Delivering Inventory, SAM and License Management – How Many Tools do you Need?
Asset management is now a critical element of managing your IT estate and indeed the estate that falls out of IT’s remit!
With the rise of GDPR, the new Data Protection Act proposed by the government and cyber security knowing where all of your assets are and how data is accessed and stored is now top of the CIO’s agenda. This coupled with the ability to understand patching and risks associated means that asset management needs to be a top priority.
To this end, an inventory solution should be top of the shopping list, but will one solution suffice? The offerings from Snow, Flexera, Certero and others can often indicate that one solution will fit all scenarios, but organisations have often had challenges in covering 100% of the estate.
Due to the requirements of inventory, no longer is a mere deployment reporting tool sufficient, but the other usage consumption methods (E.g. Citrix or other application streaming / VDI technologies)
The challenge is whether one tool will do, additional tools will be required or a complete overhaul and a rip and replace approach is taken. What do you do?
Software Asset Management / Licence Management
Once the asset management has been addressed, a technology solution that can deal with the managing the software assets through its lifecycle is critical on three fronts:
- Commercial: manage your commercial risk and exposure
- Technical: liaise with technical to ensure they are aware of changes they make or strategy decisions currently planned or in-flight
- Operational: liaise with operations to ensure that technical decisions and commercial undertakings can be supported
Due to the changes from a perpetual device type metric to a more service orientated metric, software procurement has never seen so much change over the last 10 years.
To enable organisations to manage this has been a real challenge, as well as to keep this effectively managed ongoing through Business As Usual (‘BAU’).
Many of the effective inventory solutions noted above have software asset and licence management capabilities. The challenge is whether the same inventory tool will do, additional tools will be required or an augmentation approach is taken. What do you do?
Focus on the Outcome!
One positive point to make with the current market of asset management technology offerings is that there is a much more improved set of options available, but the elements of what you are trying to achieve should be foremost in your mind.
Utilising an outcome led solution that could include modules of multiple tools; quite often current toolsets are in place that will deliver sufficient outcomes, but data is disparately held and not integrated.
What needs to be understood is what is required to be the outcome:
- Do you understand the breadth and depth of your estate and what data you need from it?
- What platforms are in scope for coverage – Wintel, UNIX, Linux, Mac, Mobile, and Mainframe?
- Do you understand the current capability of your installed technologies and what the gaps are?
- What quality of data is required, is the current reporting comprehensive enough?
- Have you looked into additional requirements such as IT service management integration, Information Security requirements or other stakeholder’s requirements?
- Utilising Asset Management as a business service to deliver to other business stakeholders promotes a more collaborative approach
- From a SAM / LM perspective, have you defined a top 10 priority vendor list that contain the greatest risk to your organisation
- Not all risks should be treated equally!
- How agile is the solution to cater for the move to cloud services (public, private or hybrid) and how can the solution flex up and down based on changing demand?
- A different approach is required to manage cloud versus on premises
Overall the main outcome should be that all required data should be in a cleansed and accessible, reportable single pane of glass; whether that be a specific data aggregator from other solutions or a CMDB style centralised point.
The technology solutions will deliver outcomes, but are not silver bullet solutions. Aligned to ITIL, people, process and technology need to be considered in equal proportion.
“Silver bullets may kill werewolves, but won’t solve your asset management problem!”
SCC have developed a set of services to enable the following key stakeholders to be aligned to ensure that effective SAM / ITAM can be delivered to your business.
This allows a closer relationship on how IT assets are being used and the impact of change which can then benefit your business.
Contact SCC today: [email protected] to ask about of SAM Maturity Assessment offerings that will assist in generating a roadmap to enhance and optimise your software investments across its lifecycle.