do you have a toolset that can tell not only if a software application is present, but if it is actually in use. One client I worked with had over 500 installations of MS Project, but only 75 were actually in use – a significant difference.
  • Software Licence Management – This area is critical.  You need a toolset that can match licence entitlement, to license installations, to actual licence usage. 

You can view the original post here:

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