What are the challenges in implementing SAM?
When you are implementing software asset management (SAM) in your organization you will be faced with many challenges. For many organizations these can be grouped into three categories: hardware inventory, software license entitlement and organizational.
Hardware Inventory Challenges
Today’s IT environment is complex and wide ranging for even the smallest of organizations. From mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, through traditional desktop and laptops computers, servers and the datacenter to the cloud, there are a myriad of devices to identify and inventory.
All of these will be running software with different versions and editions (sometimes even on the same device), making acquiring a complete and accurate inventory even more difficult.
Software License Entitlement Challenges
Aside from what are termed the mega-vendors (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle & SAP) there are a multitude of large, medium and small vendors offering software your organization is in all likelihood using.
Every vendor has a different model for licensing and how it allocates your entitlement to use their software in different environments. One current hot area is virtualization and thin client environments. Many organizations implement these technologies as a way of saving money, but completely fail to take into account the implications this can have on their licensing agreements. As a result they end up non-compliant with additional costs and penalties that can far outweigh the initial savings.
Usually, these instances of non-compliance are only discovered at the time of a vendor audit leading to unexpected costs and possible penalties.
Many organizations have recognized the need to address the management of their IT estate and have typically used an ITAM tool to understand this. Whilst such tools will provide some information on your software assets, it will not be of sufficient detail and intelligence to be of much use for SAM purposes.
Older SAM tools require various feeds to produce data in different files accessed through varied UIs and typically only provide point-in-time, rather than dynamic data. All of which cause the job of collecting and analyzing SAM data to be time-consuming and onerous.
Matters can be further complicated by the lack of sponsorship of a SAM program from a senior employee. This results in a bottom-up, rather than top down approach and can lead to a dilution of the anticipated benefits due to inconsistent adoption across the organization.
Implementing SAM: The Right Solution & Partner
However, it is not all doom and gloom. Implementing the right SAM solution with the right partner can ensure that you overcome the challenges associated with implementing SAM.
If you would like to find out more about how to go about implementing SAM in your organization, download the white paper – Understand Software Asset Management.