Budget-conscious companies looking to cut IT expenses should start with their software asset management SAM- policies and procedures. Done right, SAM can reduce IT software costs by as much as 30 percent annually as well as mitigate the financial risks of improper software management. It can also help protect a company s reputation now that software titans like Microsoft and Autodesk are conducting license compliance audits more aggressively. Software investments are also a major component of any company s financial profile. For a company to be in full compliance with Sarbanes Oxley, it must report all assets accurately. A solid SAM strategy helps firms maintain up-to-date inventories of their software, ensuring accurate financial and tax statements. Poor documentation and weak license control are at the root of software license compliance problems. According to one study, 95 percent of companies have inaccurate information about the number and configuration of their IT assets. Software licenses are often scattered across business units rather than stored centrally. And there is little accountability pressure to deter employees from installing unauthorized application copies on their PCs. Good SAM programs centralize software management across an enterprise, cuts software cost, ensures license compliance and enforces entitlement. Yet despite these benefits, fewer than 10 percent of companies currently do SAM at optimized levels, if at all. SAM combines IT service management and asset lifecycle management processes. Ensuring that a company is in complete control of the purchase, usage, distribution, and disposal of its software assets requires both technology tools and business processes. New business processes must define a corporate-wide software usage policy in order to be successful. In other words, software asset management is best achieved through an implementation that combines ITIL the Information Technology Infrastructure Library- disciplines and best practice asset life cycle management. Source and full article: line56.coma>

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