Software Asset Management (SAM)

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Serge Brocard
Project Manager, Switzerland

Software Asset Management (SAM)

Hi, I'm looking for information and practical experiences on Software Asset Management (SAM) implementation. Greetings from Switzerland...



Software Asset Management

Software Asset Management (SAM) is the business practice of managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software applications within an organization.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) defines SAM as “…all of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control and protection of the software assets…throughout all stages of their lifecycle.”

SAM is a major part of the broader term "IT Asset Management". This last term includes overseeing both the software and the hardware that comprise an organization’s computers and network.

As a part of an organization’s IT strategy, SAM intends to:
  • Reduce information technology (IT) costs.
  • Limit business and legal risk related to the ownership and use of software. This is particularly important for large corporations. A major focus area is the redistribution of licenses and managing legal risks associated with software ownership and expiration. SAM technologies track license expiration, thus allowing the company to function ethically and within software compliance regulations. This can be important for both eliminating legal costs associated with license agreement violations and as part of a company's reputation management strategy.
  • Maximizing IT responsiveness and end-user productivity.
A number of technical instruments are used to support SAM:
  • Software Inventory tools: These intelligently find software installed across the company's network, and collect software file information like title, serial number, size, date, path, and version.
  • License Manager tools: These provide an intelligent repository for license entitlements which can then be reconciled against data provided by software inventory tools to provide the organization with an 'Effective License Position' or view of where the organization is under-licensed (at risk of a compliance audit) or over-licensed (wasting money on unnecessary software purchases).
  • Software Metering tools: These monitor the utilization of software applications across the company's network. These tools can also provide real-time enforcement of compliance for applications licensed based on usage.
  • Application Control tools: These restrict what and by whom particular software can be run on a computer as a means of avoiding security and other risks.
  • Software Deployment tools. These automate and regulate the deployment of new software.
  • Patch Management tools: These automate the deployment of software patches to ensure that computers are up-to-date and meet applicable security and efficiency standards.
  • Request Management tools: These allow employees to place requests for software products using a centralized form and process specifically designed to capture and assess specific license requirements as well as to manage and track the procurement and deployment process.
  • Product Catalog tools: These capture product specific information such as name, edition, version and license agreement types as well as other key top level information for products used within the business. This information normalizes product naming conventions with the organization and allows mapping between other technologies tools used in the composite SAM solution.
The latest ISO standard of IT Asset Management is 19770-1:2017.


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