7 Software Asset Management Best Practices

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min read time
May 20, 2023
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Are you struggling to manage your business's software assets effectively?

Without effective asset management, you might end up overpaying on licenses, misplacing contracts, using outdated software, and putting your firm at safety risk. This is why software asset management is necessary if you use more than 50 SaaS apps.

Software asset management is a must-have practice for every company that relies on software for daily operations and growth. SAM offers several advantages: cost savings, compliance assurance, higher staff productivity, and enhanced IT efficiency.

Organizations with no SAM program in place tend to overspend on licenses by about 20%

Here are some software asset management best practices you must follow to manage your software assets effectively.

Software asset management: What does it mean?

A business’s software assets are its digital assets, which include software apps, licenses, subscriptions, and other intellectual property.

Software assets are significant resources that allow businesses to conduct a wide range of operations, automate procedures, and support their day-to-day activities. So managing these assets is a crucial task.

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As a result, SAM (software asset management) is a critical system that enables firms to manage, safeguard, and oversee all of their software assets.

Most businesses employ a range of software tools for managing their everyday operations, but this may lead to a slew of hassles like underutilization, overpayment, and licensing lapses.

By deploying a SAM solution, businesses can improve software utilization, decrease costs, reduce risks, and boost operational efficiency. SAM is a component of IT asset management (ITAM), which is software that controls both hardware and software assets.

Seven best practices for software asset management

1. Clearly define your SAM policy

A well-defined SAM strategy is among the best practices for IT asset management. It not only helps to develop rules for managing software assets but also acts as a baseline for monitoring the program's performance. It can also assist firms in complying with license agreements and avoiding legal and financial fines.

So, before beginning a SAM task, defining your key objectives and goals is critical. This might involve having enough software licenses, saving money, or addressing software vendor audits more effectively.

SAM practice can become complicated and futile if it lacks a clear goal. Moreover, for a comprehensive approach, all stakeholders, especially IT, procurement, and legal teams, should be included in formulating the SAM policy. Also, any industry-specific legislation or compliance needs should be included in the policy.

Furthermore, when creating the policy, it is critical to identify and prioritize vital processes and build the policy around them. Examples include software consumption, purchase, implementation, personnel movement, licensing compliance, etc. Each is essential to managing software assets and maintaining licensing agreement compliance.

In totality, a well-defined SAM strategy is the first step toward successful software asset management, and it may assist enterprises in reducing costs, improving productivity, and minimizing compliance concerns.

2. Select the right asset management software

Picking the right SAM tool for your business can be stressful due to the wealth of options on the market nowadays. To pick the finest one for your needs, a software asset manager must first define the major features and functionality you desire from the tool.

Here are some key features to consider while selecting the SAM tool for your business;

Software discovery: Ascertain that the SAM tool can discover all the applications existing in your SaaS stack. It must identify all the licenses, contracts, and pricing details of the applications.

License management: To ease compliance, see if the application offers sophisticated license management features like optimization, contract expiry dates, and vendor audit request capabilities.

Monitoring and reporting: Select a SAM solution that can give useful insights into operational and financial indicators, assisting you in optimizing your SaaS apps and usage.

Scalability: Consider your long-term goals and choose a SAM solution that can scale with your business, supporting several SaaS apps from various departments, areas, and platforms.

Flexibility: Ascertain that the SAM tool is adaptable, allowing for simple integration with the existing tech stack.

3. Surface all your software assets and centralize them

Following the selection of an appropriate SAM solution, it is critical to make use of its features to discover and centralize your software assets.

The software asset management software can aid in the discovery of installed apps, licenses, contracts, and related documents, which can then be consolidated in one central place. This step guarantees that you have an accurate and complete inventory of your software assets.

The following are some of the advantages of centralizing your software assets:

Efficient management: A centralized repository makes it easier to track, monitor, and manage software assets, offering a comprehensive perspective for sound choices and resource allocation.

Improved compliance: Centralizing software assets helps you comply with licensing agreements and regulatory requirements by allowing you to more quickly discover and rectify problems, such as illegal software installs or expired licenses.

Enhanced cost control: Software purchases typically account for 35% of a firm’s annual IT spend. So with a comprehensive overview of your software assets, you can detect duplicate or underutilized programs, allowing you to optimize software utilization, save money through license reallocation, and prevent unnecessary purchases.

Streamlined processes: Centralizing software assets streamlines procurement, deployment, and maintenance procedures, promoting coordination across software management teams and guaranteeing uniformity across the enterprise.

