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Software asset management

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Title: Software asset management  
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Subject: Software, Belarc, ISO/IEC 19770, IQuate, License manager
Collection: Information Technology Management
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Software 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 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 regard 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 network.


  • Role within organizations 1
  • Role in other financial aspects 2
  • SAM Technology 3
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4
  • Issues with scalability 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
    • External links 7.1

Role within organizations

SAM can serve many different functions within organizations, depending on their software portfolios, IT infrastructures, resource availability, and business goals.

For many organizations, the goal of implementing a SAM program is very tactical in nature, focused specifically on balancing the number of software piracy in the event of an audit by a software vendor or a third party such as the Business Software Alliance (BSA). SAM, according to this interpretation, involves conducting detailed software inventories on a periodic basis to determine the exact number of software consumption, comparing this information with the number of licenses purchased, reviewing how the software is being used in respect to the terms and conditions and establishing controls to ensure that proper licensing practices are maintained on an ongoing basis. This can be accomplished through a combination of IT processes, purchasing policies and procedures, and technology solutions such as software inventory tools.[3]

Counting installations is the most common means of measuring license consumption but some software is licensed by number of users, capital, processors or CPU Cores.

More broadly defined, the strategic goals of SAM often include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Reduce software and support costs by negotiating volume contract agreements and eliminating or reallocating underutilized software licenses[2]
  • Enforce compliance with corporate security policies and desktop/server/mobile standards
  • Improve worker productivity by deploying the right kinds of technology more quickly and reliably[2]
  • Limit overhead associated with managing and supporting software by streamlining and/or automating IT processes (such as inventory tracking, software deployment, issue tracking, and patch management)[4]
  • Establish ongoing policies and procedures surrounding the acquisition, documentation, deployment, usage and retirement of software in an effort to recognize long-term benefits of SAM[5]

Role in other financial aspects

Fund management plays very vital role in maintaining big aspects in financial management too. It formulates the organized cash flow projections. It maintains expenses, taxes, leverage costs and interest income transactions, analyse them care fully.[6]

Use in financial Aspects

  • Know driving returns on investments
  • Cash Shortfalls, deferred payments, leverage costs etc.
  • Calculate different leverage options and Analyzing the effects on these returns
  • Maintain systematic and centralized fund modeling, and analysis

SAM Technology

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.
  • 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.[7]
  • 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.
  • Request management tools allow employees to place requests for software products using a centralized form and process specifically designed to capture and assess specific license requirements as well as to manage and track the procurement and deployment process.
  • Product catalog tools capture product specific information such as name, edition, version and license agreement types as well as other key top level information for products used within the business. This information normalizes product naming conventions with the organization and allows mapping between other technologies tools used in the composite SAM solution.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

In 2003, the [9]

ISO/IEC 19770-2:2009 – Part 2: Software identification tag;[10] establishes specifications for tagging software to optimize its identification and management.

Using software identification tags or SWID tags makes discovery a simpler and more accurate process that can be verified by software vendors if they audit an organisations entire estate.

Issues with scalability

An example of issues faced when scaling up discovery tools is with Microsoft's System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM). Using metering rules to monitor software deployment and usage across a small estate is relatively easy and reliable given the total number of unique executables (.exe files) and the number of instances of each executable. Turning on metering rules for every packaged application and every executable in a large estate quickly makes the volume of data generated unmanageable and expensive to maintain.

See also


  1. ^ ITIL’s Guide to Software Asset Management
  2. ^ a b c "International Standard". International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission. 2006-05-01. p. 5. 
  3. ^ "What is SAM?". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  4. ^ "International Standard". International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission. 2006-05-01. p. 19. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft Software Asset Management: Step-by-Step Training - Step 4". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  6. ^ Asset Management | Asset Management Software
  7. ^ Ogren, Eric (2006-11-03). "Application control coming your way". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  8. ^ "International Standard". International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission. 2006-05-01. 
  9. ^ International Standard  
  10. ^

External links

  • Business Software Alliance (BSA)
  • Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)
  • 19770-1:2006
  • ISO/IEC Information Centre
  • International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA
  • International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM)
  • Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
  • Top 200 SAM Terms – A Glossary
  • The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL)
  • Australian Software Asset Management Association (ASAMA)
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