By Tracy Toth
There is a lot that needs to get done following a merger or acquisition and, unfortunately, software license management usually doesn’t rank high on the to-do list.
But ignoring software assets post-merger is a mistake — software facilitates workforce productivity and the failure to properly manage software assets can bring productivity to a grinding halt, jeopardising the organisation’s ability to achieve targeted goals and business objectives.
At Datacom, we regularly guide enterprise organisations through the process of addressing software assets post-merger. In our experience, there are at least five software asset management tasks that need to be performed immediately following a merger or acquisition:
- Software Audit. Right out of the gate, the organisation should perform a comprehensive software audit. By auditing the enterprise’s current software, licenses and related assets, the organisation gains visibility into the existing enterprise software environment and sets the stage for an informed strategy development process.
- Policy Review. A comprehensive software policy review should be another post-merger priority. Whether the organisation realises it or not, there are likely discrepancies in the way software assets are being utilised in the two organisations. If those discrepancies aren’t resolved, it could result in internal confusion, productivity losses and other negative outcomes.
- Role Review. In addition to reviewing the organisation’s software asset policies, it’s important to review the roles and responsibilities that are connected to software asset management across the enterprise. In some cases, it will be necessary to assign individuals to fill gaps in coverage; in others instances, it may be helpful to combine redundant roles in order to create a more efficient SAM system.
- SAM Assessment. It is absolutely imperative for the organisation to perform a full-blown SAM assessment post-merger. Assumptions that existed when the organisations operated independently may no longer apply and it’s likely that the merger will create opportunities for additional software-related efficiencies, which can be accessed by evaluating and adjusting the organisation’s SAM plan.
- Desktop Support. Finally, ongoing desktop support must be delivered without interruption. While it can make sense to rationalise and consolidate the help desks, the initial priority must be on ensuring that all workers are able to productively contribute to the business via their hardware and software assets. Moving too soon on desktop support consolidation, without a well-structured plan, is not advised.