Organizations are always looking to save money however they can. One commonly neglected approach to savings is software asset management (SAM), which implements practices and tools to manage the acquisition, deployment, use, maintenance and disposal of software.

When used to its full potential, SAM can lead to impressive savings, particularly for organizations that have never made a significant effort to optimize their software resources. Gartner recently reported that infrastructure and operations leaders who implement just a few software license optimization best practices can cut software spending by as much as 30 percent.

Do you want to stop burning cash on a poorly managed software infrastructure? Here are five easily achievable, pain-free benefits from a SAM program that will save you money and time:

1. Improved Planning

SAM helps organizations save money by enabling IT managers to know the exact type and number of software licenses currently in use. Accurate record keeping automatically tracks purchases, terms and deployments, providing enhanced visibility into operations for short- and long-term planning. SAM can also be a powerful strategic tool for aligning operational goals with an organization’s IT infrastructure.

2. Optimized Contract Management

SAM automatically alerts IT staff to expiring software licenses. This feature can be a big money saver, since a missed renewal often means having to purchase a new license at a higher-than-renewal cost. Also, many organizations intentionally overbuy licenses — and waste money — simply because they don’t know the exact number they need to remain compliant. SAM always keeps track of the precise number of licenses needed for each application that’s currently in use, eliminating overspending.

3. Reharvesting of Software Licenses

When a user moves to a new role, is promoted or leaves an organization, it often becomes possible — and cost-effective — to reuse his or her software license on another user’s computer. This practice is known as license reharvesting or recycling. SAM-enabled licensing coordination makes the license transfer process easy and efficient, virtually eliminating any possibility of violating compliance terms.

4. Avoidance of Penalties and Fees

Organizations that are found noncompliant with a software license’s terms often face costs they never anticipated. An audit that reveals a software license deficit — or even instances of software being used outside of licensed boundaries — can result in fines far above the cost of paying for the unlicensed software already in use. And software audits are increasing. According to Gartner, 68 percent of organizations receive at least one audit request each year, a number that has climbed steadily since 2009. A properly implemented and supported SAM program offers the safest, easiest and most accurate way of staying on the right side of compliance and minimizing financial risks.

5. More Robust Security

SAM can help an organization’s IT team to prevent unauthorized software downloads. It can also be used to compile a list of authorized software from which operational units can then select the most appropriate options. Creating a list of authorized software, and ensuring that units purchase solutions only from that list, puts IT staff in a better position to enforce security, reducing the chance that the organization faces the potentially devastating costs associated with a major security breach.

To read more about SAM and other cost-saving measures, check out the CDW article, “The Case for Software Asset Management.”

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