In this blog we would like to talk about the drivers of software asset management (SAM) and why SAM needs to be included in your IT asset management (ITAM) strategy.
The key highlights of the blog are:
- What do you mean by software asset management?
- How software asset management complements an IT asset management strategy?
- What is software license management?
- What are the various types of software licenses?
- Why is software license management important for organizations?
- 8 best practices to supercharge your software license management.
What do you mean by software asset management?
Software asset management refers to visibility and transparency into an organization’s software usage, contracts, and license utilization. All these provide an understanding of what software are available, what is being used, and who is using them.
The insights that software asset management provides helps an organization in:
- Optimizing license utilization
- Cutting down license costs
- Protecting the organization from compliance issues
- Planning for future investments in software assets
How software asset management complements an IT asset management strategy?
In most organizations, central planning for IT is a big challenge. That is why a lot of them opt to decentralize their IT infra across multiple business units. While this might be great for managing purposes, but it can lead to unwanted expenses.
When we talk about managing IT, ITAM plays a strategic role in handling IT assets, services, and software. Software asset management is a subset of IT asset management that helps an organization to:
- Monitor software usage and installation count
- Implement a base configuration, &
- Track utilization and allocation of software licenses
If we talk of the core pillars of software asset management, they are as follows:
- Cost Control
Software license management plays an important role in supporting the above core pillars for you. You need effective software license management in place for proper software asset management.
What is Software License Management?
IT asset management, software asset management, and software license management are all interrelated.
Software license management is a continuous process that allows an organization to better plan and manage software licenses. It facilitates compliance monitoring, license usage tracking, and license allocation.
What are the types of software licenses?
Now that you have understood what software license management means, you will need to understand the various types of software licenses to identify software usage and better plan your budget.
- Named User license – This license is used by a single, specifically named user.
- Concurrent user license – This license can be used by multiple, simultaneous users.
- Site license – This license can be used by an unlimited number of systems at a single, physical location.
- Enterprise – This license can be used by an enterprise to install infinite copies of a software package. However, some enterprise agreements require a precise number of licenses.
- Perpetual – This license requires a one-time fee to use the software indeterminately, but it may require surplus fees for maintenance and upgrades.
- Evaluation – This is a trial basis license that is time-bound and expires after the deadline passes.
- Free License – This license is free to use and distribute.
- Processor License – This license is authorized per processer or per core and enables a server to host the software for users.
- OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) License – This is a software license that accompanies a specific piece of hardware.
Why is software license management important for organizations?
Like how understanding the various types of software licenses and their utilization can help you plan your IT budgets better, software license management offers many more benefits for your organization. As software license management is an integral part of IT asset management, it drives the business value of IT initiatives and improves the overall efficiency of IT operations amongst other things. Here are the top 5 benefits of implementing a software license management system.
- Cost Savings
More often than not, software go unused in an organization. These “extra” licenses can soon become a great hidden cost. In this case, Software license management can help you keep a check on the number of licenses that are being paid for vs. the number of licenses your organization actually requires and thus, help save costs.
- Complete Compliance
With Software License Management in place, you can easily understand how software packages are being deployed and used. It also helps you identify and fix any license deficits well in advance. This can enable you to minimize the risk of software license audits and penalties and achieve complete compliance.
- License Optimization
As mentioned earlier, software license management processes can not only help you eliminate overbuying licenses but it can also provide a framework to reallocate unused licenses and also help you select best-fit license types based on business requirements to better plan IT budgets.
Aging software with outdated security features are most susceptible to malware. Software license management provides visibility into unauthorized or out-of-date software that need to be updated or eradicated in order to enhance cybersecurity.
Manually tracking and managing software licenses can become time-consuming, costly, and receptive to cybersecurity threats in the long run. By automating these activities with software license management you can increase efficiency in the organization and help resources focus on more value-producing tasks.
8 best practices to supercharge your software license management
- Gather information about your software licenses: You should have a central repository of all your software licenses and their information. Motadata ServiceOps Asset Management enables you to maintain such a repository and information like cost, terms of usage, present allocation, and utilization.
- Relate contracts: It is one thing to have licenses in place but a totally different thing to prove that they exist. So, it’s important to relate both financial and contractual information with a license record. Motadata ServiceOps ITSM allows for an easy upload of contract and financial information.
- Organize your software: A repository of software licenses exist in conjunction with a repository of software. It’s important to have your software organized; for example, different versions of the same software should have a single entry. An organized software repository will ease the process of license allocation.
- Track software usage: Once you have organized your software inventory, it’s time to track how often they are being used and on how many devices. This exercise will give you a count of how many licenses you might require for a particular software.
- Create a detailed record of how many licenses you require: Once you have complete visibility of your software usage it’s time to tabulate your license requirement for each software.
- Continuously track license utilization: Once you have your licenses in place, it’s important to continuously monitor them to know their utilization. Utilization monitoring will set the base for future license planning. Motadata ServiceOps Asset Management comes with a built-in feature to show the utilization count of each license.
- Monitor for Compliance: Set notifications when there are over-utilization and unauthorized use of a license. Such notifications are very easy to set up with Motadata ServiceOps.
- Keep Repositories up to date: It’s important to stay up to date with both the license and software repository. With updated repositories, you will have the latest version information, latest contact information, and financial information.
Managing software assets along with licenses can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you would require in the long run. But we are here to help you, no matter what stage you are at. Motadata ServiceOps Asset Management smartly integrates everything into a single interface. Try Motadata ServiceOps Asset Management free for 30 days.