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3 Tips for Starting a SAM Program with a Positive Return in One Month

Software Asset Management (SAM) programs are becoming increasingly popular among IT organizations due to their ability to prove hard return on investment through cost avoidance opportunities. Yet, many organizations struggle to get started, often envisioning a large upfront investment in order to kick off the program.

While it’s true that mature asset management programs can provide immense value and require large budgets, it is still possible to quickly achieve a noticeable positive return with minimal investment. Below are three rock-solid tips to help your organization reduce software waste and facilitate immediate gains without investing in the bell and whistles of a full-blown SAM program.


1) Focus on no more than 3 specific software titles

The key to starting a successful software asset management program is focusing on quick returns. In order to identify underperforming spend - defined as either 1) software you've bought but haven't installed or assigned to anyone or 2) software you've installed or assigned to someone, but they never use it - you are going to need to gather what you own, what you’ve deployed, and how often it's being used. Focus on the two to three software titles for which you are confident you’ll be able to gather these data points quickly. 


2) Avoid software that is dependent on your CMDB

Not all software titles require the same level of effort to reconcile. If the software title you are attempting to evaluate has nuances around server virtualization and processor cores, you are going to need to be very confident in the quality of your CMDB data. Focus on software titles that don’t have an installed component, this usually means subscriptions! Common subscriptions include DropBox, Slack, G Suite, Smartsheet, GitHub, DocuSign, and Zoom.


3) Act on underperforming spend

Once you have gathered what you own, what you’ve deployed, and how often its being used, you will be able to identify all your underperforming spend. Act on reclaiming this spend and renegotiating your contracts! You can use this to build your budget and invest in doing the same for your organizations more complex titles.


Generate a positive return in one month

I’ll end with a success story that truly highlights the financial fortune that can be uncovered by following the three aforementioned tips. After performing an audit of Google Workspace subscriptions, one organization discovered that 23% were either stale or unused. By addressing these underperforming subscriptions, the organization reclaimed over $1.3 million. A significant ROI considering the resource and financial efforts involved.

At Thirdera, we’ve built a plug-and-play service that makes otherwise fortuitous windfalls intentional. In only 4 weeks, we can help you identify underperforming spend for three Software as a Service (SaaS) titles.  Reach out for more information and to discover how you can build a low-investment SAM program that is audit-ready, reduces software costs, and yields immediate ROI.

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Brian Barrett

Brian Barrett is an ITAM Practice Manager and has led numerous ITAM implementations on the ServiceNow platform for domestic and global companies of all sizes. He has over 13 years of experience building solutions on the ServiceNow platform, with the past 4 years specializing in ITAM on ServiceNow.