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Whitepaper: Six stages to building a valuable SAM practice

6479063181_6feafaa8e6_zI recently co-authored a whitepaper with Jim Barrett from Dimension Data entitled “Six stages to building a valuable SAM practice”. You can find a direct link to the whitepaper here (no registration required).

Executive Summary

This paper provides a modern and practical approach to building a valuable Software Asset Management (SAM) function within your business. 

The six stages recommended allow a Software Asset Manager to focus their efforts to deliver the biggest impact and aim for a status of ‘audit ready’ with software publishers. Through accurate record keeping delivered by SAM, a valuable practice will deliver reduced software compliance risk, increased IT procurement efficiency and greater agility for the whole IT department.

Six stages to building a modern SAM Practice 

A summary of the six stages is provided below, download the full whitepaper here.

STAGE 1. Assessing SAM Maturity

IT professionals attempting to get started with SAM may feel slightly overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the task. With so many software titles and devices in use across the organization, constant change and vast quantities of data – where should you start?

STAGE 2. Developing a Powerful Business Case

SAM delivers compelling business value for any organization; but to build a powerful business case that stakeholders will buy into for many years to come, we recommend that Software Asset Managers build a customized business plan tailored to the unique attributes of their organization.

STAGE 3. Selecting Relevant Tooling

A valuable SAM practice is a combination of Process, People and Technology. SAM technology and services are an important element of delivering a valuable SAM practice.

SAM technology should help you with some of the heavy lifting associated with maintaining good records: register of assets, users, devices and systems, automating processes where possible and helping Software Asset Managers identify and interpret their assets and entitlements.

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STAGE 4. Efficiency and Automation through Smarter Processes

Processes are the checks and balances required to maintain a good view of our IT assets. Implementing processes allows an organization to mature from the state of running periodic ‘true-ups’ to maintaining an up to date record at all times.

STAGE 5. Maintaining Audit Ready Status

Software audits are a fact of life and also present a massive distraction from key projects and business as usual. However it may not be worthwhile or realistic to monitor compliance at all times. This is equivalent to providing 100% availability of a service that’s only seldom required – it is overkill. Instead, we recommend that organizations strive to aim for the status of ‘audit ready’. That is, if a Software Asset Manager receives a request for an audit – whether via internal audit or external software publisher request – the SAM team is prepared for it.

STAGE 6. Building a Virtual SAM Team

A final consideration when building a world-class modern SAM practice is a balanced team. A fundamental part of your business case (which we explored in stage two) is building resource in your team to deliver against the plan and meet your objectives.

This whitepaper has been co-authored by Jim Barrett from Dimension Data and Martin Thompson from The ITAM Review. You can find a direct link to the whitepaper here (no registration required).

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals.

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.

One Comment

  1. Good work. I would like to comment on the statement made about the ISO standard being to comprehensive for most organisations. This was true for the 2006 edition but the 2012 edition introduced a staged adoption approach which by my account makes the ISO standard far more useful that the SOM. The 3rd release of the ISO standard will expand upon the concept of demonstrating process outcome and add assessment criteria for evaluating process effectiveness. The ISO standard is more complete and aligned with other frameworks for corporate governance of IT allowing SAM to integrate with existing IT controls frameworks. If a Software Asset Manager wish to influence top management, use and integrate with existing governance frameworks (as the ISO standard is designed to do) instead of introducing new vendor driven methodologies and terminology that will never reach beyond the IT department.

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