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10 Ways to Cut Costs with SAM

Software Asset Management (SAM) is involved with managing, controlling and optimizing the purchase, deployment, utilization, maintenance, and disposal of software assets. Organizations are looking at SAM in order to comply with licensing agreements for future audits. Although license compliance will help you to avoid the probable cost of under licensing, SAM will allow you eliminate overspending. If you are considering a SAM program, you are not alone. A KPMG study found that 86% of respondents did not have complete information on software deployments and entitlements, while at the same time pointing to SAM as a top organizational priority. Forrester found that software now consumes up to 34% of enterprise technology spend. With estimates as high as 30% of software spend unnecessary, SAM projects are being further driven to the forefront. See below for the top 10 ways that enterprise can save with SAM.

  1. Cut Surplus Software Inventory – a centralized responsibility with a SAM program will drive visibility into your assets and allow you to take full advantage of your existing license base. This includes licenses in procurement, and harvesting licenses from devices that are have been repurposed, are in storage, repair, or retirement. Redeploying these software assets will directly impact spend.
  2. Eliminate Undesirable Applications – Maintaining a current software catalog as a component of your SAM program will highlight non-compliant applications that may pose a nuisance for IT support and/or possible security risks. Cut IT support costs and eliminate the undesirable application before it becomes an issue.
  3. Cutting Audit Costs – an active SAM program will ensure that you are prepared for the inevitable software audit. Gartner and others have continued to define an increasing frequency of software audits. Maintaining a record of your license entitlement and type, the number installed, assignment and history will significantly cut audit timelines and cost. Poor record keeping and manual processes will require significant spend to demonstrate proof of entitlement, and all but impossible when under the pressure of an audit.
  4. Cut Rogue Spending – Purchasing control will help avoid the issues of heterogeneous licensing. With clarity on your organization's actual software requirements you will be better able to leverage volume discounts, and cut ongoing cost of managing multiple vendor relationships. Further, you will realize additional savings from IT support with a standardized software catalog and a standardized application approach.
  5. Reallocate Underutilized Software – tracking software installations will allow you to enforce software policy by departmental requirement. Understanding the usage of the applications will uncover opportunities for eliminating software, or using free or lower cost versions of the application. Eliminating underused or non-essential software licenses will allow for harvesting and redeploying software assets.
  6. Track Renewal Dates – maintaining reliable records on software assets will highlight software nearing the end of its lifecycle or annual maintenance that may not be necessary. Ensure that the dates are tracked with enough notice to effectively manage your options.
  7. Cut Support on Unused Licensing – find excess software licenses that you can't return? Cut costs with eliminating the annual maintenance if it is not required. Non-license costs for maintenance and support can be substantial.
  8. Maximize the use of Product Use Rights – Product use rights define how software licenses can be used, including upgrade, downgrade, second use, virtual use and others. This however is only possible if the steps are taken to ensure which rights are attributable to the specific licenses through your SAM process. Poor entitlement data quality has been a major contributor to unnecessary spending on software and software maintenance.
  9. Assess Total Lifecycle Costs - Realize your actual software costs, beyond just the licensing costs, however including, training, maintenance, support, upgrades, add-ons, and IT support requirements will provide the business data required to support business decisions. Tracking maintenance and support costs associated with your software will allow you to optimize your agreements to accurately reflect your actual requirements.
  10. Plan Future Requirements – Understanding your current use will help you to plan for future requirements. Knowing your software lifecycle, volumes and requirements you will be able to optimize the applications, and select the optimum licensing model (SaaS, enterprise, per processor, among others).
Adhering to a SAM discipline beyond an audit will provide structure and analysis a company needs to support business decisions and better negotiate license agreements. SAM is critical to managing an effective IT environment, however needs to be a part of a cultural change that carries throughout the organization in order to be effective. An effective SAM program starts with automating the access to software data. Maintaining details about exactly what software is in use with license and contract information you'll avoid costly non-compliance fines and prevent overspending on licenses, maintenance and support. With an effective SAM program you will gain further cost efficiencies and control by fully automating your workflows for software requests, approval and fulfillment. Take control of IT costs, and manage your software assets!

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