If you're struggling to make sense of your software contracts, or spending way too much time and energy managing them, bolstering your organisation's Software Asset Management (SAM) capabilities can help take away the headache and deliver often over-looked benefits. Organisations embarking on a SAM journey often do so looking through the lens of achieving cost savings through optimising their entitlements, eliminating redundancies, and enabling upgrades to more favourable licensing models.
Whilst obtaining these savings is appealing the actual management of software license entitlements is a high-touch, complex operation that requires a careful mix of people, processes, and technology.
A high functioning and mature SAM capability can highlight where efficiencies can be achieved, and unnecessary risks can be mitigated. But there is a plethora of other benefits that run much deeper than financial, so let’s look at a some of the most overlooked benefits of SAM:
Sure, the immediate attraction for SAM is cost savings as the process of optimisation is geared towards removing costs and redundancies. However, cost savings are only one half of the equation; the other critical driver is compliance. As vendors ramp up compliance audits to supplement diminishing on premise revenues, organisations are at ever increasing risk of incurring unbudgeted costs through adverse findings in such audits.
By identifying potential compliance risks, you can proactively address any non-compliance prior to vendor audits. Being prepared keeps things safer, cheaper, and easier when auditors show up at your door.
More seamless renewals:
Understanding your actual usage versus entitlements plays a key role in the renewal process. Most organisations don’t have the time or resources to undertake a thorough due diligence prior to annual support and maintenance renewals. Most renewals are only attended to at the last minute and then procurement teams rush through approvals without consideration whether the renewal is correct as is or if any updates are required to the quantities, terms, pricing, licence types, etc.
Preparing for licence renewals can take months, so it’s critical to have the right tools and guidance to mitigate the risks and or identify the opportunities. With the right insights and baseline data, renewals can be approached with more accuracy and confidence and provide ongoing savings or reduction in compliance risks.
As the management of software grows more complex and becomes further ingrained into our daily lives, the security risks become greater and failures more damaging. Organisations need a complete and ongoing picture of their infrastructure – what software has been deployed, how it’s being used, who’s using it, and if it’s up to date.
Software Asset Management can help reduce your security vulnerability by making sure that the software you have installed in your estate up to date. Having a more organised software estate will also mean that patch management can be conducted quickly and efficiently.
SAM can provide the IT security teams with key usage data for them to analyse and shape decisions around security governance, details on software installations, versions and editions such that potential risks for malware exploitation can be identified down to ownership, location, entitlement and assets.
Enterprise software vendors and their ever-changing licensing models create confusion and uncertainty in customers and give the vendors a power which they exploit when it comes time for renewal or new contract negotiations.
Multiply these changes across all your software vendors and it’s virtually impossible for the organisation to keep abreast of all these changes and the commercial implications to their situation.
With the right SAM guidance, you can get a clear understanding of your software estate and your available options, which you can leverage when the time comes to negotiate.
Flexibility and agility:
Licence optimisation means aligning your software and technology with business needs while ensuring your infrastructure is future ready. Whilst most people focus on cost, ensuring flexibility in these contracts is equally important enabling agility in the business should your needs rapidly shift.
A good example of how this flexibility can support an organisation and why it’s important was seen during the Covid-19 outbreak. Organisations needed to respond quickly to ensure their teams could work from home through to the inception of or acceleration in Digital Transformation programs.
Working with several of our clients during this period, Invictus was able to leverage the full value from the SAM capability, enabling our clients to get a rapid understanding of the licence and contractual impacts these changes would have on the business, and exactly where new/amended licensing models were required and what options they had available to them,
The ever-changing nature of delivering and managing IT from the growth of virtualisation to the expansion of enterprise platforms, the move to cloud computing to the tracking of new mobile devices means that the odds often seem to be stacked against those charged with managing an organisation’s compliance and software spend. The depth of specialised skills required to do so are unlikely to exist within the business nor should organisations expect they should.
Having a SAM expert in your corner provides a wide range of benefits, while ensuring your business operates at its most efficient. Keeping your software costs optimised and compliant with the vendor terms are just the tip of the iceberg. Discover more about the value of licence optimisation and SAM-as-a-service; speak with one of our experts today – Invictus SAM services