Avoid The Hidden Corner of Software Asset Management

By Beth Kaminski

Does your home have that hidden corner where things that you don’t need seem to pile up, accumulate, collect? That corner that you keep saying you are going to clean up next week. Or even more likely you are waiting on someone else in your household to organize? However, when guests come to your home you close the door. Simply pretend it’s not there.

Software shelf ware fits this description quite well. Technologies change, employees come and go, newer, shinier functionality catches the organization’s eye. Audits come in house and you have limited resources to address them. No clear processes around when or how applications should be decommissioned. All these factors can lead to a virtual software corner that begs for attention as it is taking up precious expense dollar shelves.

Prevent this expensive pile up in the first place by addressing the following processes:

  • User profiling to ensure that all employees only are assigned the functionality needed
    • Define the functionality that each type of user in your organization may require.
    • Review regularly.
  • Define onboarding/off boarding software processes
    • User profiles should be used for new hires and intercompany transfers.
    • Be restrictive as possible in requesting additional software outside the user profiles at onboarding.
    • Ensure timely removal of terminated employees to release software for further use.
  • Provide sufficient advance notice on software renewals.
    • Ensure that all software renewals are accounted for as you would the entitlement.
    • Establish a renewal database that includes the terms of the termination requirements.
    • Send out notices to stakeholders with enough upfront time to meet termination requirements.
  • Contract review process
    • Review all contracts for proposed software procurement.
    • Determine whether it is a duplication/replacement of functionality in place.
    • Review what the exit strategy for this functionality might entail.
    • Reevaluate established software contracts every 3 to 5 years for shelf ware.

Keeping your SAM corner organized on an ongoing basis is a way to avoid unnecessary software expense. Establish processes to avoid that expensive software clutter that tends to accumulate over the years in an organization.

About the Author

Beth is currently the ITAM Program Manager at Dart Container in Mason, MI. She has 20+ years of ITAM experience and started her first SAM practice team when the discipline was in its infancy. She is passionate about SAM’s future.