In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, companies are realizing they can no longer afford to treat IT and Software Asset Management (IT/SAM) as an initiative to implement “when time allows.” It is rapidly becoming a strategic imperative compelled by the need to keep IT costs in line and manage the risk associated with IT assets, while achieving maximum value from existing and future IT investments. Gartner Research validates this trend, estimating that “Enterprises that systematically manage the life cycle of their IT assets will reduce cost per asset by as much as 30 percent during the first year, and between 5 percent and 10 percent annually during the next five years.”
As more and more organizations embrace IT/SAM practices, they find that the savings generated by these programs usually pay for the necessary investment many times over.

Specifically, the implementation of effective IT/SAM programs has helped companies:

1) Reduce TCO related to IT assets by eliminating time-consuming manual audits, determining where an organization is overspending on software licenses and reducing help desk costs.
2) Manage technology change by developing software procurement models that map to current and future needs and by collecting data that assists with technology migration and upgrade planning.
3) Minimize security risks by preventing the use of unauthorized software and enforcing desktop standards.
4) Limit compliance risk by identifying PCs with unlicensed applications, preventing employees from using unlicensed software and producing accurate reports to vendors in the event of an audit.

Although the reasons for adopting an IT/SAM program are many, IT managers frequently have a difficult time justifying an increase in spending to procure yet another application that promises to deliver a panacea of business benefits, while making their jobs easier—much less develop and implement processes and dedicate personnel to support that application. IT managers are consequently required to demonstrate an unqualified and immediate return on any IT investment.

Organizations have a great deal to gain in terms of savings from a relatively small investment in an IT/SAM tool and the processes that support it. The insight obtained from a best-of-breed tool can help companies with a broad range of challenges, including controlling IT costs, planning for new technology roll-outs, managing security risks and remaining compliant with software licensing agreements. While the cost savings vary from organization to organization based on each company’s unique situation and needs, an IT/SAM tool is an integral part of any asset management program, and the costs to implement such a tool generally far outweigh the necessary investment.

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