How to achieve sustainable SAM

Across your workstations, datacentres and the cloud, software moves fast. From incremental upgrades to completely new additions, keeping up with the most innovative applications is the most efficient path to new levels of flexibility, efficiency, and productivity.

But there’s a problem. The dynamic, ever-changing nature of most software inventories makes effective Software Asset Management (SAM) hard to maintain. Businesses find themselves constantly chasing risks and detecting licensing issues – so even the best strategy gives way to time-consuming, resource-intensive management and monitoring.

Using the ISO 19970-1:2017 ITAM model, the specialists at Astute Licensing have developed a model for sustainable SAM – a more comprehensive approach that reduces risk consistently and continually.

Building on a trusted ITAM model

Updated in December 2017, ISO 19970-1 is a detailed specification for IT Asset Management (ITAM). From servers and backups to digital information, the standard sets clear best practice for reducing risk and improving visibility – including software and software licensing.

Astute’s Sustainable SAM Model adopts many of the key pillars of the ISO 19970-1 standard, with adjustments and additions to address the specific challenges of software. It’s a way to see and understand the activities that play the most important role in keeping your software controlled and, above all else, compliant.

The Astute Licensing Sustainable SAM Model

Sustainable SAM Tier Process

Like ISO 19970-1, the model for sustainable SAM includes three tiers of processes, each building on the ones that sit within it. SAM is only truly effective – and risk only properly removed – when all three of these tiers are considered.

Tier 1: Trustworthy Data
At the foundation of the model, Trustworthy Data is the most important area of all. Every other process depends on accurate, detailed information on software, data and licenses – data that can support informed decision-making and feed into Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Tier 2: Life Cycle Integration
From acquisition and procurement to daily use and, eventually, retirement, the software life cycle may include some or all of the processes covered in Tier 2. While these will differ depending on your organisation and operations, the key message is that SAM must be an integrated part of the life cycle at every stage – not a detached or partial solution that’s only effective once software is in the wild.

Tier 3: Optimization
Finally, effective SAM isn’t just about eliminating risk or controlling software procurement in the moment. It’s about uncovering ways to reduce risk long-term and finding opportunities to realise more value from your software inventory. Tier 3 of the sustainable SAM model is about improving visibility and using that visibility to drive better intelligence and strategy.

SAM is only sustainable if it’s consistent

In Astute’s Sustainable SAM model, every area is important. It’s equally valid to prioritise predicting future risk (Tier 3) or right-sizing your licence renewals.

But what traditional SAM tools don’t consider is that every area depends on the other parts of the model. Every opportunity to optimise and add value in Tier 3 is only made possible through Trustworthy Data and Life Cycle Integration.

All too often, businesses check that they have Tier 1 in place then jump immediately to Tier 3. They strive for the big outcomes without looking at SAM across the lifecycle – at procurement and planning, not just once software has already been deployed.

That’s why so many SAM efforts fail. That’s why risk continues to creep in and why expensive true-ups happen. Without governance in Tier 2, the root cause of the problem is never dealt with – and problems simply reoccur time-and-time-again.

Find out how AstuteLDM can close the gaps in your SAM to provide complete lifecycle visibility and control.

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