Just like a racehorse wearing blinkers, every organization has ‘blind spots’ in its IT environment. You know the form: a lack of visibility into devices, products, or services that can leave you unsure of who’s using what – or even where and when they’re doing it.

Blind spots that only serve to make the task of Software Asset Management (SAM) an even bigger challenge to overcome.

This is particularly true when it comes to ‘entitlement’, and ensuring adequate software licensing is in place to cover business needs. Get this wrong and you can end up paying for more than you need, or risk falling out of compliance and receiving a large unbudgeted fine!

Runners and riders: the top 5

So where are these blind spots? Well, based on our experiences of managing complex software environments, we've listed below the top five any IT Manager should be aware of when looking to reduce compliance risk and run a more efficient operation:

#1 - Cloudy outlook

Businesses today continue to move applications into the cloud. However, they will often find that licensing agreements for these apps are still rooted in the on-premise world. Hence why many businesses are desperately seeking a way to understand how moving their applications from on-premise to cloud will impact these agreements.

#2 - Finding what can’t be found

It’s a simple fact that during an audit process user devices can be turned off, may lack network access, or be isolated/restricted due to the presence of sensitive information. Identifying every device or software instance in such scenarios (especially where devices are regularly taken off-premises), can quickly become an exercise in futility for even the most dedicated of SAM teams.

#3 - Bring-your-own license

This blind spot occurs with employee-owned devices that don’t afford access rights for audit purposes. For SAM teams this leads to an obvious question: how can we manage licenses when employees are using their own device to install software specifically for work purposes? Finding the answer can be difficult, leaving many organizations struggling to gain access to personal devices – while still respecting the individual’s privacy.

#4 - No such thing as free

There’s no shortage of ‘free’ software available for employees to download with a few clicks. What’s more, introducing these apps typically requires no involvement from IT – and therefore no visibility. What many users don't realize however is that an online service may only be free when used for personal use, with the company becoming liable for a license if and when it’s used for business purposes.

#5 - Check what you can’t see

When surrounded by smart devices, it’s easy to overlook the basics in the search for greater productivity. For example, take a Unified Communication platform: once it’s deployed can the SAM team be confident they’re able to monitor actual usage of the VoIP system? The reality is that with so many devices attempting to gain access, many will be ignored (especially those without a formal user interface), thereby introducing significant risk into the operation.

Visibility needed!

To avoid these blind spots, businesses are increasingly turning to monitoring tools and services that give them real-time visibility of all software in use across the board.

However, due to the complexity of modern IT estates, this can be easier said than done. Which is why many businesses look to partner with a specialist to help deepen the licensing insights available to them.

Such services can deliver considerable benefits by carrying out the legwork with specialized systems that:

  • Contact software manufacturers on your behalf
  • Establish software usage rights
  • Negotiate agreements
  • Present the information in an easy-to-digest format

 

Unleash your own business thoroughbred

Interested in finding a clear, concise and professional solution? Then hold your horses! COMPAREX SAM Specialists can help deliver all the above, and give a proper head start on the competition.

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