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What is Software Asset Management (SAM)?

Software Asset Management (SAM) is an integrated set of processes, policies and procedures to enable an organisation to ascertain what software they have installed.

SAM allows the organisation to comply with the terms of any existing license agreement by establishing whether there is a gap between what the organisation is entitled to use and what they have installed.

Why is it important to have a SAM program?

The majority of organisations have multiple environments and highly customised applications.

Managing software assets allows an organisation to assess their current and future functionality needs and not only save costs by reducing unnecessary software usage, but also by reducing non-compliance risks during an audit.

There is constant change in any organisation’s environment and this can be due to many factors such as:

  • Customisation

  • Complicated licensing architecture

  • Various license metrics

  • Multiple contracts with differing terms & conditions

  • Virtualisation

  • Ease of installation/downloading

  • Cost vs. requirements and compliance

  • Employee turnover and software upgrades

  • PCs have been retired, reconditioned or replaced over time

What are the benefits of a SAM program?

SAM enables an organisation to form the foundation for effective software license compliance while avoiding the risks of being found non-compliant during an audit.

On the other hand, it helps an organisation avoid paying too much for licenses they don’t use, and enjoy the associated cost savings. This is achieved by ensuring that software that is no longer in use is either re-allocated or retired.

What is required to effectively manage a SAM program?

Dedicated ownership and management and an active SAM program

In order to achieve an effective SAM program, it is essential for all employees to understand the SAM processes, policies and procedures and to adhere to them.