How To Manage Software Assets and Maximize ROI - Dos and Don'ts

Clock icon
3
min read time
Calender
May 25, 2024
Share via:

You have probably invested a lot of resources into the best software to power your organization's operations.

However, without proper asset management, these investments can quickly spiral into excessive costs, compliance risks, and underused assets.

This is where software asset management (SAM) comes in. It is a crucial practice to take control of your SaaS stack.

Suppose you implement a good SAM and follow the do’s and don’ts. In that case, you will most likely optimize spending, ensure compliance with licensing regulations, and maximize the return on your software investments.

SAM helps you make the best decisions by providing accurate data on software usage and costs, streamlining processes through automation like asset tracking, and ultimately driving greater efficiency and productivity in your organization.

Why Is It Necessary To Manage Software Assets?

Control over stack: You need to manage your software assets to maintain control over your organization's software inventory and licenses. If you don’t, you can easily lose track of which assets you own, where they are deployed, and whether they comply with licensing terms.

Cost optimization: Managing software assets is necessary to optimize costs and avoid overspending. Unmanaged assets will likely lead to redundant purchases, excess licensing fees, and unnecessary maintenance costs. Proper management helps you right-size your investments.

Regulatory compliance: This is another good reason to manage your software assets. Many industries have strict regulations around software licensing and data privacy. Failing to manage assets properly could result in costly penalties and legal issues.

Maximum utilization: Effective software asset management ensures maximum utilization and derives total value from your SaaS stack. It helps identify underutilized or unused software so you can reallocate licenses and avoid waste.

Managing Software Assets: The Do’s and Don’Ts

Do’s

1. Do build a comprehensive inventory: Building a complete software inventory is crucial. Start by diligently listing every single software asset your organization owns or has installed, leaving no stone unturned.

Carefully document all asset details, including license quantities, contract terms, renewal dates, and authorized user counts. Next, the department or cost center allocated to each software asset should be accurately recorded.

With this detailed asset inventory, you will be able to maintain complete visibility and control over your software investments. Having a thorough asset record helps you manage licenses confidently, optimize contract terms, and avoid potential compliance penalties.

2. Do implement a tracking system: Implementing a strong tracking system is necessary to effectively manage your software assets from the cradle to the grave.

Track each asset, like licenses and contracts, from the moment of acquisition, carefully logging details like purchase date, vendor, license terms, and assigned users.

As the asset progresses through its lifecycle, continuously monitor its deployment status, usage patterns, and license compliance.

When it's time for license and contract renewal or disposal, your tracking system should guide you through the process and ensure you have a proper reallocation or decommissioning.

3. Do embrace automation: You must embrace automation to streamline your software asset management processes. Set up systems to automatically handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks throughout the asset's lifecycle.

For instance, set up automated reminders for upcoming license renewals and contract expirations, as this will ensure you never miss a deadline. Additionally, implement license reclamation automation to recover and reallocate underutilized software assets, optimizing your investments.

Routinely schedule automated processes for license usage tracking, compliance checks, and cost optimization.

Keep your software asset management efficient and effective without manual intervention.

4. Do use an automated asset management software: Leverage automated asset management software like CloudEagle to streamline repetitive tasks associated with license renewals and asset onboarding.

When you use automated software for asset management, you will have complete visibility into all your licenses and contracts, centralizing these critical assets in one place.

This centralization will allow you to track renewal dates and receive timely reminders effortlessly. As you get these reminders, missing an opportunity to renegotiate terms or avoid unexpected auto-renewals will be hard.

These tools also provide deeper usage insights into your software licenses, helping to reveal actual utilization patterns across your organization.

With this granular data, you can confidently optimize your license counts and rightsize them based on real user needs and behaviors, ultimately saving many costs.

Here’s how Oyster HR streamlined contract management and automated repetitive tasks renewals and license reclamation using CloudEagle. Check out their interesting success story.

5. Conduct regular audits: To maintain a tight grip on your software assets, conduct regular and thorough reviews of your entire stack, carefully cross-checking actual usage against contracted terms.

This proactive approach helps you quickly identify discrepancies, such as over-licensed software or outdated contracts with unfavorable terms.

Since you have usage data, you can renegotiate these contracts and align them with your current needs and industry benchmarks.

Audits ensure you remain fully compliant with licensing terms, avoiding costly penalties. Regular reviews also spotlight underutilized assets, enabling you to optimize investments through rightsizing or reallocation

Don’ts

1. Don’t neglect inventory management: You must not neglect inventory management, as an incomplete or inaccurate software inventory renders effective asset management virtually impossible.

