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Software Asset Management (SAM) & Application Portfolio Management (APM), Better Together

Software Asset Management (SAM) & Application Portfolio Management (APM), Better Together

SAM and APM are highly complementary and integrated disciplines that, when combined, deliver comprehensive application cost savings. Watch our webinar to learn about shared SAM & APM data, processes & technologies, as well as how to structure a tangible SAM & APM project to obtain savings results for your organization.

– Reduce costs comprehensively leveraging SAM & APM techniques
– Integrate SAM & APM processes within your Application Lifecycle
– How ServiceNow can provide a common platform
– And more

What is Application Portfolio Management?

Our Partners at Beniva define Application Portfolio Management as the following:

Application Portfolio Management (APM) is a capability (process, information, and systems), that enables organizations to actively manage their application landscape and spend, much like an organization would manage its physical assets through a lifecycle. An effective APM practice sets you free from the guesswork involved with trying to understand your application inventory, costs, and savings opportunities.

What is Software Asset Management?

Software Asset Management (SAM) is a business practice that involves all of the people, processes, and technology needed to effectively manage an organization’s software assets, throughout all stages of their lifecycle.

Application Portfolio Management & Software Asset Management Together

Organizations that only implement Application Portfolio Management are likely still paying too much for remaining applications and are also still at risk of being audited. Likewise, organizations that only implement Software Asset Management could potentially just be reducing license spend on software that they may not need to begin with.

Software Asset Management and Application Portfolio Management are highly complementary and integrated disciplines. Together, SAM and APM deliver comprehensive application cost savings outcomes to organizations.

Both SAM and APM share much of the same people, processes, and systems – which is why we encourage a comprehensive view of SAM and APM.

Application Portfolio Management & Software Asset Management Common Challenges for Organizations:

While these challenges may sound simple, they come with BIG implications and should not be left unresolved.

Lack of Visibility to Software and License Counts & Types

Many Applications with Redundant Functionality
This just means that there are plenty of opportunities to remove software titles and consolidate onto common platforms.

Many Sources of “Truth” for Software Data
Many organizations just use multiple spreadsheets, and/or their CMDB is in an unreconciled state to the applications being tracked. This is not only an issue on the IT side, but business-paid applications are often very difficult to fully identify. Because of this, identifying the number of applications in their organizations is a major struggle for many CIOs.

These three challenges together, create lofty hurdles for IT departments and often result in significant spend inefficiency and compliance risk. This is why it’s so important to have a comprehensive program to tackle these issues together.

Common Savings Opportunities

There are many significant savings opportunities for organizations that implement an APM & SAM program.

Cost Leadership / Cost Pressure Response
Anyone who has worked in IT, is very aware of the cost pressures that are constantly being applied by organization leadership.

Mergers & Acquisitions
A good example that we often see is a company will already have multiple project management applications and could consolidate down to one or two, but then acquires another organization and the number of these applications doubles or triples. A firm SAM & APM project plan will help identify these applications with redundant functionality and consolidate – bringing overall costs down.

Cloud Migrations & Economics
Before migrating to the cloud, applications should be cleaned up and optimized. This way, you don’t have to pay for more workloads than you truly need. Both AWS and Azure have stated that Application Portfolio Management is critical to a successful cloud program.

Technology Strategy Initiatives – Centralizations or De-Centralization
Some enterprises have de-centralized operating standards – where different groups within the organization can buy their own software. When software purchasing is brought under one umbrella and has a centrally managed system, organizations have greater visibility into their environments and can more easily reduce costs.

Decades of Non-Governed Software Acquisition / Technical Debt

Your organization may relate to one or multiple of the above IT cost drivers. These are where Application Portfolio Management and Software Asset Management together can provide the greatest opportunities for cost savings and risk mitigation.

Foundations of Application Portfolio Management & Software Asset Management

Data & Technology – the data enables the whole program. This solves the issue of having multiple sources of “truth”. This allows you to reconcile your spend profile and financial data to your CMDB. This data will uncover any applications that IT is unaware of.

Additionally, how clean is the CMDB? Can the dataset be refreshed? Answering these questions and having the visibility that comes from accurate data sets a strong foundation for a SAM & APM program. Proper data and technology are where successful SAM & APM starts.

Processes (Sustaining Practice) – combining SAM & APM processes will help your organization achieve greater cost savings success. These integrated processes enable business groups that historically don’t interact with each other very much (Planning/Architecture, ITBM, Ops, Procurement) to integrate and coordinate their activities, which benefits the entire organization.

– New Software Acquisition
– Software Renewals / Renegotiation
– Ongoing Analysis, Dashboarding

These processes are sustaining practices, not one-time projects.

Application Portfolio Management & Software Asset Management Project Plan

We break down the APM & SAM Project Plan into 3 phases.

Phase 1:
Phase 1 may seem intimidating and it may sound onerous to clean up all these data sources, but we’ve found that this phase typically lasts 4-8 weeks. And this phase is so important – the success of your project plan relies on good data.

Data Foundations

– Application Inventory
– Financial & Contracts Data Reconciliation
– CMDB Cleanup & Readiness

Technical Readiness

– Technical Assessment (Discovery, SCCM)
– CMDB Review & Remediation (CMDB)
– APM & SAM Pro Module Installation

Phase 2:
It’s important to start small in Phase 2. Achieving “quick wins” will demonstrate your ability and expertise and build the confidence that leadership has in your SAM & APM program. This phase is also often self-funding, meaning that you save as much or (more often than not) more than you spend implementing Phase 2.

Software Asset Management Savings Capture

– Start with Simpler Publishers, Demonstrate Savings
– Move to More Complex Publishers

Application Portfolio Management Savings Capture

– Build Business Capability Model
– Map & Analyze Software Duplication
– Capture Quick Wins
– Engage on Complex Optimizations

Phase 3:
Coming out of Phase 2, it’s important to implement on-going processes to ensure the further success of the program. Phase 2 demonstrates the value of the program, so many executives will often be willing to dedicate more resources to the lifecycle management processes.

SAM & APM Lifecycle Management Processes

– Governance – Operationalize Savings
– Engage on Complex Optimizations
– Software Acquisition
– Software Renewal Process
– Ongoing Assessments
– Operational Synergies
– Continuous Improvement

Benefits of SAM & APM

Practicing SAM & APM together reduces duplicate software and spend, reduces software license spend and compliance & cybersecurity risk. Here are some of the other major benefits:

– Drive down technical debt
– Work together to address end-to-end application portfolio cost leadership and strategic alignment
– Automate manual processes

Proactive SAM & APM:

– Allows organizations to capitalize on strategic saving opportunities
– Answers important questions, such as:
– Do we evaluate need prior to acquiring?
– Does the standard image reflect the best set of software by job function?
– Do we collect feedback and measure?
– What documents are kept and where are they kept?
– Prepares organizations for vendor audits and to avoid unbudgeted and costly compliance fees

Anglepoint Can Help with Software Asset Management & Application Portfolio Management

Here at Anglepoint, by working together with our Partners at Beniva, we’re very well equipped to help organizations implement SAM & APM programs. Meet with us to learn more about how we can help you.

Let’s start a conversation.