Change is tough. Adjusting the way you’ve been tracking IT assets across your business for years is a harrowing process, and one that will certainly get some grumbles from employees. But as you know by now, having a software asset management (SAM) plan is a way to tighten up your licensing budget and catalogue of IT assets. With a holistic approach, your organisation will have an easier go at implementing an effective SAM plan.
1. Executive sponsorship and delineated roles
As with any project involving a major change to operations, Datacom has found that identifying an executive sponsor and key stakeholders is crucial to the success of your SAM program. These individuals will be the champions of the IT assets management overall, and can help plan the roadmap to change that will be necessary for SAM to be effective. In addition to this overall leadership, your organisation should nominate individuals who can carry out the daily responsibilities needed to initiate and operate a SAM program. These activities will include implementing SAM policy, tracking and recording IT assets and liaising with vendors.
2. Visibility across all IT assets
Just because the focus in a SAM program is on software doesn’t mean you should forget about the hardware in your organisation. If you’re not managing the hardware lifecycle, you could easily forget about installed software on an old PC sitting in storage. Unused hardware means two things: legacy hardware and new hardware that no one is yet using. Tracking the software sitting on these unused pieces of hardware contributes to your overall catalogue of IT assets and gives you a clearer picture of the various versions of the same software you have running.
When tracking these IT assets, make sure to also consider virtual environments, and create plans for hardware and software retirement planning. If these tasks are beyond the current capacity of your organisation to manage, consider an IT provider that can supply tools and resources to identify, track and manage the lifecycle of these IT assets.
The top 5 questions to ask for SAM planning
- Have you taken an inventory of your current software installations and other IT assets?
- Are you centrally managing and purchasing software?
- Have you identified the main gaps and areas of risk when it comes to IT assets?
- How will you track and optimise your licenses?
- Have you determined an approach to SAM in which you will continually renew processes and requirements?