A Guide to Software Asset Management Services in 2023

Are you struggling to keep track of your organization’s software licenses and usage? Fear not, as Software Asset Management (SAM) can be your savior! By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of SAM and how to implement it effectively in your organization, from selecting the right software asset management services to building strong vendor relationships and optimizing cloud software assets. So let’s dive in and explore the world of SAM!

Short Summary

  • Software Asset Management (SAM) is an essential business practice that helps organizations optimize expenditure and ensure compliance with licensing agreements.

  • The SAM Process enables organizations to manage their software assets collaboratively, ensuring license compliance and optimization while also providing cost savings.

  • Integrating SAM with ITAM and ITSM strategies can provide a comprehensive view of the IT estate, enabling risk management, license optimization & cost savings.

Software Asset Management Services

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Software Asset Management (SAM) is a powerful strategy that focuses on controlling and automating the procurement, usage, and deployment of software licenses, enabling organizations to optimize their expenses. By leveraging SAM tools, companies can manage software assets throughout their entire lifecycle, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements and regulatory requirements.

But what exactly is SAM, and how can it benefit your organization? Let’s delve deeper into this essential business practice.

Defining SAM

SAM encompasses the control and automation of software licenses, aiming to optimize expenses and ensure compliance with vendor requirements. It involves employing automation and digital workflows to supply vital asset information to the business, enabling companies to make informed decisions about their software assets.

Independent software vendors (ISVs) can also take advantage of tools like AWS License Manager to conveniently distribute and monitor licenses. In a nutshell, SAM serves as the backbone for effective software license management, helping organizations to streamline their software usage and reduce costs.

Benefits of SAM

Implementing SAM in your organization can unlock numerous advantages, including gaining insight into and having complete oversight of software expenditures, maintaining license compliance, managing licenses and contracts, expediting software requests, and optimizing software licenses. In fact, SAM can potentially save your company up to 30% of its software budget, providing IT managers with a comprehensive overview of their software inventory.

So, why wait? By embracing SAM, your organization can achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced control over your software assets.

The SAM Process

The SAM Process is a set of activities and processes that assist organizations in effectively managing their software assets. These activities encompass discovery, license management, compliance, and optimization, ensuring that software is employed in accordance with licensing agreements and regulatory requirements. The responsibility of SAM typically falls to various individuals from different departments within an organization, making it a collaborative effort to achieve optimal results.

With a robust SAM process in place, organizations can tackle software licensing challenges head-on and reap the rewards of efficient software asset management.

Factors Driving the Need for SAM

software, license, system

Compliance, optimization, and cost savings are essential motivators for SAM. As organizations continually strive to reduce costs, unused or superfluous licenses present an effective way to do so, making SAM tools critical for IT teams.

The complexity of a company’s licensing situation, such as the number of devices running the software, its configuration, virtualization, and the number of people or applications accessing it, further highlights the need for SAM.

Failing to comply with a software compliance audit can result in financial penalties and operational disruptions, underscoring the importance of SAM in managing such risks.

Compliance and Risk Management

The function of SAM in compliance and risk management is to guarantee that an organization is utilizing software it is authorized to use and maintain software compliance by administering licenses, minimizing legal risks, and auditing and monitoring all software assets.

In addition to software assets, SAM tools can also be utilized to track hardware assets. By facilitating the maintenance of license compliance and being prepared for auditing, SAM helps organizations mitigate potential risks and ensure smooth operations.

License Optimization

money, home, coin

One key aspect of SAM is license optimization, which involves utilizing existing software assets and allocating the available licenses where they are needed. By tracking software usage and ensuring license compliance, organizations can optimize license usage, minimize unnecessary expenditure, and maintain adherence to vendor agreements.

Software asset management tools offer visibility to improve licenses and reduce overspending. Ultimately, license optimization helps organizations strike the right balance between compliance and cost savings, making it a critical component of SAM.

