Developing a SAM Plan to Control Software Licensing

5 Jul 2016

What is software asset management (SAM)? How can you develop a SAM plan?


Trying to effectively manage software licenses, spending, compliance and having control over such software, has been a challenge for a number of organizations. As the amount of software used in the workplace continues to grow, organizations need to implement the necessary tools. This is where Software Asset Management comes in.


What is Software Asset Management?

Software Asset Management, also referred to simply as SAM.

Achieved through an integrated combination of people, process, technology and platform, SAM is a systematic approach which enables organisations to efficiently and effectively manage all their software assets – and any associated licensing – at every stage of their lifecycle, ensuring costs are fully controlled, utilization is optimized, risk is minimized and compliance is maintained.


Production of an ELP

An Effective License Position (ELP), whilst an important step in developing a SAM plan, is a static document. The production of your ELP will typically have involved creating a baseline that includes:

  • Standardizing software titles – so everyone has the same version
  • Centralizing software purchasing – to keep it under control and organized
  • Retiring obsolete software – to ensure you are not over-licensing and to avoid unnecessary maintenance costs

But, importantly it also puts you in a position to optimize your license position (OLP) so your organization can maximize the full benefit from your SAM program, saving money, freeing up IT resources and delivering an ROI.


How to Create a SAM Plan?

  1. Determine what software your company actually needs
  2. Standardize applications to reduce support costs
  3. Keep software information safe
  4. Create a hardware and software map

Analyze your software needs going forward

It’s important to determine which software titles your company really needs. Work with key people and employees in each department to clarify what software their employees require in order to get their jobs done.

Reducing support costs

By standardizing and limiting the number of applications and devices your support staff need to deal with you will be able to reduce your operational IT costs and free staff up to work on more strategic and business improving projects, rather than mundane day-to-day tasks.

Keeping software safe

Having collected together all your licensing information and established check-in procedures for new software, it’s important to make sure that the benefit of this is not lost. All licensing documentation and at least one copy of each of software title and version should be protected under lock and key. A limited number of employees should have access to the software to help protect against possible misuse or theft.

Creating a Software and Hardware “Map”

Knowing what software is installed on which machines and knowing where they are located throughout your organization is vital, especially for your support team. This information can be included in a software inventory database and shows the location of each machine, the user at that machine, and the software installed on that machine.

To find out more about how to develop a SAM plan and move beyond an ELP to an OLP, please get in touch.

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