Software Asset Management – Luxury or Necessity?

I was speaking with a friend to day who asked me the question…is what you do a necessity or a luxury? I immediately responded that SAM is a necessity – but at the same time it made me really think about his question and about why he was asking it.

He’s a mortgage broker – and if you’ve watched the news at all, you know that there is a lot of pain going on in that industry. However; there is a lot of pain going on in a lot of industries right now, which is why he asked the question. If you think about it, while SAM is always important and there are always significant business reasons to do it – when things are tough financially and operationally it makes it even more important.

You can look at the figures all over and you will constantly see evidence that SAM saves companies around 30% on software costs in year one and about 10% on an annual basis. When you factor in the soft dollar savings on increased operational efficiency the savings go up dramatically. I know these numbers to be true based upon the results our clients have seen.

You could make the argument that while SAM is important, companies don’t need to hire consultants to do it for them so the hiring of a firm such as ours could be considered a luxury. True, companies can do it themselves…but unless you’re going to invest the time, money and energy to train someone within your organization to become a SAM expert – you will probably expend a fair amount of personnel time and then turn around and hire a professional when you don’t get the results you’re expecting.

Implementing a SAM program frequently involves a lot of esoteric knowledge – knowledge that is not necessary for ongoing maintenance but is necessary to provide the accurate evaluation of the current license and process status. Hire a professional to set up your program – let them put their expertise to work for you and train your staff on what it will take to maintain the program going forward.

So, unless you’re not going to buy software – SAM becomes even more important to you in lean times as it saves you considerable money, and hiring a professional to set up your program allows you to leverage their historical knowledge and expertise while at the same time ensuring that your staff only has to learn the pertinent information to maintain your program.

Has your company established a SAM program? Did you do it yourself or hire a professional? What was the outcome?

All postings are the property of Cynthia Farren Consulting (