There are a number of factors that prevent organizations adopting a SAM program and typically these involve senior management within the company. These can range from having higher priorities to not really understanding the opportunities SAM can generate.
The only way to gain acceptance for a SAM program is to build a comprehensive business case that will clearly show the costs and benefits for implementation as opposed to the risks of doing nothing. Put in simple terms, the one key criteria that will decide on whether the plan goes ahead will be its impact on your organization’s bottom line.
Framework for the business case
There are a number of ways you phrase this argument. Many people will be tempted to use the Governance, Risk management and Control (GRC) model, but probably a better framework is the one suggested by The ITAM Review.
This involves building the framework around 3 factors that are of particular importance to IT but will also resonate with senior management: Compliance, Efficiency and Agility.
This is probably the single most important factor currently due to the increased number of software vendor audits. It is also the easiest to identify tangible benefits in terms of measurable costs. By stating your case in terms of the current situation and how your proposed actions will help to mitigate the risks and costs from a software vendor audit, you will be well on the way to building a strong case.
If an audit is not a pressing concern within your organization you will need to build a strong case elsewhere. The visibility given by a good SAM program will enable the organization to identify under-used software and optimize their use of software, ultimately saving money. It can also deliver the information needed to assess your current IT architecture and propose more cost-effective or efficient alternatives.
The final factors concerns the agility of your organization to cope with new challenges. Whether this is an upcoming software migration, an as-yet unknown security threat or a project to implement new software, all will benefit from a SAM program.
In a lot of cases costing the expected benefits is the difficult part, so it is important to involve potential stakeholders, as they may be able you to build the case and cost-out the savings. This will enable you to devise metrics that will allow you to measure the impact of the proposed changes, and to put it basically, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!