Expertise in any discipline is achieved through experience. There is no other way it can be done. Software asset management is no different. It takes technology, time and process to achieve expertise. However, following some sound fundamentals, the expertise can be achieved in a methodical fashion in the shortest possible time. Care should to taken not to rush through or try too many things at the same time resulting in disaster.
You can begin with small steps and grow into a well experienced SAM expert. We shall discuss these steps now.
You must take stock of the situation and be well aware of the inventory and contract status. If this does not exist, it is better, to begin with it and set your house in order for conducting an audit. Trying to conduct an audit without the basic streamlining of inventory serves no purpose.
You must have a clear overall vision in your mind. What is the goal you are aiming for? What is the time frame that this has to be achieved in? Plan out a roadmap to accomplish your objective. Plan for contingencies, challenges, and stops along the way. Your SAM should be phased like a beginning phase, middle phase, and the ending phase. You must have extra time planned to overcome any unforeseen incidents.
3.Begin with Small Victories
You must begin with the simplest tasks like desktop software. Licenses based on devices could be a good place to begin too. The goal at this stage is to optimize a few key processes. This will result in reducing or stopping the non-compliance issues from occurring.
4.Demonstration of Improvement
Once you accomplish your small wins, you must demonstrate this achievement to the management. This is to gain the confidence and support of the management for continuing the plan of success. You can get more resources and better support to establish software asset management program that can help you reach end goals. A simple demonstration could be an accurate report of the inventory, currently used licenses against the entitlement. Thus showing the possible savings or potential exposure.
Always choose the right people to build your team. You must have the pertinent people with the required skill set to assist you. You must assess and be well aware of the skills that are not available to you and how they can cause challenges in implementing your plan. Maintain a professional work culture.
You must focus on training and certifications. This is essential as the publishers are incessantly changing their licensing models. The traditional SAM is undergoing a change. From the desktop, it is moving on to thin clients, mobile devices. Challenges are being mounted by SaaS.
During the journey of gaining expertise in software asset management, you must regularly review the progress and evaluate the achievements. SAM requires innovation on a continuous basis. You must be always prepared for the next surprise. In other words, expect the unexpected. It is not necessary to resolve all the risks but they must be planned for and understood.