License Demand Management
Have you invested in SAM infrastructure, spent time persuading processes to stick and hired an awesome team; only for compliance issues to keep rearing their ugly heads?
I recently had a chat with Chris Morgan of Astute Licensing on this topic. We discussed the fact that many organizations focus on reaching a balance, or compliance position, without enough focus given to the root causes of what caused the headaches.
“Even with a world class SAM practice, risks continue to re-occur,” said Chris.
You can take admin rights away and build a slick, automated system for user to request assets to address desktop SAM, but how do you address the wild west of Datacentre SAM?
“Process” is the answer of course. Chris argues these get stuck on the wall or buried in SharePoint sites and never read. What can we do to make them stick? “If you are not looking at future demand you are not covering the full picture,” argues Chris.
Addressing the plethora of changes going on across an organization is a key competency in any modern ITAM practice. We’ve dedicated a whole module of the 12 Box and Practical IT Asset Manager course to this topic, the key principle is that you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the business as they are making decisions, addressing risk on the front end, rather than trying to clear up the mess afterwards. Learn more about the TRANSITION module here:
As the image below suggests, changes across your estate can be grouped into six major areas. Specifically for the datacentre the key recommendation is to work with Change Control and the Project Office to identify new stuff being built or deployed for proactive ITAM.
Necessity is the mother of invention
So, bored waiting for SAM tools to address this area, Chris went away and built something himself. A SaaS solution for Software Asset Managers to get ahead of the demand curve and understand what is really happening in the datacentre, on premise or in the cloud. Learn more about “Astute License Demand Management” here: http://www.astutelicensing.com/ending-risk
This new innovative offering is a natural extension to SAM tools and App Portals. It does for Datacentre SAM what App stores and good SAM tools do for desktop.
Automating Datacentre SAM Processes
Experienced Software Asset Managers with good reputations become mavens, assisting Project Managers in making best use of their project budgets and avoiding compliance bullets. This new innovation is a way of industrializing that process at scale. It offers governance, automation and embedded processes without having to refer to Visio charts. As with the App store experience for end users, Project Managers can get licensing support and costing on their projects from a central repository and system, rather than firing off emails without an audit trail.
The end result is a slick support tool for project managers or the people that build new things in IT and good visibility of future demand based on real projects in the pipeline rather than guesswork. Software Asset Managers can get ahead of the game and give REAL CASH back to the business in terms of reduced capital spend that was previously allocated against projects. Imagine forecasting and planning an Enterprise Agreement for Microsoft, Oracle or IBM with good visibility about all planned potential projects for the next two years.
As with any other SAM technology, this is not a silver bullet that will instantly kill your compliance vampires, you would need to enforce with the powers that be in your organization that any new project was only approved if the license impact had been ratified by this system. But what a great way to forecast future demand and kill compliance root causes at source.
If traditional SAM tools are showing a ledger, a balance of profit and loss, then these new tools from Astute licensing are forecasting future cash flow. Great innovation; well done Chris and team.
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.