Software Asset Management
Software Asset Management (SAM) is a continual challenge in any organisation. SAM
relies on so many processes and procedures to bring SAM under control and to keep it under control. Staff
behaviour also has a huge influence on process and procedural control, this will need careful attention
in organisations that have poor behavioural practices.
Organisation culture is an
important influence on SAM. If you have a culture of heroes then they will be more focussed on a quick win
to look like an achiever and forget about SAM implications. This is contrast to a more professional culture
that delivers based on the organisations priorities, rather than individual priorities. This is very hard to
address, except to have systems in place that can monitor and report when there are unauthorised software
Organisation heroes usually exists
where there is weak or no organisational service management structure. To address this situation, you will
need to form a close alliance to the service management owner to have SAM considered as an important
component of service management. This should not be too hard to do, as ITIL includes software in its
processes. Inexperienced service management people usually quote chapter and verse from ITIL, so the control
of software releases should be an easy agreement to reach.
IT security should be an ally in
SAM. The threat of unlicensed software, malicious code within software and patching levels of software are
all key issues for IT security. The challenges that SAM faces would be shared by IT security, the benefit
for SAM is that IT security should have a lot of influence in your organisation and you could have them take
up a number of key SAM challenges on your behalf.
Executive support and authority is
fundamental to SAM. To imbed and to have ongoing process and procedural control, then policy will need
to be underpinning these controls. The policy should be written to ensure it covers all of the SAM guiding
principles, be broad enough to give flexibility but not to flexible that it is easy for staff to not abide
by the policy. The policy may require a number of supporting policies to make it effective. In order to
implement a policy, the executive will in most organisations be required to sign off on it, to enable it to
This article on Software Asset
Management challenges has covered some of the issues that fall within these subject. There are a number of
additional requirements and strategies on this subject. More in-depth information will become available in
the topic specific articles and in-depth information articles.
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