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ARTICLE: Why SAM Projects Fail – Lack of Senior Management Support (Part 2/8)

Why do Software Asset Management projects fail?

This article has been kindly contributed by Phara McLachlan of Animus Solutions.

The ITIL Guide to SAM highlights several possible problems that may arise when implementing Software Asset Management projects. In this series we look at some of those issues and how organisations can address them using Phara’s hands-on experience.

Part One – Conflict with Decentralisation Culture
Part Two – Lack of Senior Management Support
Part Three – Lack of Clear Responsibilities
Part Four – Customized vs. Off-the-shelf SAM Software
Part Five – Poor Communication
Part Six – Lack of End User Support
Part Seven – Underestimating Software Recognition
Part Eight – Legal Requirements

In the first part of our series we covered Conflict with Decentralization Culture. In this part we look at Software Asset Management projects that fail due to lack of senior management support.

Lack of Senior Management Support

A lot of budgets and projects never see the light of day, or are cut by senior management who do not have all the facts regarding the need, or ultimate results.

The issue is not the project(s) or a lack of need, but a failure of the presenter to communicate in a language that senior executives understand. Busy CIOs, CTOs and CFOs are not just looking for cost reductions; they are also listening for how the project will resolve identified issues and a breakdown of immediate and long-term ROI.

In order to gain senior management support, there are 3 absolutes:

  1. Do your homework and understand the business challenges faced by senior management.
  2. Work with them to resolve these business challenges.
  3. Show the short-term and long-term cost analysis and other ROI.

In the case of enterprise software, it’s truly about how much – not if – your company is out of compliance. With software asset management programs, there is almost always an immediate ROI through cost efficiencies and savings. After an initial discovery process and establishment of standards and procedures, you can show senior management the gap in software assets and an actual cost savings.

Working with a Fortune 500 energy company, we worked with a VP of IT whose main objective were to acquire buy-in from executive management for her ITAM transformation project. The project would, in essence, be a centralized IT asset management system – including processes and policies – that would consistently manage IT assets throughout their lifecycle and address analysis, design and delivery processes for all initiatives. She knew that this initiative would resolve many of the energy company’s business gaps including SOX-related initiatives, show immediate financial savings and increase productivity.

By presenting a business case that included a project charter, a high-level implementation plan with milestones and timed rollout goals, we received buy-in from the CIO quickly and was able to complete the entire initiative within 4 weeks.

Animus Solutions is a management and IT consulting firm based in Tampa, Florida. The company provides best practices consulting and implementation services to accomplish IT asset management, software license compliance, ITIL-based IT security and services management goals. Animus can be found here.

What are your experiences with gaining senior management support? Have you any advice to share?

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the 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. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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