by Paul Rudo on 14/12/11 at 6:26 pm
IT Asset Managers are restless, and with good reason. There is a definite increase in the number of software vendor audits which are taking place nationwide and it is becoming increasingly obvious that many companies don’t have sufficient confidence in their asset management tools to survive an audit unscathed – not an encouraging position to be in if you’re the one responsible for managing and reporting on IT assets across the corporate network.
According to IT analyst firm, Gartner, the average organisation now stands around a 55 per cent chance of being audited by at least one software vendor in any given 12-month period. Software vendors are feeling the pinch in these difficult economic times and audits are a source of much-needed income which cannot be ignored. The vendor has every right, under its EULA, to audit any company’s software usage.
When asking why it is that IT asset managers are not confident with their Software Asset Management (SAM) tools it is apparent that the blame for purchasing the wrong product needs to be shared. A combination of over-selling on the salesman’s part and a lack of complete understanding by the IT staff, are both contributory factors.
It is easy for a salesman to offer, for example, a product that imports audit information from a third-party discovery tool, but what the IT Manager needs to be checking is whether it can only import a sub-set of the audit data which has limited value for licensing. Similarly, a salesman might promise 100 per cent automatic software recognition when the tool isn’t actually automatic at all resulting in extra work and extra expenditure. In other words the IT Manager must be confident in knowing exactly what he needs and ask more complex questions – not just “if” but “how” – in order to avoid purchasing the wrong SAM tool and find that the chosen toolset does not provide the quality of information required.
Perhaps part of the blame can be attributed to the fact that IT Asset Management (ITAM) solutions, are no longer delivering what their users need from them as organizations move their focus toward software licensing and optimizing the value of investments.
The solution? For IT Managers to find the right toolset to deliver the level of information that’s required to really manage software entitlements effectively they need to look at license management and software asset management each in their own right, and select a comprehensive ITAM solution and a dedicated Licence Management overlay that works alongside the ITAM toolset.
About The Author: N. Winters is an expert writer for LicenseDashboard, a leading provider of asset management tools.