Have you ever noticed how cyclical everything seems to be in this world? Well, one of the cycles I’ve watched since the early 1990’s has been Software Asset Management.
The cycle (at least in the US, I frankly didn’t track it much internationally) seems to be: Avoiding the topic, Awareness of an issue, Deciding to do something about the problem, Doing a full fledged project, Pairing that project down, Letting nature take care of itself and then the cycle starts again.
Obviously there may be some missing stages and some more “refined” terms than those I used but the basic concept is the same. When times are lush we seem to get into this phase where we feel the need to do a full bore SAM methodology but as soon as money and resources get tight we abandon the methodology in favor of “just making due”.
This topic has been reinforced to me lately through two things: (1) a brand new client who emphasized the desire to have a “ala carte” proposal for SAM implementation – our existing clients know that providing options is the ONLY way we work, and (2) reading a fellow SAM practioner’s (Kylie Fowler) blog which focuses on the “practical” side of ITAM and SAM (check it out…some great information).
In all our methodologies, let’s not loose sight of the basic concept here…SAM is supposed to save money, manage risk and provide the business with the technology tools needed to be competitive. None of this requires complexity, extraordinary costs and it should all fit easily into common sense business practices.
If you’re finding yourself ignoring your SAM methodology to run your business, do a quick re-evaluation of the methodology. What is valuable and what is just extra work? Streamline it, modify it, replace it with something simpler…do what you have to do, but don’t abandon or ignore it altogether as you’ll then be doomed to repeat the cycle (losing out on all those great cost savings and risk management in the meantime!).
If this is still too much for your business right now – consider outsourcing your SAM. We do this for a number of clients and they’ve found that (a) our costs are ridiculously low compared to in=house, (b) we typically save them more than our annual fee in increased savings, and (c) it frees their staff up to focus on running the business. Talk to me if this is of interest to you.