Top 5 Software Asset Management Tips for the New Year 2021
Each new year we like to bring you a list of key areas to focus on with software asset management or cloud computing. I would like to say this year is no different, but… it really has been extremely different! Our tips and tricks for SAM new year 2021 reflect this.
Of course we all know that remote working has increased throughout the years, but with the quarantine and self-isolation in place, many companies have switched to a full time remote working staff. Some areas with remote working staff include: computer & IT, customer service support, sales, education, and medical & health. It may seem hard to believe that some of these positions can be done remotely, but it is proven that there can be success in these areas through remote working practices. Likewise, remote working is here to stay with many businesses offering flexible remote working schedule.
We do not have a crystal ball to see into the future, but statistics and projections are a good indicator of where software is headed towards the future. For years, the cloud has grown, and it is almost like it has prepared us for this moment of crisis. My first tip is a no-brainer at this point, but….
Tip #1: Switch to the Cloud
If you haven’t already, or if your business is stuck in a software contract, consider switching to the cloud to get all the benefits of cloud software!
We offer a discovery tool that discovers what your business has on prem or on the cloud. We can then automatically take inventory and provide helpful, easy to understand reports of the current used and unused software. This information establishes a base, setting the stage for what software needs to be migrated to the cloud. This is the perfect solution for those looking to make the switch!
If you are already on the cloud, then the next place to put your focus on would be focusing on your staff. Even with great tech and automated business practices, software does not do all the work for you. Your business needs the support of a great team!
Tip #2: Create a Powerful SAM Team
When you have the right SAM team in place your business can effectively manage your software by reducing risks and reducing spend. It is important to note that the SAM team must be able to communicate with other departments, like legal, IT, finance, or procurement, to achieve proper software asset management. Likewise, each department needs to follow the SAM goals to make your SAM strategy work. When building your SAM team, consider these positions: SAM Analyst, Software Asset Manager, SAM Consultant, SAM Specialist, or Director of SAM.
To piggyback off of this tip, it is important to consider the goals of the SAM team and the company, but also remain adaptable in case of sudden switches in direction. I think 2020 showed us how fast things move and change. Our businesses must be ready for any sudden shifts!
Tip 3: Stay in Touch with Change
The question is, how do you stay in touch with change? One easy way to stay up to date is to remain optimised, especially with tech. This is particularly true with applications on the cloud, where updates are automatic! However, if you are still on-premise or doing a hybrid, maybe it is time to switch to the cloud to get the benefits of cloud software.
To assist with the change in tech, we advise you to develop a systematic methodology that optimises your IT. IT optimisation is a discipline that requires a process to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Though the task might seem daunting, or even boring, it is essential. This is something you could allocate to your SAM team.
Gartner suggests the following strategy for IT optimisation:
Strategise: create a definable strategy that helps meet the goals of your business
Evaluate: investigate which IT areas could help or hinder business (such as current spending)
Execute: plan and act
Optimise: track costs, particularly those found during the evaluation stage
Manage: track activities and maintain a decrease in spending
Working with your team can help with the process but oftentimes working with IT organisations can generate more ideas on optimisation. For instance, taking these ideas and objectively measuring them through financial and business impact evaluations can lead to stronger cost optimisation strategies. Additionally, achievable targets can be established, providing the highest amount of savings in the shortest amount of time.
Once you have the right team in place it is important to listen to their needs! In most cases, their work can become stressful with manual processes and tasks, especially when it comes to license compliance or optimisation. In that case, you need to consider supplying your SAM team with the right tools.
Tip #4 Have the Right BPA Tools
Business Practice Automation (BPA) means using technology to perform tasks, replacing manual effort. Having BPA in place brings businesses a streamlined process, an increase in efficiency, and minimizes costs. According to Forrester, 22% of businesses do not have excellent automation, with others doing a hybrid of manual and automatic efforts. The lack of automation causes a decrease in customer satisfaction, limits revenue growth, and takes up your employee’s time, often causing stress.
TBSC offers comprehensive hardware and software scans through zero-touch agentless technology. Our smart scans make sure you are utilizing your current SaaS whilst offering automatic savings recommendations and optimization opportunities. We can track & monitor license usage through our Smarter SaaS technology, providing accurate and actionable reports to your SAM team.
If you are still hesitant on which software management practices should be automated, consider asking yourself these questions:
Are there high-volume tasks?
How many employees does it takes to perform tasks?
Is this task time sensitive?
Does this task have a significant impact on other processes and systems?
Are you in need of remaining software compliant?
Can this be done more efficiently through automation?
If you have answered YES to any of these questions, we would recommend getting started on automating your software asset management. Below are some ways TBSC can help your business become more quick, efficient, and cost effective.
This brings us to the final tip for new year 2021 SAM. Today’s office changes at a fast pace, especially with the inspiration of a digitally driven world. To maintain appropriate teamwork, productivity, and communication, crucial steps must be made to ensure your business can handle the changes to the office structure.
Tip #5: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Having the right communication tools, especially with remote staff, is essential when moving into 2021. There are plenty of tools out there to choose from but our top choice would be Microsoft 365, which includes all Microsoft Office 365 applications and Teams through desktop apps or web urls.
Microsoft Teams is a rich collaborative experience, integrating people, content, tools, 3rd party apps, and more. With intelligent design, virtual communication is simplified, creating a fluid virtual office environment. Microsoft 365’s hub includes chats, meetings, calls, and collaboration, from anywhere, offering an efficient and productive tool to your remote working staff. A recent Microsoft survey concluded 52% of employees feel more connected to their colleagues because they are part of the same virtual spaces (Microsoft, 2020).
Microsoft Teams offers the ﬂexibility to work remotely from anywhere and facilitates a large number of ofﬁce tasks like phone calls, meetings, chats, and team collaboration, all in real time. To make the transition from ofﬁce to home ofﬁce easier for your business and employees, we recommend utilising your software licenses by analysing and understanding your Teams usage. Not only that, but we advise to take advantage of Microsoft’s free training available to help ensure your employees are knowledgeable and comfortable with Teams.
If you are unsure of who needs help with Teams, we suggest using our Smarter SaaS for 365 Teams solution. Our Smarter SaaS for 365 Teams service helps your business optimise remote working and ensures an efﬁcient, connected, employee network, all from the comfort of each home ofﬁce. Additionally, Smarter SaaS for 365 Teams aids in productivity, reduced employee stress, and optimizes ROI on home worker investments.
Though these 5 tips aren’t the end-all-be-all for 2021, we strongly recommend you take these tips to heart to help better your business strategies in 2021. Do you think we missed any? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts for SAM in new year 2021!