The two sides of Software Asset Management

When you think about Software Asset Management, or SAM, there’s a good chance you’re thinking of tools designed to find software, check against licenses, and maintain your compliance. But that’s just part of the picture.

In fact, effective SAM – a strategy that truly lowers your risk of license non-compliance – needs to be significantly more all-encompassing. It needs to cover the entire software lifecycle, not just playing catch-up with the software that’s already in the wild.

SAM must be a process of two sides: Risk Discovery and, before that, Risk Prevention.

SAM and ITAM tools are effective for risk discovery

Most people understand the huge challenge of keeping up with today’s sprawling IT networks. In a climate of flexibility, BYOD, and increased user control, it’s impossible to manually keep track of every installed application, its licenses, and where you could fall out of compliance.

SAM and ITAM tools play a vital role by automating arduous tasks like:

  • Discovering all the software on your network
  • Monitoring usage and managing licenses
  • Optimising licenses so you can avoid unnecessary spend
  • Removing non-compliant software

It’s no surprise, then, that businesses are spending a lot of time, money and effort on this aspect of SAM. However, while the SAM tools market continues to grow, its pace has been slowing significantly since 2016.

People are beginning to realise that most SAM tools are far from holistic, only helping with part of the problem. It takes a new approach to mitigate risk more comprehensively.

SAM tools may help to manage and lower risk retroactively, but the ultimate goal is to avoid risk entering the estate in the first place. Working in partnership with your SAM tools, AstuteLDM offers true Risk Prevention by governing software and licensing at the time of procurement and deployment. Crucially, AstuteLDM defines a controlled, centralised workflow for the way software is requested, validated against existing assets and licenses, and deployed.

This adds coverage for the entire first half of the software lifecycle, including:

  • Software request approvals and denials, so no non-approved installations can happen
  • Licence review and purchase, including consolidation to unlock economies of scale
  • Software deployment so you always know exactly what your current license usage is
  • Approval and validation to maintain control over your software inventory and ensure licenses are used efficiently

Risk prevention takes accurate forecasting

Finally, Risk Prevention isn’t all about the moment of procurement or deployment. It’s about giving you the short, medium and long-term view you need to make informed decisions about licensing and predict non-compliance while there’s time to take action.

By consolidating data on your software and its licenses, AstuteLDM can help you see non-compliance before it happens – not when you’ve already been out of compliance for weeks or even months on end.

As a result, your window of risk – the time when you could be caught out by a surprise vendor audit – is completely closed.

So you can be confident you’re not exposed to substantial true-up costs, whichever stage of the software lifecycle you’re in.

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