3 reasons external software asset management services prevail over in-house solutions
There’s no denying that software asset management (SAM) is important. It prevents overspending and compliance breaches, and helps organizations anticipate IT needs. But how to actually handle SAM is a different story. Should an organization build an in-house software asset management (SAM) solution or outsource those services?
I recently received an email from a customer asking me just that. I should say up front that as an employee of a company that offers outsourced SAM services, I might be a little biased, but after ruminating on the question, I can only conclude that outsourced SAM services are the way to go for most organizations.
Granted, customers that opt for a tool-based, in-house SAM solution do gain greater control and retain privacy over their assets, but the costs quickly outweigh the benefits. These solutions take up the valuable time of existing IT workers and are difficult to manage without the right training and expertise. The only organizations capable of balancing these tasks are ones large enough to sustain and balance a licensing team, and not all companies have that luxury.
The instant a customer purchases a piece of hardware or software title, it’s bombarded by additional support needs, including:
- Solution software (the direct cost of the software)
- Deployments for production, test, backup, and other uses
- Hardware dependencies
- Supporting software (operating systems, virtual machine licenses, database licenses, etc.)
- Software maintenance (for solution and supporting software)
- Implementation (consulting support for installation, customization, integration, and training)
- System administrators (primary and backup administrators, training, turnover, etc.)
To save the headache, customers can opt for an outsourced and integrated SAM solution that manages all of their critical software assets without wasting valuable time and resources. Here are three reasons why it’s well worth a customer’s time and money to choose an SAM service to manage its software assets:
- Outsourced SAM saves time and money–SAM requires skills from a broad set of disciplines, including license and software agreements, procurement processes, IT operations, software deployment, network technology, data management, and software architecture. Understanding the interworkings of each discipline requires both diligent training and significant experience. Not to mention that licensing and related disciplines live in a constant state of flux, making it expensive and time-consuming for an individual to undergo the latest training. For those reasons, it’s best to leave SAM knowledge to professionals, rather than pulling all-nighters studying the ins and outs of ITAM.
- License and compliance expertise is difficult to find and expensive to retain–Since license and compliance expertise is a multi-functional and highly specialized skill, talented SAM experts can be challenging to find. The talent pool is relatively small and doesn’t keep pace with the expanding demand for SAM, therefore making it increasingly expensive to attain and retain. SHI is acutely aware of this issue because we are constantly looking for these same people, so why not let someone else take on the burden and save yourself the hassle.
- One expert isn’t enough–To run a quality license service, SAM providers employ an all-star bench of license and SAM expertise. That means in order for the SAM process to run smoothly, not only does the head honcho need to be a SAM whiz, but so does every employee under him. That way, quality and service remain constant even through turnover, vacations, and other events. If you choose to run in-house SAM services, the bench might consist of a single player or a team of rookies.
It’s important to note that while SHI is faced with some of the same challenges as our customers, we can spread these costs across thousands of customers and hundreds of vendors. Due to our vast scope, SHI’s offerings are considerably more cost-efficient than any individual customer could manage. A service like SHI’s Polaris includes comprehensive SAM and hardware asset management tools while relieving individual customers from taking on full management alone. So unless your business has a good reason or the excess resources to keep ITAM in house, outsourcing is by far the more cost-effective option.