Most of the customers I speak with agree that having a Software Asset Management (SAM) plan is a REALLY GOOD IDEA. A significant number of them then tell me that they can’t afford the project. My question back to them is: ”How can you afford NOT to have a SAM strategy?”
Consider this: the risks of not having a SAM process in place are several and include:
- Potential fines from publisher audits
- Risk of non-compliance with regard to various regulations
- Risk of damaged reputation
- Risk of paying TOO MUCH for software.
Of these, only number four can be quantified with anything approaching defensible numbers. The other risks can be explored with legal and may form additional arguments in support of your business case.
For example: a typical organization may have purchased software not only through IT or procurement, but also via the business unit or individuals who feel that they need to have software X and can’t wait for the official approval. Guess what? You have now lost control. Not only have you lost control, you have also lost the ability to consolidate titles under one publisher to get a better licensing structure.
Does the average end user really understand licensing or the different types of software that can meet their needs? Can you trust the business units to ensure that they aren’t paying for software that is already in house? What happens when the day comes that you update their operating system or the application they purchased needs to be upgraded without loss of data or functionality? IT is on the hook, and it’s an unpleasant situation for all parties.
As you begin putting together your business case to support the SAM project, you can make generalizations based on industry averages and go from there. For example, “The average savings per endpoint is $400.” For a 1000 user business, this adds up to real money quickly and helps defuse that argument about not affording the project right away.
For more specific numbers that are based on actual savings for your business, you can engage in a proof of concept to install a solution in your environment to determine the extent of the problem. Either way, you come out ahead. The key is to get started and to look at the project as an opportunity, not as a problem.
For more information about starting a SAM plan check out this white paper from CDW