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Gone are the days when you had to use disks whenever a new program needed to be installed. Thanks to the continuous advent of technological advancement these days, all you have to do is download an application and wait for the setup to be completed.
But if you’re operating a business, keep in mind that software is more than just installations. It has become a fundamental aspect of every company, which is why you need to have a defined, proactive approach to software management.
What is software management?
According to the definitions by ITIL, software asset management also known as SAM or software management is the effective management, control, and protection of an organization’s software assets through a variety of essential infrastructure and processes throughout all stages of their lifecycle.
It is the way of managing and optimizing the software applications an organization uses. This may include different IT practices, such as requesting, approval, deployment, and retirement. It may also involve a series of processes and management strategies in between.
SAM also utilizes tactics that identify and get rid of unused or seldomly used software, as well as consolidate software licenses or move toward new licensing models.
3 Key Areas to Succeed at SAM
If you want to ensure the efficiency of your software management system, there are three crucial facets you need to focus on. These areas are:
Licenses are assets that need to be supervised and they are basically the foundation for SAM.
Every license holds specific conditions on how to install and use a software product. This means that you must ensure your organization is compliant with the terms and conditions of the license agreement.
Compliance is the first goal for most companies when starting software management. And while SAM is bigger than compliance, the latter is where license management plays an essential part in your business strategy.
Audits are a licensing health check, which tells whether your company is compliant or not. It involves software compliance assessments performed by vendors that evaluates:
- How your software is being used
- How your software is configured
- Whether your licenses cover all of your software
Failing to comply can cost you big as you might incur unexpected fees. Not to mention cause you a setback in your business as audits can take months to complete without reliable license management technology to assist the process.
To meet compliance, there are sketchy companies that would use more licenses than they need. This is something you should never do as you will eventually lose more money from trying to outsmart the audit risk.
Failing an audit can be expensive but it will only be a one-time cost, which can be significantly minimized or completely banished with SAM strategies. “Over-licensing”, on the other hand, requires you to pay for long-term maintenance you may not even need.
Best Software Management Tools
Software management tools are essential for automating the tasks required to meet compliance among software licenses. These are often used to facilitate the in-depth analysis of software assets through:
- Decoding software license entitlements
- Automating the collection of software consumption data
- Establishing an independent software vendor (ISV)
- Establishing an effective license position (ELP)
- Optimizing software value delivery plus information sharing
SAM tools also help in determining and optimizing license position against discovered software by taking care of entitlements from enterprise license agreements, purchases, and other records.
Here’s a list of some of the best-reviewed SAM tools to take into consideration:
Snow License Manager
Snow License Manager features compliance and usage reporting capabilities that allow users to easily and seamlessly generate reports when needed. Customers also love its compliance capacities and real-time usage.
Certero for Enterprise SAM
One of Certero’s sought-after features is its highly scalable cloud architecture that provides a very positive implementation. This software management tool also covers digital transformation objectives and manages the ever-reshaping habits of technology consumption.
Certero is also praised for being responsive, helpful, and accommodating.
USE License Management (SmartTrack)
SmartTrack is powered by satellite systems that offer the possibility to improve an organization’s license situation more quickly and reliably. It also allows reporting to different stakeholder groups, such as: