Is Your Software Asset Management A Fire Drill?

Is Your Software Asset Management A Fire Drill?

Here’s a hypothetical question:

If you knew in advance the exact date and time a massive earthquake was going to hit your city, how soon would you start preparing for it? Would you wait until the earthquake hits to start buying bottled water, food, and other survival supplies? Would you wait until the mayhem and destruction started to flee the city?

Of course you wouldn’t.

And yet, if you’re an IT procurement manager, you may be making this same mistake when it comes to managing your software assets.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes IT organizations can make.

Instead of consistently managing their software assets, they put it off until the “fire drill” happens. Unfortunately, if you decide to start paying attention to your software assets only when these situations happen, there will be consequences. And the longer you wait, the greater the potential consequences.

Not preparing for these scenarios is like waiting for an attack to happen before you actually build the army. Software asset management is not something you do when a difficult situation happens. It’s what you do to prepare for the situation beforehand.

This post will discuss 3 of the most common scenarios that you need to prepare for.

Fire Drill #1: The Vendor Audits Your Software

If you haven’t been the subject of a vendor software audit yet, you may think you’re in the clear. But you’re not. It’s only a matter of time before you get the notice from one of your software vendors.

If you’ve been doing your due diligence in managing your software licenses, you don’t need to be worried. But if you haven’t, you need to start.

Here’s some reasons why:

  • If you end up having to buy more licenses as the result of the audit, your negotiating power will be greatly diminished. You will be at the mercy of the vendor, which means your organization will spend more money.
  • Not only will you spend more money on licenses, you will probably have to pay hefty penalty fees for being out of compliance.

Software audits should not be taken lightly. Software vendors are starting to use audits as an additional source of revenue, and because of inefficient software asset management programs, they are filling their coffers quite nicely.

Fire Drill #2: Software License Renewals

What happens when it’s time to renew your license agreements? Many companies are unprepared to negotiate license renewals because they don’t have a good handle on how their user community is actually using the software or whether the software has even been installed!

If you’re waiting until the last minute to figure this out, you’re probably not negotiating from a position of strength.  And you may end up spending tons of money on licenses that you don’t need.

Fire Drill #3:  Software Maintenance Renewals

How much product support do you actually need? Are you paying for product support that is overkill or under-utilized?

Not all software is created equal in terms of the support level you need.  Paying for Tier-1 support for mission-critical technologies makes sense.  But paying Tier-1 support for other products may not be necessary.  Again,  if you don’t have insight into how much support is really warranted (and used), you may not be in the best position to negotiate the best software maintenance renewals for your company.

Software Asset Management Is An Ongoing Process

Here’s the bottom line: managing your software assets by fire drills is not really managing them at all.  And in the end, it could end up costing you a lot more money than it needs to, as well as putting your company at greater risk.

Don’t let this happen to your organization. If you are diligent about maintaining an effective software asset management program, it will help your company avoid serious issues. It’s one of the best ways a Procurement Department can protect the larger organization.