In sports, a new coach typically means new ideas, a new mindset, fresh thinking, and a few innovations that break up the ‘this is how we always do it’ mentality.

When Eddie Jones took over the English rugby team, he was quick to implement a new vision for the pursuit of excellence. Techniques that included the use of boxing gloves to simulate fatigue, drones to watch training sessions, and using different shaped balls to improve skill levels.

It was an approach based on a simple premise: every competing team faces the same challenges, but we’re going to overcome them with our own unique take on the solution.

Sprawling IT environments

Similar challenges have plagued the SAM community for years. Where progress is hampered by a lack of transparency and visibility, made worse by the growing scale and complexity of today’s IT environments:

The cost of software audits

At the same time, the general consensus among businesses is that the frequency and number of software audits are growing. In fact, only two years ago the percentage of companies facing compliance audits was 61%. And of course with audits come an unexpected cost:

Overcoming software complexity

Visibility into who’s using what and where is always going to be critical. Particularly as the task of software asset management is growing in complexity. Gone are the days where IT licenses spanned ‘just’ desktops and servers. Now, the SAM professional has to tackle smartphones, tablets, BYOD policies, virtual machines, and of course: the cloud.

And it’s here that any new coach would be expected to introduce new techniques and fine-tune existing skill sets to ensure the business is able to meet its SAM objectives:

  • Reduce the risk of unbudgeted software costs with details of all license usage
  • Demonstrate compliance with each vendor’s T&Cs
  • Ensure the business is only paying for the actual licenses needed
  • Utilize all investments to the fullest potential
  • Enter vendor negotiations with a clear picture of actual usage
  • Document and enforce software-related policies and procedures

Knowing what’s needed

As for the ‘how’ behind delivering these techniques, new capabilities are certainly going to be required. But before these are identified and catalogued, there’s an important middle step: asking yourself what you really need to expand on current abilities?

Typically the answers to this question include the ability to:

1. Review

  • Benchmark your software usage
  • Identify any potential process disconnects
  • Confirm alignment between contractual entitlements and actual usage

2. Implement:

  • Ensure governance with your SAM suppliers, outsourcers, and partners
  • Deliver contextual information to support endpoint discovery and license reports
  • Collaborate with IT and non-IT teams globally to support their data collection efforts

3. Optimize:

  • Work to constantly refine the actions described above
  • Automatically track asset maturity
  • Understand the ‘next best action’, and receive informed recommendations

With ever-growing complexity in SAM, a good ‘next move’ is to expand on basic discovery and license management tools – with insights into various layers of connectivity, data direction, and asset clarification.

Introduce your own fresh thinking

The end goal is to develop a contextual view of your existing asset base, alongside a structured understanding of your entire environment. Combine these capabilities with software audit and license management technology and you’ll have a 360° view of your entire SAM infrastructure. To help, SoftwareONE has recently developed a tool that does precisely that.

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