I regularly attend Software Asset Management (SAM) related meetings. Remarkably, these meetings often turn into a discussion about license compliance (sufficient software licenses to cover the installations and/or usage). Even in companies with a mature SAM department, this is the topic that comes to surface the most. It therefore seems very important to meet the conditions that you have agreed upon with the supplier. Personally, I think compliance is an important objective of SAM indeed, but there is more to be gained with SAM than just that!
Let’s take a comparison out of everyday life:
When you participate in traffic as a driver, you naturally have to adhere to the rules as set by the government. As a participant in traffic, you therefore adhere to the rules to prevent fines and accidents. With age you also learn that the time savings you gain from driving fast are usually lost with any uncooperative traffic light. I think we all recognize the situation where we encounter lorries that we had already overtaken half an hour before?
Anyway, no matter how I am as a commuter:
• I drive on winter tires every summer, which means that the wear and tear costs are higher than all my traffic fines combined.
• I drive a car that is way too big for a 2-person household and I don’t use half of the available space.
• I drive a car with a engine so big that it is only warm when I park it at the destination. This costs me a lot more gasoline, because the engine burns more gasoline when it is still cold.
• The doors are robust as a safe, but with the right equipment you can just read out the key and give yourself access.
• You still can leave privacy-sensitive documents on your front seat and your personal data can potentially end up on the street.
Just as you do not just stubbornly keep an eye on the speedometer and radar detector in the car in order to drive the car as efficiently as possible, within SAM you will not only have to pay attention to compliance. Software compliance is an important objective of SAM, but there are many other essential benefits that a well-organized SAM offers you.
Do not forget that SAM also shows things that benefit multiple business units, such as:
• Shelved licenses and licenses that become available in the short term;
• Specifications versus (over) capacity;
• Distribution of the software application portfolio and functional overlap;
• Level of patching and status of patch rollout;
• Signaling of software applications sensitive to GDPR;
I wish everyone a safe and comfortable ride and stick to the rules as much as possible!