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.
Why do Software Asset Management projects fail?
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 this part we take a look at the role of correctly identifying installed software in a successful SAM implementation.
Underestimating the effort required to identify installed software is a common failure point in SAM projects.
A new PC, fresh from your supplier with minimal applications will still have thousands of files installed. Best practice software asset management suggests that we should take a look at each one of those files to see if it represents an application we need to manage. A simpler alternative is to simply look at Add and Remove programs within the registry but this has its limitations.
The first challenge is to identify what is this application? Do I need a license for it? Is it part of a suite? what version is it? are there any specific terms and conditions pertinent to this installation? how many people can access it? and so on.
The results of software recognition from different ITAM technologies can vary significantly and
users should be cautious of any vendor that offers to ‘Recognise all applications automatically’.
Often there is a significant amount of effort in sifting through results, normalising the data (e.g. Microsoft, Microsoft Inc, Microsoft Limited etc) and deciding which applications need to be managed.
I would also recommend benchmarking the software recognition abilities of ITAM technology in a live environment before investing in any technology.
What are your experiences of software recognition in SAM projects?
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 is 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.