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Software Asset Management

Software Asset Management (SAM) focuses on streamlining and maintaining order of an organization’s software applications. The practice covers a company’s software assets from purchase to disposal, keeping tabs on pertinent licensing agreements and expiration dates while reducing overall costs to the company. Close management of the company’s software also facilitates IT responsiveness and keeps productivity on the upswing.

Without the IT and software asset tracking that SAM provides, avoiding penalties and surprise “true up’s” levied under many software agreements could become an issue. SAM makes it easy to comply with licensing agreements by keeping track of the latest updates, government standards, and security vulnerabilities within the company’s software. With such close attention paid, no unauthorized software should be able to slip through the cracks to increase security risks and create conflicts within the software.

Furthermore, this keeps software-related costs down. By running only software that is known to the environment, SAM reduces complexity in the environment, simplifying IT support and therefore spending less time and money on targeting IT problems. The costs of initially purchasing software should also decrease as a result of implementing SAM, as the organization will be able to optimize the use of the software already owned and avoid budget problems related to licensing penalties.

The simplest way for an organization to collect software information under the SAM model is through automatic software audits. Software agents that crawl the network will pick up on important software updates and license expirations, as should certain tools included in the Service Management system.

Software metering tools, for example, monitor the utilization of software applications, basing compliance with licensing agreements on usage. Product catalog tools, meanwhile, keep tabs on product specific information for the company’s records. Of course, good, old-fashioned manual software inventory management serves as an alternative to automatic audits, but this task would be far too daunting within a large company (not to mention unnecessarily costly).

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