Software Asset Management is basically the merging of your procurement records against your actual usage records and understanding the delta. Unlike Hardware you do NOT own the asset, With Software you are ONLY procuring the "Right to Use" (RTU). In reality it’s an area of the business which is not taken seriously but can be the most costly area should you not understand your estate.
All software bought would generally be installed on hardware, else it’s potentially available for reuse. Your entitlement to use a product has restrictions applied and it’s your responsibility as the "Licensee" to ensure you adhere to the terms & conditions. The laws are treating the isuse of Software as "Software Theft" and where the Licensor & Licensee cannot agree a settlement then the courts will often side on the Licensors side. Ignorance is not an excuse at any level in the company!
One half of Software Asset Management is understanding what you have bought. This includes all of the contractual terms & conditions under which you procured the license (Rights to use). Is Maintenance mandatory?, What location can i use the product?, How is the useage meterd (Device, Personal, Concurrent, CPU etc).
When recording your usage the more detailed data understood the easier to manage the potential risks & maximise the business benefits from your investment.
Software is installed on Hardware therefore without having robust Hardware records, then you can not understand if you are using the licensed product in line with Terms & conditions.
Often publishers will issue "License Keys" which might limit usage, but this is not foolproof. Each Licensed product on each Hardware device MUST be used in-line with the copntractual terms. As the Hardware is repurposed so the licenses installed would often be swapped out accordingly to the new useage.
Its imperative to ensure you keep accurate records from the time when you procure the licensed product until the time its dsposed of (Full Lifecycle Mangement). This includes each version installed, on what box, and how used etc.
If you procure a license that allows you to use various versions of the product, then you must ensure that you hold the initial license purchase & ALL Subsequent Maintenance purchases. the two combined give you the right to use the latest version of the product.
If you do not prioritise Software Asset Management (SAM) then there is no way of knowing if you are achieving the full potential from your investments. It reduces the need to always buy new, often licenses can be reused!
For every license you procure it comes out of your profits, investing properly in Software Asset Mangagement can be a investment that saves you far more than it costs the business when you consider license reuse, License Trade-Ins, Less chance of compliance audits etc.
The sooner you embrace Software Asset Management - The sooner you reap the benefits.
We have specialist knowledge & experience across the Software Asset Management arena. We are impartial & work with our clients to maximise their business benefits whilst controlling costs across their whole estate, and reducing risks from potential costly external publishers audits.
Let’s see how we can bring innovation to your Software Asset Management Arena.