4. Categorize your licenses and analyze usage

The average company wastes $135,000 on unnecessary SaaS tools.

As already mentioned, one of the main reasons for implementing software asset management is to analyze software licenses and assess where (and how frequently) software is utilized. This step will establish that.

Leverage your IT asset management software's discovery and inventory features to get a complete list of all the software.

Once you get the list, put the software into three groups based on priority:

High-priority software: This comprises apps with high spend, and higher compliance concerns and will significantly impact your organization.

Low-priority software comprises freeware and open-source software.

Blacklisted software: This includes software that contains malware or has no license and should be avoided. Applications obtained from shadow IT should be included here.

Software management solutions are meant to categorize licenses based on department and uncover areas of unused software. So businesses can analyze software usage trends to make more informed decisions regarding renewals and future expenditures.

By categorizing software and evaluating usage data, software asset managers can make sensible choices on renewals and future investments and streamline software licenses while ensuring compliance with licensing agreements.

5. Optimize software licenses

Optimizing your licenses based on user priority and usage is critical to minimizing overpaying and maximizing the value of your software assets. Detecting and marking duplicate applications for termination can help save money. This can also help you negotiate better prices with vendors for app renewals.

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It is critical for successful license optimization to use a software asset management software that provides real-time optimization insights based on usage and utilization.

A software asset manager must consider three factors when optimizing software licenses: pricing, hidden value, and the future roadmap.

  • Under the "Price" factor, focus on decreasing SaaS waste, ensuring mindful subscription renewals, discovering hidden costs, and exploiting discounts for loyalty or bulk memberships.
  • In the "Latent value" factor, evaluate cross-application integration, automation capabilities, and staff training needs.
  • The "Future roadmap" component involves utilizing machine learning to forecast product innovations, maintaining data privacy and security transparency, and determining if the product roadmap corresponds with your needs.

By considering these factors, the software asset manager can optimize the license inventory and make well-informed choices that match the goals of your business.

6. Streamline SaaS procurement for better SAM

Effective software asset management (SAM) starts with efficient SaaS procurement.

Organizations can enhance their SAM procedures by simplifying the process. This involves establishing clear procurement requirements, defining responsibilities and roles, and adopting standardized SaaS acquisition procedures.

It is also essential to develop clear procurement procedures in order to minimize overlaps in software purchases. When employees want new software, the software asset manager and his team should analyze the existing inventory for similar features.

Implementing such a strategy helps prevent duplicate app subscriptions and gives the organization more control over the software added to its inventory. This provides effective resource allocation and cost control.

You can use SaaS procurement software to streamline the SaaS buying process. This will give you complete control and make it easier for you to manage your SaaS assets.

7. Perform regular SaaS audits    

A software asset management software is a must-have for keeping track of your company's software licenses and other software assets and being audit-ready at any time.

It tracks all usage, configurations, and upgrades to ensure licensing compliance. A SAM tool helps you be well-prepared for a software audit, which might result in costly fines if you're not properly licensed.

Gartner says the chance of being audited is at an all-time high of over 65%.

Without a SAM tool, gathering all the necessary documents for an audit can take a month and 1-2, employees, which is both expensive and time-consuming.

Using a IT asset management software makes your software usage more visible, increasing your reputation and lowering your chances of receiving software licensing fines.

To help prevent this, a SaaS asset management tool provides two types of analysis:

  • Gap analysis: Recognizes all existing software that don't have proper licensing.
  • Compliance analysis: Recognizes over-licensed and under-licensed software. As a result, helping to avoid compliance problems.

Looking for the best software for asset management that combines scalability, flexibility, and extensive features? Look no further than CloudEagle, the ideal solution for SaaS asset management!

CloudEagle offers comprehensive software asset management functionalities. This includes application discovery, contract, license and vendor management, usage and spend tracking, and security and compliance features.


Organizations rely on multiple software licenses for their daily tasks, making it necessary to build a system for tracking their usage. Failure to properly manage these assets can lead to decreased productivity, regulatory issues, cybersecurity threats, etc.

As a result, establishing IT software asset management is critical for managing and tracking IT resources within a business.

CloudEagle provides a comprehensive IT asset management solution, and you can book a demo with one of our specialists to learn more about how SAM may help your organization's software asset management initiatives.

Written by
Joel Platini
Content Writer and Marketer, CloudEagle
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