Without a comprehensive and up-to-date record of your software assets, you'll be flying blind, unable to track installations, monitor licensing compliance, or optimize utilization.

Consequently, you risk exposing your organization to potential legal issues, excessive costs from redundant licenses, and inefficiency.

A poorly maintained inventory complicates decision-making processes. It hinders your ability to make informed choices about software investments.

Therefore, prioritize careful inventory management as the foundation for successful software asset management.

2. Don’t rely on spreadsheets or manual processes: Do not rely solely on spreadsheets or manual processes to manage your software assets.

When handled manually, tedious tasks like tracking license renewals, assigning software to users, and conducting audits will quickly become overwhelming.

Instead, leverage automation tools made specifically for software asset management. These tools help streamline and optimize repetitive processes, freeing up your team's time.

Rather than getting bogged down in manual data entry and checks, your team will be focused on high-impact work that drives innovation and growth for your organization.

3. Don't overlook usage tracking: Never overlook the importance of tracking software usage and entitlements.

Failure to do so can lead to inefficiencies like underutilization, where you are paying for idle licenses, or overutilization, where employees use features beyond their assigned tier, incurring hidden costs.

Monitor the number of users actively using each software and the features they're accessing. This usage data helps you optimize your license counts and avoid wasting money on unnecessary entitlements.

It also ensures you have sufficient licenses to remain compliant with vendor agreements. When you track usage, you can make informed, data-driven decisions about your software investments, maximizing ROI while avoiding legal issues.

4. Don't leave users in the dark: Never let your users know about software policies and licensing restrictions.

Neglecting to educate employees on these critical guidelines can inadvertently lead to non-compliance issues and potential security breaches.

Make it a priority to clearly communicate your organization's software management policies, highlighting authorized software lists, procurement processes, and proper usage protocols.

Ensure employees understand licensing terms and limitations to avoid unintentional violations. Regular training and awareness campaigns help reinforce these expectations, allowing your workforce to make better decisions and mitigate risks.

5. Don't Underestimate the Impact of Shadow IT: Never underestimate the potential impact of shadow IT practices within your organization.

Image showing unauthorized apps dashboard in CloudEagle

When employees independently use unauthorized software or cloud services, they run the risk of security breaches and non-compliance issues.

Rogue software installations will introduce vulnerabilities, exposing your systems and data to cyber threats. These unsanctioned assets often violate licensing agreements, making you susceptible to costly penalties and legal ramifications.

Therefore, it's crucial to address shadow IT by implementing robust policies, user education, and monitoring mechanisms. Cultivate an environment of transparency and accountability, empowering employees to follow proper procurement channels.

Here's how Rec Room identified free apps in its SaaS portfolio and completely eliminated shadow IT using CloudEagle. Devin Murphy from Rec Room shares this experience working with CloudEagle.

Conclusion

Effective software asset management is an indispensable practice that benefits your organization greatly.

Implementing these strategies will optimize software costs, ensure compliance with licensing agreements and regulations, and maximize the return on your investments.

Don't let inefficiencies, risks, and wasted resources hold you back - take control of your software landscape today.

Remember, CloudEagle, a SaaS management tool with the right software asset management features, helps you streamline processes, automate tedious tasks, and gain complete visibility into your assits.

Book a demo now to experience firsthand how CloudEagle can transform your approach to software asset management, unlocking new levels of efficiency and cost savings for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How will you handle software asset management?

You should implement a comprehensive strategy to gain full visibility and control over your software assets.

Start by conducting a meticulous audit to inventory all installations and licenses. Then, leverage specialized tools like CloudEagle to automate tracking, optimize utilization, and ensure compliance.

2. What are the pillars of software asset management?

The pillars of effective software asset management include maintaining an accurate inventory, implementing standardized policies and procedures, leveraging automation tools, optimizing licenses and contracts, and fostering organizational awareness through training.

3. How do we manage existing assets efficiently?

To manage your existing software assets efficiently, conduct regular audits to identify underutilized licenses, consolidate redundant applications, and leverage automated tools like CloudEagle to streamline tracking and optimization processes.

4. What are the three main deliverables of IT asset management?

The three main deliverables of IT asset management are maintaining an up-to-date inventory of all software assets, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements and regulations, and optimizing costs by eliminating waste and maximizing utilization.

Written by
Vamshi Krishna
Product Manager, CloudEagle
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec pellentesque scelerisque arcu sit amet hendrerit. Sed maximus, augue accumsan hendrerit euismod.

Discover how much you can save on SaaS

Calculate SaaS savings and start optimizing today!