So, you’ve read the blogs and decided you need software asset management (SAM). Now it’s time to choose the right solution. What should you look for? What features are critical to making SAM work? Here are the most important features when considering IT asset management software.
The Ability to Manage Software Licenses
One of the most important things asset management can do is to assure your compliance with licensing contracts. About 20 percent of all companies are out of compliance, and vendors are stepping up their game in terms of auditing and fining out of compliance companies. About half of all companies audited will get fined, and the average fine for a company with $50 million in annual revenue is $263,000. Avoiding these fines can pay for the cost of an asset management system with license management capabilities.
Robust Inventory and Discovery Capabilities
Knowing what devices and users are accessing your system is the pillar of good security, but it also improves the help desk’s ability to provide good service. Choose an asset management system that tracks inventory and discovers new devices as they log into the system.
Generation of Vital Usage Stats
What is the average run time of an application? What is the average length of use time for the typical user? A good asset management tool will deliver these stats so that you can manage your resources better. This also allows you to identify any unusual activity so that you can address any problems quickly and effectively.
The Ability to Manage Virtual Environments
If your environment includes virtual machines and servers or virtual software, you should find an asset management tool that allows you to monitor and manage these. Additionally, if your company makes use of cloud services (which most do nowadays), you’ll also want a SAM tool that tracks and manages these parts of the system. Not all software asset management tools offer the ability to track virtual environments.
The Ability to Manage Mobile Devices
Mobile device users are notorious for downloading their own apps, making it harder for IT to track what apps are in play in the system. Additionally, these devices make security harder to control. Look for a SAM that can help monitor and manage mobile devices and users, as well as your desktop PCs. If these devices are company-owned, you’ll also want the ability to track the device’s lifespan in order to monitor devices that disappear, get broken or stolen, or need to be replaced.
A User-Friendly Interface
The interface shouldn’t be the snag that keeps IT from making the most of your SAM. Look for an intuitive interface that is easy to learn and gives a lot of information in an easily digestible format. Some SAM tools are so difficult to understand they deliver little benefit to the company.