Global Industry Best Practices for IT Asset Management

IT Asset Management or ITAM is a framework of business practices that incorporate through the organization of a company’s IT assets across business units. Throughout its life cycle, ITAM manages the operational, inventory, contractual and risk management duties of these assets and facilitates strategic decision-making. While the initial justification and reason organisation invest in ITAM could be of software license compliance audit or a merger, there are numerous additional benefits. A well-constructed ITAM program especially in the current economy, created considerable cost savings through improved transparency, market resilience and constructive risk management.

Implementing the ISO ITAM standards:

The ITAM Forum's experienced experts are working to develop a new certification curriculum for ITAM technologies based on ISO 19770, the global ISO standard for the ITAM industry. Until now, according to ISO 19770, there has been no officially recognised mechanism for certifying organizations. The ITAM Forum seeks to become the business organization responsible for fostering and influencing this credential.

Using ISO/IEC 19770 as a framework as your organization develops an ITAM program: These ITAM procedures assist the Software Asset Management (SAM) activity of your organisation to  demonstrate that it performs to a proper level, meets the standards of corporate governance, and ensures effective support for overall IT asset management.

A subcategory of ITAM, Software Asset Management is the driving business strategy for reclaiming budget and maximizing savings by actively controlling and automating procurement, usage, and deployment of software licenses.

The foundation for software asset management

At its core, there are 3 main drivers for Software Asset Management (SAM):

  1. Compliance: Control costs, risks, and complexity with transparency
  2. Optimization: Getting more mileage out of your licenses by knowing what’s in them and how you’re using them
  3. Savings: Using SAM insights to lower licensing costs and save time

The new ISO ITAM standards consist of 27 process areas with clear, defined objectives for each one. The standard also advocates a tier-based approach that lets organizations adapt ITAM processes to meet its exact needs.

Business benefits of ISO organizational certification:

Achieving the ISO organizational certification helps your ITAM program deliver stronger value. Benefits of certification include:

  • Demonstrating good governance: With a globally recognized certification, ITAM professionals can demonstrate their competence to those who are less familiar with ITAM, such as top management and end users.
  • Enforcing trustworthy data: Management can have more trust in the data provided by ITAM when they know it meets agreed standards, so they can make more confident decisions.
  • Enforced linking into corporate objectives: In common with all other ISO Management System Standards – the objectives for an ITAM ISO system must be clearly linked into corporate objectives.
  • Coordination with other ISO systems: Many organizations will have implemented other ISO Management System Standards, such as for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001), Service Management (ISO/IEC 20000-1), or Quality Management (ISO 9001). With similar designs with make it comparatively easy for them to interrelate and integrate.

How software licenses management integrates with your ITAM or ITSM strategy:

The strategies for managing IT assets and IT services for an organization are IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM). The main component of ITAM or ITSM is software license management and software asset management (SAM).

In today's market climate, central IT planning is a tremendous task. Some major firms prefer to decentralize, allowing independent company divisions the stability they need to remain competitive. And while this is beneficial for the individual business units, it will add to needless IT costs.

Central IT will keep software expenses down by making essential buying and license distribution decisions by tracking installations, utilization, and configurations. Without losing vital flexibility, a software license management

Best practises of Software license management (SAM)

  1. Document and standardize your procurement processes: Knowing who and how each business unit buys software licenses is critical. Make sure you specify standardized license acquisition processes and regulations and develop standardized processes for license and license certificate storage.
  2. Clean up and organize your license inventory: Use this as an opportunity (if you do not already have one) to create a central license inventor and transfer all license agreements and software licensing contracts to the inventory. Establish an organizational structure that helps you to easily locate licensing records and details (responsible individuals and processes). Next, to calculate the licenses you require, you must understand what the licensing metrics are. Finally, assign a license manager to maintain/manage the inventory.
  3. Catalog your software: Now it's time to use the tools for discovery and inventory and figure out what software in your environment is currently installed. To make sure you can match a license to them, normalize software titles
  4. Inventory all your systems (don’t forget open source systems!) :It can be possible to forget items installed on devices not actually operating or not currently connected to the network while cataloging the applications, so make sure your discovery tools are installed on all systems in order not to miss something. You will want to store open source applications (like Linux) because while the OS does not require a paid licence, software that does might still be running.
  5. Control software usage: Here's your opportunity to find out when a software title is used and how it's installed, configured, and accessed (or not, for example, cloud). You might be shocked by what you own vs. how it's used/utilized.
  6. Measure licenses you need per software usage: It's essential to evaluate your license inventory to ensure that your licenses cover all the instances in which the software is installed and used, after you have cataloged the whole system and documented use statistics. Protip: To get the full benefits of the licenses and save money, implement product use rights.
  1. 7. Regularly update your license and software inventories: Look for licensing models that best fit your software usage habits and IT environment, making sure that you’re tracking usage to maintain compliance. In the meantime, you’ll continuously be updating:
    • Software titles to track users downloading new software, upgrading programs, or entering the cloud
    • The software usage and IT environment data
    • The license inventory to track contract milestones, and capture new purchases and changes to licenses like upgrades or downgrade
  1. 8.Manage your licenses more efficiently: You will be able to use the licenses more easily with the fruitful outcomes of the SAM process and data transparency. Now you will be able to see clearly where you are over- and underlicensed. You will reallocate the available licenses to suit your needs with this knowledge, saving you money on new licenses and reducing the risk of auditing failure and sanctions. It's crucial not to forget about maintenance! If a license is not used, it is advised that you terminate the maintenance contract. Using the SAM experience to secure better agreements for your organization while contract renewals are coming up.

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