Mid-Market Software Asset Management Software Group Test
In our first group test we reviewed Mid-Market Software Asset Management (SAM) Software. The software reviewed in this group…
- Includes software that has been specifically designed to help organisations discover, identify and reconcile their software installations against software purchases.
- Is ideally suited to organisations of between 500 and 5000 hardware assets.
For clarity, the software reviewed had Mid-Market characteristics but are not limited to the Mid-Market. In fact many of the software tool sets assessed in the review scaled from small SME installations to tens of thousands of assets.
- Software that is relatively straightforward to install
- Software that is relatively straightforward to configure and maintain
- Has ‘Out of the box’ functionality
- Does not involve intensive amounts of consultancy to start delivering results
Software Asset Management is defined by ITIL as
“All of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control and protection of the software assets within an organisation, throughout all stages of their lifecycle. “
With this as our guiding principle software was assessed using the following guidelines;
|Asset Database||15% of Overall Score|
|15% of the overall score is attributed to the asset database within the software asset management tool. For a SAM tool to be successful in the longer term it is vital to for the user to have confidence in the data and its accuracy.
|Software Recognition||30% of Overall Score|
|30% of the overall score is attributed to the ability of the software asset management tool to recognise software installations and present them in an organised and recognisable format. The first challenge is to convert the raw installed executables and associated files into a readable format and then to determine whether that application requires a license. This has the largest percentage weighting of all of the features reviewed because it is arguably the biggest headache for software asset managers and is the most time consuming of tasks.
|Software Reconciliation||20% of Overall Score|
|20% of the overall score is attributed to the ability of the tools reviewed to assist users in pairing what is installed on their network versus what they have purchased.
|Reporting||15% of Overall Score|
|15% of the overall score is attributed to the general reporting functionality of the tool sets and the ability to faciliate other key processes within the software asset management lifecycle.
|General Features||20% of Overall Score|
|Finally, 20% of the overall score is attributed to the general features of the toolsets, namely ease of use.
Scope and Limitations
Please note that the review of these toolsets is intended as a guide only. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to software asset management and every tool set should be reviewed with regards to your specific environment and requirements. Similarly our reviews were conducted over a limited number of systems over a relatively short period of time so do not take into account issues such as network performance, scalability and long term usage; all of which are critical to the long term success of SAM tool implementation.
We recommend benchmarking tools in a test environment against your specific criteria before making a purchase decision. Perhaps most importantly, it is a common misconception that software asset management tools will be a silver bullet that will solve all of your licensing and compliance woes. A good software asset management strategy (As with any other IT Project) is a blend of tools and technology, processes, policies, education, training and senior management buy-in. Or in simpler terms the ITIL adage is PEOPLE, PROCESSES and TECHNOLOGY.
If you have any feedback or comments on our review criteria or the reviews themselves please do not hesitate to contact us.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.