Lack of attention for Software Asset Management

Some time ago I posted this question on Linkedin: “If Software Asset Management saves money or avoids (unexpected) extra software spend, why is it not implemented in every organization?”

Some comments I got were:

  • Things become difficult when we see a misconception in terms of ideology and belief that Software Assets and Compliance related to it is an easy goal to achieve. I truly believe a standard SAM process/program is a must, initiating and adapting it is very needful, if I truly speak about Indian scenarios.
  • Because Majority of the Organizations don’t have a clear understanding about SAM and Compliance
  • There are issues when SAM folks communicate with executives, they talk different languages. I believe, this is one of the main challenges SAM faces, not a technical issue but rather the vary our communication styles to meet the audience and the audiences decision making criterion. I honestly, think this is the biggest hurdle most ITAM professional have to overcome. I find myself falling into that trap at time and need to pull myself out of that rat hole
  • Complexity, organizational politics, and lack of skill set, but with persistence, great efforts and executive buy-in, it is achievable
  • My experience is, until an organization feels the pain (at the executive-level) of not having a well-governed, well-managed, and proactive ITAM practice… they just do not care. The way to fix this is to continually show, and report value created from your ITAM practice in the form of regular savings/value meetings with your executives.
  • Start with implementing the ISO19770-1 standard
  • Effort! We should all be exercising and eating healthily, but do we?!
  • I think a general assumption of non IT folks, is that SAM is standard practice….
  • Indeed, it takes effort to implement SAM and the organization has to provide manpower and budget to do so. But in the end – as one of commenters stated – it will have positive impact on the EBITDA numbers. As SAM consultants we have to think about the answers to address the objections that organizations may have against a SAM implementation.
  • The number of users at my last job who thought the helpdesk just “had” an entire knowledge of everyone’s applications needs and software licenses: 18,000 The number of users on which our help desk “actually” had a complete list of their application needs and assigned licenses: 0
  • I suspect its due to the relative immaturity of SAM as discipline and also how badly its being done in many organizations. There’s also a misconception that the move to cloud, SaaS and IaaS will eliminate a requirement for SAM when literally nothing could be further from the truth, cloud increases the value of SAM. Effective SAM can help correctly size your IaaS estate, can optimize your consumption of SaaS while BYOL can significantly reduce spend. All of that before we even talk about eliminating the inherent risk of moving legacy on-premises licenses into major cloud providers infrastructure. All that said, I think demand for SAM is on the increase which means more and more organizations are coming to the realization that a strategically implemented SAM program can have a positive impact on the EBITDA numbers; 
  • This question falls under the same category as why some organizations don’t invest into IT security, until such organizations get hacked. If an organization lacks SAM best practices, it’s opening their doors to publisher’s audits, which equals to be more likely to pay heavy fines due to compliance breach issues. Meanwhile one of the main objectives around SAM is to save money, it should also let you be aware of your software resources, advantages and limits.

All these comments are based on specific situations, but very true. For various reasons Software asset Management is not the hot topic in organizations as it deserves to be. When talking to C-level management we have to keep these comments in mind and react pro-actively to counter them . When in executive meetings we must be – and we at In2SAM certainly are (!) – very clear about what SAM is, why it is necessary to implement it, with planned effort as an ongoing process and why it helps to support organizational goals. It certainly should not only be about the amounts to be paid as a result of audits due to incompliancy.