Cost Savings

Cost savings are an integral part of SAM, as a well-implemented SAM solution can result in significant savings for organizations. By providing a comprehensive overview of software usage and licenses, SAM tools enable organizations to optimize their software expenses, eliminate the purchase of superfluous software, and avoid penalties and fines due to non-compliance.

Moreover, SAM tools can facilitate the monitoring of applicable expiration dates, the relocation of assets between departments, and the recognition of absent hardware assets for data security. In short, cost savings are a direct result of effective SAM implementation and optimization.

Integrating SAM with ITAM and ITSM Strategies

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Integrating SAM with ITAM (IT Asset Management) and ITSM (IT Service Management) strategies is essential for attaining efficiency and comprehending the IT estate. SAM concentrates on software management, while ITAM encompasses the entire asset lifecycle, and ITSM is centered on service delivery.

By leveraging the data collected by SAM to inform ITAM and ITSM decisions, organizations can identify potential risks, optimize license usage, and guarantee compliance. In this way, SAM serves as a critical component in a holistic approach to IT management.

Role of Discovery in SAM

Discovery is paramount in software asset management, providing a comprehensive view of IT systems and networks, including hardware and software assets. It is also essential for identifying licensed software, which is crucial for software license compliance, and safeguarding revenue streams, reputation, and intellectual property.

Employing discovery in SAM enables organizations to recognize all software and hardware assets essential for software license compliance, safeguarding revenue streams, reputation, and intellectual property. In short, discovery plays a vital role in the success of any SAM implementation.

ITAM and ITSM Synergy

The synergy between SAM, ITAM, and ITSM can result in numerous benefits for organizations. By combining the strengths of these three strategies, companies can achieve a comprehensive view of their IT estate, enabling them to make informed decisions, optimize license usage, and minimize risks.

SAM teams can work with ITSM, security, and cloud teams to ensure effective communication and governance practices that manage software’s associated risks and value. By integrating these strategies, organizations can achieve a holistic approach to IT management, maximizing the value of their software investments.

Selecting the Right SAM Solution

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Selecting the right SAM solution depends on various factors, such as company size, infrastructure complexity, ease of integration, pricing, and budget. By considering these factors, organizations can choose a SAM tool that best suits their needs and requirements.

But how can you determine which SAM solution is the perfect fit for your organization? Let’s explore some key factors to consider when selecting a SAM solution. These include the organization’s size, the infrastructure’s complexity, ease of integration, pricing, and budget. Additionally, organizations should consider the solution’s scalability, the level of support offered, and the features.

Company Size and Infrastructure Complexity

When selecting a SAM solution for a large organization, it is imperative to consider the company’s magnitude, the complexity of its IT infrastructure, the scope of software discovery, and the tool’s capability. Moreover, it is essential to guarantee that the SAM tool is of superior quality and can maintain the organization’s compliance.

By considering the size and complexity of your organization, you can ensure that the SAM solution meets your organization’s unique needs and requirements.

Ease of Integration

Ease of integration is another vital factor when selecting a SAM tool. It is essential to comprehend the various types of tools already utilized in your organization and whether the SAM tool can be integrated with them or not.

Additionally, attaining senior management commitment to a SAM plan is essential to guarantee successful tool selection and implementation. By considering ease of integration, you can ensure that your SAM solution will seamlessly fit into your existing IT infrastructure.

Pricing and Budget Considerations

When selecting a SAM solution, pricing should be taken into account. It is imperative to consider the cost of the solution and any additional costs associated with implementation, maintenance, and support. Balancing costs and value is crucial for organizations with limited budgets, as it allows them to make the most of their software asset management investment.

You can choose a SAM solution that delivers the most value for your organization by carefully considering pricing and budget factors.

Real-World SAM Success Stories

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Real-world success stories demonstrate the value of SAM and its potential to transform organizations’ software asset management practices. By learning from the experiences of others, companies can better understand the benefits of implementing SAM and how it can revolutionize their software licensing and management approach.

