Why SAM is about more than compliance

I was moved by this article in the industry press about how most Software Asset Management (SAM) work is in response to the threat or actuality of a vendor or enforcement body audit. I can’t deny that a significant number of our SAM engagements are driven by fear of audit. What I would add, however, is that a lot of organisations are starting to realise that good SAM is a matter of good financial stewardship and that the benefits extend far beyond simply the avoidance of a fine or bad publicity in the event of a forced audit.

SAM is a significant opportunity to save money, through the rationalisation of software titles in use, the ‘harvesting’ and redeployment of installed and licensed software which is not being used, and the cancellation of maintenance contracts for software which has been retired (often missed). Significantly, accurate knowledge on your existing license situation can enable you to negotiate from a ‘point of strength’ for licensing purchases and contract renewals.

Access to network audit data about installed software is a powerful aid to your helpdesk in diagnosing issues. Audit data about hardware can help you plan for and cost upgrades, such as Windows 7. It’s even possible to calculate probable carbon footprint and deduce possible savings, a service which Softcat can provide.

For me, an important part of SAM is making the most of the software you have paid for. Many organisations have subscribed to annuity-based agreements, such as the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, or Open Value Subscription. These agreements give you access to a range of software – some of which is pretty powerful and has real potential business benefit. Obviously there is effort involved in rolling out this software – but surely if there is a business need there it is sensible to look at software you don’t have to pay any extra for?

If you need any more information on saving money through good management of your software assets, have a look here where you can view our guide to Software Asset Management.

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