It is often thought that software asset management (SAM) is the constant pursuit of software license compliance. That way of thinking is so 2010! The fact is, software compliance is almost a by-product of an effective SAM implementation. In this same way of thinking, effective SAM can’t be achieved by simply implementing a tool—no matter how costly or sophisticated that tool might be.
Gartner recently published a report entitled: Software Asset Management Is Now a C-Level Impetrative in which they say: “SAM has evolved into a discipline that supports strategic business development, requiring IT leaders to engage C-level commitment to SAM investment.” This report goes on to say that the increased complexity of software environments, including adoption and movement to the cloud, requires IT leaders “to broaden the scope of SAM and implement it as a governance function to enable IT to manage the full software lifecycle effectively.” Simply put, organizations need to achieve a better understanding of their software needs, and how to align these needs with key business drivers of the entire organization, not just IT.
We all know change is not easy. This new way of thinking often requires a fundamental cultural shift within an organization, from IT to the C-Level Suite. Essentially, a shift must align software to the more broad business objectives. If an organization can better understand the broader role that software plays, not just within IT, SAM can lead to increased efficiencies, lower costs, reduced risks, and most importantly, an overall greater return on technology investments.
As more companies invest time and resources into an effective SAM initiative, they can better measure and realize the value of their software assets. As this broader adoption of SAM continues, companies with limited or no SAM capabilities will become the exception, over time. Conversely, companies that make this strategic (and vital) investment in SAM will have an enhanced ability to harness the power of software and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.