Let’s examine two case studies that showcase the power of SAM in action.

Case Study 1

Organization X, a large enterprise, implemented SAM and experienced considerable cost reductions, enhanced operational efficiency, and lowered compliance risks. By utilizing SAM, Organization X could identify and remove redundant software, decrease the number of software versions, and optimize the software procurement procedure.

SAM also helped the organization recognize and monitor software licenses, guarantee agreement adherence, and maximize license utilization. In short, SAM implementation led to significant benefits for Organization X, showcasing the power of effective software asset management.

Case Study 2

Organization Y, another large enterprise, implemented SAM to guarantee compliance, optimize licensing, and decrease expenses. By leveraging SAM tools, Organization Y gained visibility and confirmation of their software assets, allowing them to negotiate volume contract arrangements and eliminate or redistribute software and support costs.

The successful implementation of SAM resulted in cost savings, improved compliance, and optimized licensing for Organization Y. This case study highlights the transformative power of SAM and its potential to bring about positive change in organizations’ software asset management practices.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in SAM Implementation

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While SAM offers numerous benefits, it is essential to avoid common mistakes that can hinder the success of your SAM implementation. These mistakes include inaction and complacency, overspending on licenses, and relying on spreadsheets for managing software assets.

By being aware of these pitfalls and taking proactive steps to sidestep them, you can ensure the success of your SAM implementation and reap the rewards that come with effective software asset management.

Inaction and Complacency

Failing to act and remaining complacent when implementing a SAM solution can result in a lack of control over software licenses and usage, leading to legal and financial risks for the organization. Inactive and complacent organizations may also experience inefficient use of software and increased costs.

Organizations should take proactive steps to avoid these pitfalls to ensure that their software licenses are properly managed and monitored. This includes regularly auditing software usage, ensuring that software licenses are up-to-date, and taking steps to ensure that software is being used efficiently.

Overspending on Licenses

Excessive expenditure on licenses can result in security risks, unanticipated true-up expenses, penalties, superfluous costs and impede the implementation of an enterprise-wide software asset management program. Organizations should carefully assess their software license requirements and leverage automated tools to track and manage licenses to avoid overspending on licenses. By doing so, they can ensure that they are not exceeding their license expenditure and can optimize their software licensing costs.

Relying on Spreadsheets

Utilizing spreadsheets for SAM implementation can lead to a lack of traceability and data normalization, susceptibility to human error, deficiency of collaboration, and inadequate security measures. Spreadsheets are not designed for tracking assets and can result in errors, making them unsuitable for effective SAM.

Instead, organizations should opt for dedicated SAM tools that offer robust features and functionalities tailored for software asset management, ensuring a more accurate and efficient approach to managing their software assets.

Building Strong Vendor Relationships with SAM

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Establishing robust vendor relationships with Software Asset Management (SAM) can result in more competitive pricing, more advantageous licensing conditions, enhanced support, and heightened loyalty and dependability in the supply chain. This can lead to cost efficiencies, a competitive advantage, and improved IT asset utilization.

Building strong vendor relationships with SAM involves license management, audit preparation, feedback, and collaboration.

License Management

License management is pivotal in constructing robust vendor relationships with Software Asset Management (SAM). By effectively managing licenses, organizations can demonstrate adherence to compliance, reduce legal risks, and optimize the value derived from their software assets.

License management involves comprehending the terms of the license agreement, monitoring usage, and guaranteeing that the organization is not exceeding its license expenditure. Organizations can foster strong vendor relationships by mastering license management, ultimately leading to more favorable outcomes.

Audit Preparedness

Audit preparedness is a crucial aspect of building strong vendor relationships with SAM. Preparing for an audit demonstrates that your organization is committed to compliance and minimizing risks. Audit preparedness involves understanding the terms of the license agreement, monitoring usage, and verifying that the organization is not exceeding the allocated licenses.

