Software asset management (SAM) is a business imperative for a multitude of reasons. Having proper and mature SAM will allow your business to stay in compliance with license agreements, stay proactive about software audits, and dodge costly fines. In many ways, SAM is the backbone of a strong and secure IT landscape.

As we look to the future, however, SAM has the potential to move beyond simply being a mainstay of compliance. Instead, we will likely see the use of SAM evolve into an integral component of overall business intelligence (BI) strategy. Let’s look further into the necessary steps for making SAM a part of your organization’s BI plan.

Steps to Integrate SAM into Your Business Intelligence Strategy

Asset management teams can easily fall into a rut when it comes to SAM. There are typically one or two main managers of a SAM program, who focus on ensuring each software deployment is compliant. While compliance is certainly important, involving collaboration with many stakeholders, moving beyond this single focus can open up a world of opportunity within this SAM role, especially as it pertains to business development.

Identify Business Needs for Digital Transformation

As organizations move forward with digital transformation, SAM and SAM teams stand to play an important role in business enablement. One way SAM does this is through data collection. Not only does having a strong software asset management plan keep your company out of trouble when it comes to audits or potentially expensive true ups, it also provides you with a wealth of data that can be used to make smarter business decisions and can guide your digital transformation strategy.

Having this kind of data will allow you to examine user behavior and see if there are places you could potentially discontinue or repurpose software licenses. Or, you could see where it would be a smart choice to move to the cloud. Ultimately, organizations who examine SAM data with an eye towards business intelligence will have a stronger understanding of what their business needs are and what types of features they need out of a tool to meet those needs. This understanding is crucial to digital transformation.

As every department vies for the resources to digitize, SAM teams can determine where resource allocation can make the biggest impact on overall business goals. With all of this data at hand, SAM teams must look beyond compliance to determine how to further utilize it to maximize benefits for the organization.

Collaborate with Key Stakeholders

SAM is not linked to any one department in particular, although some may view it as squarely a problem for IT. In fact, several departments are integral to the successful deployment and ongoing maintenance of a SAM program. These include finance teams, IT teams, procurement teams, and security teams – to name a few. Beyond these key stakeholders in the upkeep of the program, SAM teams must be in contact with each line of business that deploys software, which today is all of them. This is the only way to ensure there is a clear understanding of business needs and software use across departments. This business intelligence will assist in minimizing instances of shadow IT while enabling the deployment of tools that will maximize productivity on the road to achieving long-term business goals.

Consider bi-weekly or even monthly meetings to touch base with your colleagues on potential purchases or deployments so that everything is properly reviewed and guided in the right direction. After all, making SAM a part of your BI strategy is all about keeping open and consistent communication.

Get Your Team on Board with Added Benefits

Think of the data you have and how it can be leveraged to benefit those around you. Events such as cyber attacks and compromising data breaches are a threat to the whole company, not just one particular department. Let your colleagues know that a SAM tool and well-maintained SAM program will provide a layer of security to your IT environment, ensuring you have a clear outline of applications deployed within your network.

Plus, even though 53 percent of companies understand the importance of a hybrid approach to IT, 90 percent say they still have apprehensions about moving to the cloud. Understanding the security a SAM tool offers can help to ease those fears and offer visibility into which workloads should be moved to the cloud and which should remain on premises.

Finally, SAM reduces costs. While that is one of the most general benefits SAM can provide, it is certainly one to play up to your organization. For instance, Gartner states that organizations can cut 30 percent of spending on software licenses by carrying out best practices such as leveraging a SAM tool. If your business remains proactive about SAM, then you will not be hit with any surprise fines or other fees. Even better, the money you save can be put right back into bettering your business.

Solidifying Your Strategy

At the end of the day, incorporating SAM into your BI strategy is a wise decision. When everyone begins to work towards an efficient and easy-to-adopt SAM policy, you will see the added benefits it will bring to your organization.