What Is Software Asset Management (SAM) And Why Does It Matter?

Software has evolved into an absolute necessity for companies focused on maximising efficiency. The increased number of deployed information technology (IT) solutions can be counterproductive, however, if not implemented effectively or adequately monitored following implementation.

Maximizing the return-on-investment (ROI) of IT spending is important, with most companies spending over a quarter of their IT budget on software alone. There is a high risk of waste such as purchasing wrong licenses, mismanaging software deployments, and other issues that might be overlooked by IT teams. 

What Is Software Asset Management?

Software Asset Management (SAM) focuses on procedures related to optimizing and properly managing the purchase, deployment, maintenance of software applications to ensure they are suited to the business, as big data continues to put added pressure on the workplace. The new automated process facilitates continued compliance and offers in-depth analysis that can be reported to independent software vendors (ISVs), as needed. Daily SAM functionality will depend on the organization, their IT complexity, and how much software (and licensing) they are required to use. 

Proper SAM deployment helps reduce spending on software to make sure licenses are properly used, thereby minimizing business disruptions. The SAM solution is able to track, manage, and assess licenses based largely on usage. In addition to verifying the type and cost of licenses, the SAM solution can determine when it's time for a software upgrade, patch installation or similar maintenance practices. This automation can help tick a couple of items off the check list for often overburdened IT teams, so they're able to focus on other tasks.  

SAM solutions are tailored to help limit IT costs and maximize IT efficiency and productivity. This is even more important for large corporations that might have to purchase a large number of software licenses for their employees. SAM software cannot be overlooked, and companies have a plethora of viable options to choose from. Everything from freeware software – typically used by smaller companies – to corporate choices with more complex asset management demands. 

IT consultants can also use SAM software to reduce requests for new software rollouts (needing new licenses), or the uninstallation of software. The SAM team will be able to maintain ownership of all properly managed software and streamline requests via internal processes.

Learn more about how SAM could help your business.

Why Does SAM Matter?

1. Boost Efficiency
Having a predetermined software budget that allows decision-makers to optimize their software licenses is advisable. Think of the cost savings if product purchases are done in a structured manner - it leaves the door open for any remaining budget to be used for different software suites or even a different spend.

For example, SAM helps track software license expiration, which can help to reduce the likelihood of any license agreement violations between the company and their technology partners. A modern SAM solution will help streamline the entire asset lifecycle, and is capable of tracking contractual and financial inventory, along with hardware and non-IT assets. 

2. Understand the Software Landscape
In recent years, software has grown increasingly complex. There is little room or time to waste when workers must use their PCs or laptops to get their job done. Problems caused by licensing can prove to be a major hassle that can lead to unnecessary downtime for a completely avoidable problem. 

A realistic approach to IT infrastructure is required, so it's important to keep in mind what SAM won't do in the workplace. First and foremost, it's not a one-off task - it's a dynamic process that is ongoing throughout the project lifecycle. Depending on the size of the organization, it's also not a one-person task and requires a structured team in place to monitor and adapt to ongoing changes. Many companies tend to start off with a single person in control, which is fine, but there must be flexibility to increase the size of the team as needed.