By being audit-ready, organizations can mitigate potential risks, reduce the likelihood of financial penalties, and maintain strong relationships with their software vendors.

Feedback and Collaboration

team, teamwork, collaboration

Feedback and collaboration are vital in forming robust vendor relationships in SAM. Engaging with vendors to guarantee that the organization obtains the highest value from its software licenses involves furnishing feedback on the software, deliberating pricing and licensing terms, and collaborating to optimize its software assets.

Through effective feedback and collaboration, organizations can strengthen their vendor relationships, ensuring they receive the best possible service and value from their SAM solution.

Managing Cloud Software Assets

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud-based solutions, managing cloud software assets becomes a critical aspect of SAM. Cloud software asset management presents unique challenges compared to traditional on-premises software management, such as cost management, governance, data security, compliance, and lack of visibility.

Organizations need to understand the challenges associated with cloud licenses to manage cloud software assets effectively, use SAM tools specifically designed for cloud management, and achieve transparency and control over their cloud assets.

Challenges with Cloud Licenses

Managing cloud software licenses presents unique challenges, such as the issues of over-licensing and the identification of suitable licenses. Over-licensing can lead to unnecessary costs and inefficiencies. Identifying acceptable licenses can be difficult due to comprehending the various types of licenses available and their stipulations.

To overcome these challenges, organizations need to monitor their cloud software usage and ensure they clearly understand their cloud license requirements.

SAM Tools for Cloud Management

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SAM tools for cloud management can assist organizations in managing their cloud assets, including monitoring utilization, controlling expenses, and verifying compliance. These tools can also give organizations increased visibility into their cloud assets, enabling them to more effectively manage and optimize their cloud investments.

By leveraging SAM tools specifically designed for cloud management, organizations can overcome the challenges associated with cloud software licensing and ensure they make the most of their cloud investments.

Achieving Transparency and Control

Ensuring transparency and control over cloud software assets is crucial for organizations to optimize their cloud investments and mitigate potential risks. Organizations can achieve enhanced visibility and control over their cloud assets by utilizing SAM tools to monitor usage, manage expenses, and guarantee adherence.

This, in turn, can lead to cost savings, increased financial transparency, and improved productivity. In short, achieving transparency and control is a key aspect of effectively managing cloud software assets.

Key Steps to Implementing a Successful SAM Solution

Organizations should follow several key steps to implement a successful SAM solution: inventory all systems, determine software usage, measure licenses needed, update inventories regularly, and manage licenses efficiently. By adhering to these steps, organizations can ensure that they are effectively managing their software assets and reaping the benefits of SAM.

Organizations can achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced control over their software assets with a well-implemented SAM solution.


In conclusion, Software Asset Management (SAM) is an essential strategy for organizations looking to optimize their software investments, ensure compliance, and reduce costs. By understanding the key aspects of SAM, integrating it with ITAM and ITSM strategies, selecting the right SAM solution, and avoiding common mistakes, organizations can unlock the full potential of SAM and transform their approach to software licensing and management. So, are you ready to take the plunge and revolutionize your organization’s software asset management practices? The power of SAM awaits you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of software asset management?

Software asset management tracks and manages software assets, such as licenses, applications, and data rights. This process helps organizations identify, understand, and protect their software investments and better align IT operations with business objectives.

Thus, software asset management is an important tool for organizations to ensure proper use and maximize the return on investment.

What does a software asset management tool do?

Software asset management tools help companies track, manage, and optimize their software assets. They provide inventory tracking, license compliance management, software installation monitoring, and financial reporting, among other features.

These tools can help organizations save time and money by using the right software licenses and not overspending on software. They can also help organizations stay competitive.

Is software asset management part of ITIL?

Yes, Software Asset Management (SAM) is integral to the ITIL framework. ITIL outlines SAM as a practice responsible for effectively managing, controlling, and protecting software assets throughout their lifecycle. Therefore, organizations must adhere to SAM standards to ensure optimal service delivery and minimize potential risks.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.