Asset Management

Software asset management (SAM) is a business practice that involves managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software applications within an organization. According to the  Information Technology Infrastructure  Library (ITIL), SAM is defined 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. Fundamentally intended to be part of an organization’s information technology  business strategy, the goals of SAM are to reduce  information technology (IT) costs and limit business and legal risk related to the ownership and use of software, while maximizing IT responsiveness and end-user  productivity.[2] SAM is particularly important for large corporations in regards to 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. Both are important forms of risk management and are critical for large corporations' long-term business strategies.

SAM is one facet of a broader business  discipline known as  IT asset management, which includes overseeing both software and hardware that comprise an organiza tion’s computers and network.

A number of technologies are available to support key SAM processes:

  • Software inventory tools intelligently “discover” software installed across the  computer  network, and collect software file information such as title, product ID, size, date, path, and version.
  • License managersolutions 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 monitor the utilization of software applications across a network. They can also provide real-time enforcement of compliance for applications licensed based on usage.
  • Application control tools 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 automate and regulate the deployment of new software.
  •  Patch management tools automate the deployment of software patches to ensure that computers are up-to-date and meet applicable security and efficiency standards.

 
 
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