In a former article I wrote about push-button responses to the potential IT woes in life, and how anything that didn’t occur at the drop of a hat could induce sighs and moans.
So what are some of the simpler steps we can adopt that may not necessarily take us to that push-button moment in Software Asset Management, but might save some wailing and gnashing of teeth?
Have a managed software request process: If as a minimum, you can funnel software requests through a central mechanism, you at best have a single source to approach to see what is being requested.
Have a managed software purchasing process: Following on from a managed request process, is a means by which individual purchases can be identified. Summary evidence of “software for the IT department” won’t cut it.
Work from a baseline/homogenise: If you have standard builds/configurations then deviations and change management should be easier. Granted, probably not possible for every employee or server, but give it a go!
Tag your software: Your tags could be ISO 19770-2 compliant, or they could be home-spun; either way aiding in the identification of an install source can be a huge help in incident management, problem management and Software Asset Management generally.
Scope your efforts: Start small and grow big; tackle a department or a vendor in regards to reaching an acceptable level in Software Asset Management; small-scale projects can provide empirical evidence to justify the purchase of a larger Software Asset Management system than can take on an entire company.
Write down what works: Don’t trust to memory how large or small wins were gained.
Have tangible goals: Finger-on-the-pulse IT management is a state of Nirvana – a Software Asset Management programme calls on many parts of the business for support; and such support may not fly out of the door of these departments in minutes or even hours. Be pragmatic in your objectives.
Understand the concept of half-life: Having generated an ELP/OLP for your department/cost center/vendor, don’t hang it on the wall and treat it like a work of art. The one constant in IT is change, and so such a report will become less and less valuable as an IT estate (and the report) ages.
Make something happen! Having created a report, make a call for action; if something is amiss, identify the stakeholder and propose a course of action and a deadline to respond by – give Software Asset Management some teeth!
I hope this helps, I would welcome comments on simple steps readers have taken to bring a sense of order to their software estate.