Customers starting to understand Software Asset Management saves money as well as reducing risk

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Customers starting to understand Software Asset Management saves money as well as reducing risk

Simon Quicke

The awareness among customers over the need to take intellectual property seriously is fuelling an interest in Software Asset Management (SAM).

Recent changes to the law, which strengthened the ability of Trading Standards to go in and search for unlicensed software without a warrant, are one of the factors in the improving attitude to software but there are also financial benefits from looking after assets.

Jason Allaway, CEO of SAM Practice, said there were risks to not taking intellectual property seriously that had been highlighted by the recent activities of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) but there were other reasons for getting on top of the software estate.

"We often see a reduction in spend in software of around 20% which is then put back into the IT budget to be spent on other projects," he said.

He said that there was a disconnect between the technical people and procurement specialists in a business and as a result the management of software assets had often been overlooked.

"The people making the procurement decisions are not the ones making decisions over what's happening [overall to the software estate] and that has not really been bridged," he added.

Ansgar Dodt, EMEA director of sales at SafeNet said that the industry had to make licensing simpler and more transparent and vendors should be providing more SAM tools.

"Because software vendors don't provide you with the tools to do it yourself it can be a struggle," he said.

"Maybe some vendors like it because it makes it more likely that people [will spend too much on licensing] but that would be short sighted," he added.

In its recent campaign in Manchester to combat unlicensed software the BSA promoted SAM.

"We are already seeing more interest from people going to the site to find out information about software asset management," said Julie Strawson, chairwoman of the BSA's UK committee, when speaking to MicroScope about the campaign last month.

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