Effective Software Asset Management (SAM) has the potential to benefit any organization through cost control, process optimization and reduction of contractual, reputational, information security and, in turn, financial risks. However, not every organization has personnel skilled in handling their software estate. Training employees and creating a dedicated SAM team can be intensive on time and resources. The solution that effectively addresses this issue is SAM as a managed service.
Organizations are moving towards managed services/offshoring models for specific processes/solutions, such as payroll processing, legal and customer care. This practice is enabling them to build function-specific centralized skill-sets, and optimize processes and controls, to deliver efficient solutions at a fraction of the cost of a traditional model. Outsourcing SAM responsibilities to a team of subject-matter experts helps prevent unbudgeted financial outflows.
Effective SAM requires a robust combination of people, process and technology. A team with sound knowledge of licensing for numerous software vendors and associated metrics, as well as an understanding of ISO 19770 standards, sets up the organization’s SAM office. The objective is to centralize SAM processes such as license procurement and inventory management at cost centers. Intelligent and interactive tools are used to effectively consolidate and interpret data. Implementing this framework helps chart the SAM maturity roadmap, from where the organization currently stands to where it wants to be.
SAM as a managed service can be delivered through either a co-sourced or a completely outsourced model. In a co-sourced model, SAM experts work as the extended arms to the organization’s existent SAM team, performing license compliance and SAM process maturity assessments, while managing day-to-day SAM operations across the software lifecycle. In a completely outsourced model, the contracted SAM service provider independently runs the organization’s SAM office, with the ability to make SAM-related decisions. Both models allow for transparency and clarity when presenting data to the organization’s management. This enables them to make informed decisions and the real cost savings and benefit is as much as 25% 
EY recently signed a contract with a large FMCG company to provide SAM as a managed service through a co-sourced model. Our efforts have helped the organization optimize spend on vendor audits. Our SAM activities have reduced contractual risks, safeguarded information security and upheld the organization’s reputation. Our services have been insightful for the company, already leading to a savings of about US$ 300,000. The recommendations we have provided can potentially lead to savings close to US$ 4 Million, as they look to avoid unbudgeted financial outflow on SAM.
For more follow us on Twitter @EY_India and subscribe to the Advisory India blog.