There are countless advantages that can be achieved through the creation and publishing of an IT service catalog. But, one area where the benefits will be most profound is software asset management (SAM).
An IT service catalog can enhance SAM activities in several ways:
Software Purchase and Acquisition
IT service catalogs will automate the software request and acquisition process. The IT organization can include all approved software applications within the catalog. From there, users can dynamically request delivery of specific titles. By streamlining all related activities in this way, companies can increase purchasing efficiency, and ensure software license compliance at all times.
For certain types of software requests, the IT organization can define a delivery workflow that will include specific steps, and manage it from end-to-end through the IT service catalog. For example, the request may need to be approved by a manager first. Next, the software registry must be checked to see how many licenses are available. If a license is available, it must be allocated to the user who made the request, and the registry must be updated accordingly. If no license is available, the task must be assigned to procurement, who will then order an additional license from the vendor. Finally, the application will be deployed on the user’s PC, and any required configuration changes must be performed.
Access to SaaS Services
“Software” can be broadly defined as both traditional on-premise software tools, as well as those delivered as a service (SaaS). With an IT service catalog in place, IT can centralize the delivery and management of both types. For example, they can include “Access to Salesforce.com” as an item in the service catalog, available to the Sales and Marketing departments. This will make it easy for users to request a userID and password, for access to the SaaS CRM system.
New hires, transfers, employees who leave – these changes in the workforce often create a significant amount of work for IT organizations. But, an IT service catalog can streamline both the on-boarding and off-boarding process. IT organizations can outline specific steps to be followed when these events occur, and HR or hiring managers can then order the service when a new staff member is hired, or when one resigns, and configure the software stack he/she will be provided with.
Effective software asset management is crucial to efficient IT operations. With comprehensive SAM strategies, and supporting technologies, in place, companies can reduce related costs, improve utilization, and optimize the value of their software investments. And, with an IT service catalog, IT organizations can further fine-tune their software asset management processes, to ensure ongoing success.