IT leaders believe the most challenging aspects of supporting or transitioning to hybrid work are managing costs and managing the use of unseen applications – makes sense when you consider the number of applications organizations are running.
Software asset management (SAM) is a critical piece of any organization’s IT strategy. Software licenses are expensive and the cost of running an enterprise without them can be staggering. Software asset managers have been tasked with ensuring that they have visibility into all their software assets, as well as the users who access those programs. The recent global pandemic has caused an increase in hybrid work and reliance on SaaS systems which has changed how SAM teams operate. With these changes come new challenges for SAM professionals to overcome in order to ensure that they’re optimizing their usage of digital services for maximum return on investment.
3 Tips for Managing SaaS
Here are three tips for managing SaaS amid a global pandemic:
Make certain you have total visibility of assets and users
Software asset managers must be able to quickly spot changes from their corporate-owned software inventory so they can take action when needed. Software licensing is expensive, but it’s even more costly if your organization has no idea what software it is or isn’t using. Software asset managers must be able to see all users and their corresponding licenses so they can quickly react if anything changes.
When it comes to software license management, it is very critical to know what you are entitled to deploy. In most cases, organizations fail software audits for over-deployment because they cannot demonstrate exactly what they are entitled to have deployed.
Don’t second guess yourself in this instance. Make sure you have license documentation. Make sure your ITAM processes compare deployed instances against this information. This will ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises when the software auditor comes calling.
Put SOPs in place to formalize your renewal process
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations. SaaS providers might notify you when a license needs renewal, but how will you know if your team is actually doing it? Software asset managers should implement a standard operating procedure (SOP) that outlines exactly how they’re going to renew their digital licenses. By having clear guidelines in place, SAM professionals will be less likely to miss any deadlines, which could cause problems down the road in terms of legal compliance and security.
One of the most important aspects of managing Software as a Service (SaaS) is having processes and procedures in place for when it’s time to renew contracts or negotiate new terms with vendors. Software asset managers must be able to conduct sound business cases so they can demonstrate the value of their programs. Software licenses are expensive, but business leaders will be more willing to invest in SaaS if they know it is already having a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.
Your IT team should also keep a clear inventory of all software licenses in use, which is the only way to ensure that you’re not overpaying for unused or duplicate programs. Software portfolio management tools can help your company save money and stay within compliance in their digital workflows by providing accurate reporting on what’s being used and how much it costs — but this isn’t much help if your team can’t keep track of its software licenses.
Optimize your usage
Finally, Software asset managers should always be on the lookout for ways to minimize costs and maximize efficiency when it comes to their digital services. Software vendors often offer substantial discounts if you purchase licenses in bulk or renew them before they expire. Software asset managers can also negotiate with software companies that may help reduce licensing fees in exchange for usage data. Software vendors are always looking for ways to target their marketing efforts, so if your business is using a particular SaaS program extensively, you’ll have more bargaining power when it comes time to renew your contract or negotiate new terms.
In conclusion, Software as a Service (SaaS) is critical to business operations today. Unfortunately, IT and Cloud Asset Management can be very difficult because SaaS licensing models are constantly changing and there’s no way for software asset managers to keep up if they don’t have visibility into their digital services.
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