Every data center has to face the reality of software compliance audits. This can be a nightmare for set ups with an array of enterprise and open source software running together. For smaller shops, this is can be a relatively easy exercise, but it still requires time and effort.
Software Asset Management is the practice of using automated tools to track all aspects of the software in the enterprise. What appears to be simple can actually take a sophisticated data center nearly five years to seamlessly implement. True, the reports and the dashboards look impressive at first, but, sometimes, the detailed effort and inputs needed to prepare them are hidden at the time of purchase. The cost benefit factor needs to be considered carefully when investing in a software asset management tool.
Simple data centers can also take as much as two years to implement a basic asset tracking system in Excel. The recommendation is to have a basic system in place, which will reveal the ground work needed before jumping in for an expensive automated tool. A further step to implementing an Excel system is to use a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which brings in more discipline to the change management process.
An example of a highly automated software asset management system is the IBM® Endpoint Manager. This product was used recently by an enterprise to evaluate software licenses across 67 data centers, covering both laptop and desktop installations. The result led to the company closing gaps in software compliance vulnerabilities, bringing down its total non-compliance costs from six figures to a low of $7,000. As part of the next generation wave, IBM also plans on using an app store, similar to Google and Apple. The concept involves a decentralized view on software asset management where users will directly login to the app store and request for software downloads. The app store will hold licensing information and will allow for download only if the license is available.
At Lifeline, we have developed a seamless process and incorporated the tools we need to do our jobs effectively. To check out our setup, schedule a tour at Lifeline today.