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Orphaned Assets & Orphaned Applications Explained

ITAM Tips from the Trenches: Orphaned Assets & Orphaned Applications

In this installment of our ITAM Tips from the Trenches series, Vice President of Anglepoint’s Software License Management department, Selina Baranowski, shares practical tips for great IT Asset Management. Specifically, looking at orphaned assets and orphaned applications, and how they come into play in Software Asset Management and SaaS management.

Orphaned Assets

If you’re a software asset manager, you’re probably familiar with orphaned assets. A common orphaned asset is the virtual machine (VM) that has an unknown physical host. You might run into this situation in discovery where you can see a VM and its operating system but it is not mapped to a physical machine. This can be a real issue when software publishers like Microsoft only license the physical host, not the individual VM.

To accurately license and optimize, you need to have details about the physical host and the relationships between its VMs and any other hosts in the same cluster. Searching for your orphaned assets within your virtual environment is a great way to move towards establishing trustworthy estate representation.

Orphaned Applications 

Orphaned assets cousin, orphaned applications, mostly come into play in cost management, another pillar of IT asset management. An orphaned application is an application where we don’t know the billing owner.

With SaaS products especially, decentralized purchasing is common so being able to see who is buying what is essential for keeping costs under control.

So how does an application become orphaned?

Most commonly, the existing billing owner has changed roles or left the organization, but the system isn’t up-to-date. In some organizations, there may not even be SaaS management processes or solutions in place to track that information. But think of it like this: the more orphaned applications you have, the more likely you have duplication and waste.

In summary, seeking out orphaned assets and orphaned applications and working to identify their homes and owners are two useful exercises that will help to make better data-driven decisions as well as optimize your software licensing. 

About ITAM Tips from the Trenches 

ITAM Tips from the Trenches is an on-going series of useful, bite-sized ITAM knowledge and expertise shared by Anglepoint experts who work in the ITAM trenches day-in and day-out. 

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