Many organizations struggle with software licenses and only few succeed in managing software compliance. Often the advice is to get the Software Asset Management processes properly implemented. But then many questions arise. Process models like ISO 19770 or ITIL-SAM identify processes but don’t provide support for specification and implementation. In a series of articles, I will discuss SAM processes and an approach to implement them.
Why SAM processes?
Many, even most organizations, are periodically audited by software vendors. The huge amounts that must be paid for licenses and fines – which are, by the way, in many cases compensated by investments in new, unwanted software – are triggers to reflect. Some organizations choose ‘all you can eat contracts’ (expensive, but no risk for claims afterwards) or doing nothing (accept the cost for the short term and resolve the problem later; don’t cross the bridges before you come to them). The majority select a SAM tool vendor and have them their tool implemented. The implementation approach implies processes but, in fact, limited to the ability of using the software. I know many examples of organizations that after one year are frustrated by the tool and decide to select another tool. In most cases, this decision is not justified. The differences between tools are small and the results will likely be the same the next time. Probable conclusions are that input data is not reliable or SAM operators are not capable to process the data. In both cases implementing SAM processes may be the solution.