IT Asset Management – foundation for action
Vector’s quarterly strategy review was held in our Montreal office over the second half of last week and Saturday, and at a lodge hotel out in the country on Sunday until we had to head for the airport. As usual, we considered short term needs, medium term objectives, and tried to work out where our market opportunities were going to be in three years from now.
Short term needs often consist of fixing some aspects which we’ve wanted to do for some time and which have now become pressing. Finalising our support on Server 2008 and IIS-7 for our AM Pro Reporting Portal would be a good example, and is now very high up the list. (Anyone reading this who absolutely needs these should get in touch with me so we can prioritise delivery to you.)
It was the medium term objectives that brought it home to me how important it is for organizations to establish rich and accurate data defining their IT assets, particularly now in terms of software. We were examining opportunities to streamline and further automate the management of IT assets, and in this context it is the application software that is the more dynamic and the more challenging to manage than the hardware.
Software Asset Management – foundation for Change Management and beyond
Optimizing your deployment and use of software, while staying within the terms of a multitude of license agreements, means knowing everything about the software you have installed. Version numbers are essential to make sure you haven’t gone beyond entitlement. It is vital to make sure you have not inadvertently loaded a lower value version of the package you bought, otherwise your friendly software vendor will invite you to buy licences for all those lower value installs, in addition to the full value licenses you already hold. Platform changes – for example repurposing a server and introducing a new multi-processor box – will mean you have to check the license terms for the currently installed version of every package that is running on that box. Don’t just check the terms applicable to the latest version – check the terms applicable to the version you have loaded, plus any updates applicable to that version.
Managing this is a nightmare at best of times. Without accurate software inventory, it’s an impossible nightmare.